Flora Lake Hike Report by Rodrigo Y.
This was my first time hiking the Flora Lake Trail, and our original intention was to attempt the full loop with Greendrop and Lindeman Lakes. The challenging and beautiful trail soon proves to be more than a match for even the hardiest of hikers, and will amply qualify as a day hike, without the hubris of trying the full loop of all three lakes in one day.
The first 3-4 km is a steep incline through ‘old-man-bearded’ young forest and the occasional mossy boulder dropped by giants, with a final elevation around 1700 metres. It is a well maintained trail, with gnarly roots and rocks creating an almost natural staircase effect in many parts. Keep an eye out for small signs along the way indicating how far you have traveled. You will see a few spots with early viewpoints, but after you finish the first climb and reach the sub alpine meadow then you are rewarded with magnificent views of Chilliwack Lake, and the valley as well as the mountain peaks all along. I imagine in different seasons the meadow has various appearances, but we were lucky to witness a fall palette of colours: bright oranges, reds, and yellows. After some research I can tell you the plant life includes alpine lilies, fir, Indian paintbrush, and arctic lupine. Campsites were visible at this juncture also. Parts of the trail can be tricky before and after this area, so keep your eyes open for the markers especially on the return where we almost headed off in the wrong direction. Generally the trial is well indicated with orange markers, and in the questionable junctures others have added ribbons to help guide you.
The next stage takes you past the alpine slopes and meadow, into more forest before you eventually start descending about 500 metres to the Lake. You reach a well-maintained campsite just before the last bit down to the lake where the green-blue waters and surrounding mountain welcomes you to rest and just soak it all in. Brook trout are plainly visible in the water and leaping to catch their afternoon dinner. Please take care to leave the area as pristine as you find it, as it is obviously well treated by the previous visitors.
We rested and explored the lake a little, and followed a trail that leads around the right side of the lake but quickly became too wet. Apparently there is another campsite around that spot but we did not find it. Generally it is best to take the same route back, though we could see the beginning of another trail that supposedly takes you to Greendrop. From what I’ve read this can be sketchy and parts have been obscured by slides etc.
Though I consider myself in good shape, this trial proved to be difficult at times especially on my long-suffering knees. Bring plenty of water in the Fall, as besides a single waterfall in the first part, we saw no other running water (and generally is safer to drink your own water unless you are prepared with pills or filter). We were also lucky with a temperate and dry day, but on overcast or rainy days I can see the trail and brush being quite wet and cold so as always come prepared.
How to Get There
You reach the Trailhead by taking Chilliwack Lake Road 40km from the Vedder Crossing junction, arriving just past Post Creek. If you reach the gates of Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park you have gone too far, though if the park is open you could choose to leave your vehicle there and walk the short distance the Trailhead. Posted signs are visible, indicating straight for the Lindeman/Greendrop Trail, or right to take the Flora Lake Trail. According to the sign this is a 14km return hike, though it feels like a lot more.