Located north of Maple Ridge, Golden Ears Provincial Park is known for such hiking destinations as its namesake twin peaks and Alouette Mountain. It can take a long day or an overnighter to tackle these attractive summits.
However, if you don’t have time for a lengthy hike, there’s always Evans Peak. You won’t find this trail in any guidebooks or on the official park map, but it’s a terrific day trip for experienced hikers.
The hike kicks off at the West Canyon parking lot. After a few minutes on the West Canyon Trail, you turn left onto the Viewpoint Trail. Just past the 1.5-kilometre marker, there’s a sign on the right noting the start of the trail to Evans Peak (as well as an alternate route to Alouette Mountain).
Now the real work begins. This unrelentingly steep path is rough but well marked and defined.
One-and-a-half hours in, there’s a viewpoint with somewhat-obscured vistas of your imposing-looking destination and Alouette Lake. At two hours, you’ll reach a signed fork: left goes to Alouette Mountain, while right continues to Evans Peak.
Ahead of the final push to the 1,097-metre summit, you get a bit of a breather as the hike follows the crest of a wooded ridge. Then the trail kicks it up a notch in terms of steepness. Caution is needed as the path comes uncomfortably close to drop-offs. A fixed rope helps you scramble up one section.
After 2.5 hours of hiking, you’ll find the rocky summit topped by a small tree. It’s worth carefully wandering north along the ridge, taking in the sweet views. Alouette Lake is to the southeast. Snow caves lie at the foot of Edge Peak to the northwest.
When you’re satisfied, it’s back down the way you came. The going is much quicker on the descent. Hiking poles will save your knees.
This is not a hike for newbies, young kids, or dogs. The ClubTread wiki pegs the total distance at eight kilometres and the elevation gain at over 900 metres. The round trip takes around five hours.