Evans Valley Trail
Trail leading up the west side of Evans Creek to seasonal snow caves below Blanshard and Edge Peaks.
||8.6 km (return)
||4 - 6.5 hours
||Linear - Return
Starting on Dewdney Trunk Road in Maple Ridge, turn north on 232 Street and follow it for 2.3 kilometers. Immediately after passing alongside Maple Ridge Park, turn right on Fern Crescent. Continue another 3.5 km to the Golden Ears Provincial Park gate.
Drive 11 km from the park entrance, passing the turnoff for the campsite. Shortly after the road changes to gravel, turn left into the West Canyon parking lot.
Parking in BC Parks is free as of May 2011.
One of Golden Ears Provincial Park's hidden gems, the Evans Valley Trail is not shown on any official maps of publications. Located on the east side of Blanshard and Edge peaks, Evans Valley is well known for the impressive snow caves that occasionally form at the head of the valley during the spring melt. This route is sometimes used by climbers to access the Blanshard Needle.
To reach the valley, start at the trailhead for the West Canyon Trail - also known as the Golden Ears trail. Hike along the flat trail for two kilometers, crossing over two bridges. The trail leading into Evans Valley is found just before the main West Canyon Trail curves left toward the third bridge, spanning Evans Creek. The bridge can be easily identified as being split into two sections with a man-made gravel embankment. If you see the bridge, you've gone too far. Located 80 meters before the bridge on the left side, the narrow trail is obvious and initially leads through salmonberries and ferns. As of the summer of 2008, the trail was cleared and in fairly good shape.
The trail quickly emerges into open forest and climbs uphill, eventually reaching a gully with an extremely eroded bank. A rope hanging on the left can be used, if needed. An avalanche chute is located soon after, with the first good view of the mountains at top of the valley. The fourth and final gully cuts its way through here, located below a tall waterfall. Snow caves will occasionally form here.
The trail can be a bit confusing beyond this point. Orange and pink flagging tape has been placed along the sections that are difficult to follow. Keep following the trail until it drops down to the edge of the creek, ending at a cairn. From this point on, scramble straight up the main creek bed. The creek usually has running water in the lower section and can be quite slippery. As recent avalanches have brought down a lot of loose unstable dirt and gravel, care should be taken to avoid injury.
The seasonal snow caves are located at the top of the valley. Early July is typically a good time to explore them, but on years of heavier snowfall you may want to wait a little longer.
July 3, 2008 - There is now an optional bypass route to avoid the eroding gully bank with the fixed rope. On the near side, it branches off the original trail 70 metres before the gully. On the far side, it rejoins the trail 40 metres past the gully. It follows a natural little bench to cross the gully at a more stable location below the eroding area. It is flagged and scuffed, but the closest flagging is about 8 metres into the bypass.
If anyone wants to use the original crossing, using the fixed rope greatly reduces the erosion one causes.
|West Canyon trailhead
||10U 539001 5463975
|Viking Creek Viewpoint trail junction
||10U 538946 5464301
|Evans Valley trail junction
||10U 539044 5465674
||10U 538309 5465862
|Avalanche chute below waterfall
||10U 538182 5465881
||10U 537900 5465951
|Trail ends at edge of Evans Creek
||10U 537673 5465977
|Head of valley
||10U 537060 5466324