It has been at least 20 years since I last hiked this trail in Strathcona Park. The trail is accessed from the Wood Mountain Ski Park; an abandon ski hill in which a path heads up steeply and gives nice views of the ocean, Comox Lake and the town of Courtenay-Comox.
I did this hike twice during the past week. I first went up on Wednesday when the weather was cloudy, foggy and cool. Taking photos with the rolling fog was nice but the views were limited. There are still huge pools of water here and there but they have diminished in size somewhat otherwise the path was easy to follow.
When I reached the junction to Drabble Lakes and Mt. Becher, I headed left climbing higher. There are lots of nice subalpine areas with small tarns and dwarf evergeen trees. I came to an open bluff which gives views of Boston Lake below and from here it would be about 30 minutes more before the summit of Mt. Becher is reached.
A glimpse of Boston Lake below.
A nice landscape of evergreen and cliffs.
One of several rocky sections along the way.
A nice alpine tarn on a foggy day.
The path goes straight ahead .
A beautiful subalpine area with possible camping spots.
Dwarf Evergreen Trees
The top of Mt. Becher with no distant views.
When I reached the summit of Mt. Becher, the clouds hadn't lifted and a rather chilly breeze blew so I didn't stay long. Coming back down the trail, I saw a path diverging off and heading up into the forest so I followed it to a nice flat area where a firepit lay. There was a small pool of brackish looking water which I used to filter water from. This was the only water source around so I had no choice. Even the filtered water looked slightly brown but it caused no problems.
At one point, the clouds departed and the sun appeared but that was short-lived. Clouds and rolling fog moved in. It was a chilly day for mid-August but that's no real surprise as the temperature difference can be considerable up in the mountains.
Low clouds on the move.
There is a nice tarn in the forest along the way back and a faint path leads close to the shoreline. I saw lots of ripe blueberries on the bushes so I picked some to eat later. Tramping around in the wet bush got me all wet and I later discovered that my new hiking boots was soaked inside despite the waterproof gortex lining.
A couple of days later, I redid the Mt. Becher hike and this time the sun was bright and hot starting from the morning. Along with the nice weather came the bugs. They weren't bothersome until I reached the summit.
Along the way up, I had met some people coming down. They apparently had stayed overnight for the meteor shower. One person even brought his guitar which he said was worth it.
From the summit of Mt. Becher, the distant views of Comox glacier and surrounding mountains was nice but there was a cloud of flies flying around in one particular spot; the area I was trying to photograph the mountains. The flies didn't bite but they were a nuisance.
Distant views of the Comox glacier.
I didn't stay long. I headed down the trail and decided to visit Boston Lake. I met a few people coming up the trail. There is more people on the trail during Friday than any other weekday.
I took an informal path down to Boston Lake. The steep path is not well marked but its impossible to get lost. There is a nice flat camping area near the lake outlet but I decided to eat my lunch near the small creek which drains from the lake. The blackflies were abundant and merciless. I managed to kill over two dozen of them when they landed on me but there was still lots flying around.
Down at the shoreline of Boston Lake. The trail to Mt. Becher heads along and over the cliffs ahead.
After I ate, I hastily headed along the creek and up onto an open bluff where there was less blackflies around. A forested valley lay before me with a logged section and in the distance I can see part of Comox and the ocean. Heading back down the trail was uneventful. It was hot and I was glad to get back into the car and turn on the air conditioner.