Strathcona Trip Plan

Every year, for the past 4 years, I’ve racked my brain for fun and exciting trip ideas with my children.  I feel like time is fleeting where we can get away as a family.

For this summer’s trip my original plan was to hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail.  I think I was inspired by reading Wild and having experienced the great satisfaction of hiking the Sunshine Coast Trail in 2017.

Hiking the SCT in 2017 with the sweet cabins!

I think maybe I was trying to recreate the SCT experience because that’s a trip I’ll remember for my life. 

When I pitched the idea to the kids they were not immediately excited which seemed unusual.

“Dad, it’s like you want to accomplish something by taking on a super long hike.  We loved day hiking in Whistler and having a home base.”

Wedgemount Hike, Whistler BC

So I thought about their feedback; they are old enough now that present logical arguments and I wanted them involved in the trip planning.  The PCT will have to wait.

My friend Chris Istace had been trying to convince me to check out Strathcona Park.  He made all the suggestions which eventually became the basis for this adventure.

When I came back to the kids with a plan where we would go into the backcountry and then come out multiple times for some car camping and hydrated food they were all in!

Loaded for Circlet Lake on a dreary day

And that’s how the plan was hatched.  Of course there was loads of planning and preparation in between but we came up with this rough plan:

  • Day 1: Hike in and Camp @ Circlet Lake
  • Day 2: Hike Jutland Mountain & Mount Albert Return to Camp @ Circlet Lake
  • Day 3: Hike out, restock in Campbell River & car camp @ Buttle Lake Campground
  • Day 4: Explore Buttle Lake area and camp @ Buttle Lake Campground
  • Day 5: Hike and camp @ Upper Gravel Bar Campsite (below Landslide Lake)
  • Day 6: Hike to Landslide Lake & Burg Lake Return to Camp @ Upper Gravel Bar
  • Day 7: Hike out and car camp @ Ralph River Campground
  • Day 8: Hike and camp @ Bedwell Lake
  • Day 9: Hike to Cream Lake Return to Camp @ Bedwell Lake
  • Day 10: Hike out and camp @ Ralph River Campground
  • Day 11: Hike and camp @ Arnica Lake
  • Day 12: Hike Phillips Ridge to 1725 m and Return to Camp @ Arnica Lake
  • Day 13: Hike out and stay at friend’s in Nanaimo
The kids enjoyed using my point and shoot camera to capture the hikes

Here are the rough numbers for this trip:

Hiking Distance – 120 km

Elevation Gain / Elevation Loss – approximately 16,000 m

The plan changed a bit along the way but that was the plan and it was solid.

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