Print Edition: June 5, 2013
Ever since May arrived I have found the great outdoors calling my name. The idea of getting out of the house and avoiding any potential coursework from my summer classes has become more and more appealing as the days get warmer and (theoretically) drier.
This past week I chose to head up to Cultus Lake to the Teapot Hill trail. A short drive from the Abbotsford UFV campus (45 minutes), this hike is close, convenient and leads to a great view. To get to the trailhead I drove up the side of Cultus Lake past the beaches, where I found a parking lot on the left side of the road marked specifically for the trail. I chose to go on a day that was heavily overcast (not that I had much of a choice with recent weather) so the trail was relatively quiet with only a few other vehicles in the parking lot. This trail is fairly well known, however, and I have been warned previously that the trail will usually fill up on a nice day.
The hike itself was a relatively short affair; it took about 25 minutes to get to the top and another 20 to get down, but what the trail lacks in distance it makes up for in sights. To add to the scenery there are teapots decorated in the trees left by previous hikers who felt like adding to the trail’s mystique. I spent a good amount of my time looking out for these hidden treasures. Considering that for most of the hike the trail was fairly well grown in (and so there was not much of a view) the numerous little pots proved to be a welcome sightseeing adventure.
Nearing the end of the hike the trail begins to steepen and the foliage begins to break, letting light into the forest around the path. Eventually this opens up more substantially and through the trees a view of Cultus Lake and the surrounding valley becomes visible. At this point in my expedition it had started raining, so the view I received was less than spectacular as all I could see were treetops and mist. Lucky for me another hiker had reached the top and assured me that normally this view is breathtaking, which was especially comforting!
As I began my descent the rain picked up and was quickly turning into an outright downpour. Needless to say there was much less sightseeing to be done as I made a near sprint down the mountain in my attempt to get to my car somewhat dry. This sprint ending up being in vain, as I arrived at my car effectively soaked through; I was in for a soggy drive home.
All in all Teapot Hill would be an excellent hike for beginners who are looking for something small to start off their hiking season. The hike would be a great day trip coupled with a visit to one of the various beaches at Cultus Lake. Just be sure you choose a sunny day!