Bowen Lookout and Yew Lake Loop

We had a fun Saturday, exploring live music scenes in Vancouver. The top recommendation in the group was Guilt & Co, which turned out to be an excellent pick! We stayed for three sets, and the second artist was really good. Okay, the lyrics didn’t matter since I was lost in the music they were producing.

The next morning we were all feeling slow. But, it was sunny outside, a rare sunny winter weekend in Vancouver. Three of us made an impromptu plan to drive around. With no destination in mind, we started just after noon. If you’ve been to Vancouver, you hate the traffic as much as we do. By the time we crawled out of the city, we had all agreed to the idea of visiting Cyprus mountain. It’s just 25 mins drive from the city and we thought we would just walk around, get inspired to take ski lessons and come back home. People usually go to Cyprus to ski. Our plans kept evolving.

Quick Tip: If you want to venture outside of the designated ski areas you’ll need a backcountry pass. You get them for free at the Blackmountain lodge. Just get one as you park the car, else you’ll have to walk back and forth following rangers instructions.

We knew we wanted to hike. Loading up AllTrails, we found a few decent options. Most of them were moderate to hard. We weren’t prepared for any intense hike, so we looked for easy ones. That is when we landed on Bowen Lookout and Yew Lakes loop. The idea was to visit the lake and decide later if we wanted to continue to the lookout. We started out with no gloves, no micro-spikes, no water bottle, no headlamp. I wish we had all of that!

Pro Tip: Always be prepared when hiking. Don’t be like us. Make sure you have your hiking essentialls so you’re prepared for the worst case scenarios.

The loop around the lake was pretty comfortable stroll. The lake was frozen. The vegetation across the lake from us were on the wrong side of the sun, so we didn’t get really beautiful photos. Had the hike completed at this I wouldn’t have written about it. Nothing out of the ordinary. It got fun when we left the loop to start on the trail to the Bowen lookout.

The trail to the lookout point had a few sections that were comfortably navigable with spikes. Alas, we didn’t have them. And we struggled. Bad. Skidding, sliding on our butts, and desperately trying to prevent from falling off the trail, we finally managed a distance of 1km in 45 minutes. And when we got to the lookout point, oh wow. There’s something magical about the islands just west of Vancouver. We got there just as the sun was beginning to set. There was beautiful orange hue in the sky, reflecting back from the dense clouds overhead creating a mesmerizing scene. If only we had the right gear, we could have stayed for the sunset. Hopefully, the next time we get to stay and appreciate the magic.

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