A gorgeous day for a very pleasant hike. The trail is dry and completely snow & ice free: in fact it feels more like July up there with the trail being so dry. At low elevations, the salmonberry is even beginning to bloom.
We started on the south side of the mountain, at the Laura Road trailhead and followed the trail up to the summit before heading down the north side to the usual trailhead off Mt Gardner road. The salal and low trees have been cleared at the summit since I was last there, which makes following the correct trail off the north summit much easier. Nice views of the Howe Sound peaks, Mt Baker hovering over the haze of Vancouver, Garibaldi and the Black Tusk visible through the power line cut from the summit.
Thanks to our GPS map we found a way to get off the terrible logging road onto the South Mt Gardner trail - yay!
This route needs 2 cars or a willingness to hitch a ride or wait for the bus. The distance is only 7.5 km, with 530 m elevation gain and about 620 m loss, so going south to north minimizes elevation gain.