Today we made the plan to set out on the 13km Gloria Lookout hike starting at the Chilliwack Community Forest. We woke up this morning to an absolutely beautiful blue sky and a great temperature. Off we went to meet up with our friends at the trailhead. The beginning of the trail was quite familiar to us since we had just done some mountain biking in the same area a couple weeks previous so we knew the start would be quite pleasant and fairly easy. Our friends had been a ways up the Gloria trail but never made it to the top, so we were determined as a group to make it all the way to the lookout. Once on the Gloria Lookout trail it really starts to head up quick. Please note that this is not a hike for small kids, the Community Forest trails are perfect for families with small kids, but this is definitely a serious, challenging hike and age and experience are a good thing to have on your side. We hiked through some of the most beautiful scenery, some spots were quite narrow and steep. It is quite unrelenting so as I said before experience and fitness is definitely an asset.
The climb up continues for the better part of an hour and a half. We took our time somewhat and stopped for water breaks, a short snack and of course a few pics. We finally broke out of the trees to the most beautiful view of Mt Slesse, however it was going to get better. We hiked downhill through a meadow for about 500m to the most amazing lookout I’ve experienced in a long time.You could see Cultas Lake, Harrison Lake, the Fraser River, all of Chilliwack, Cheam, Lady and more. I would say that one of the best parts was that we had the whole thing to ourselves, with the exception of one other couple.The sun was shining and we were hungry from our assent. It was quite nice to enjoy our lunch and the views without the massive crowds that are becoming quite popular on the trails these days. It was fun to try and figure out which mountain ranges were what and were certain things are in the landscape, it was the cherry on top of an epic day hike.
We started our trip back with rested legs and fuller bellies. The kids ran and us parents made our way down in a more civilized manner, lol. Once you leave the lookout you do have to climb those 500m back up to the trailhead again, which is a little punishing I would say, especially on a fuller tummy. However the thing that keeps you going is knowing that you will be descending for 6 km once you hit the trees.
The descend down was great, the soft forest floor was great on the joints before the really steep sections. The scenery was stunning, the light bouncing off of the trees brought serenity to the hike.
We are so blessed to have such amazing backcountry trails that are so well maintained. It’s also a great way to socialize with your friends and family. And a bonus I got two days worth of steps I so I can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner without guilt.
How to get to the Chilliwack Community Forest and Gloria Lookout Trail
From Hwy 1 take the Annis Rd exist and continue straight onto Hack Brown Rd towards Unity School. At the first Y turn right onto Nixon Rd, then at the second Y turn left onto Allan Rd. From here there are signs leading to the Community Forest. It is located near the end of Allan Rd on your right. From the parking lot, follow signs to the top of the Cholqthet trail. Continue following signs to the Gloria Lookout.