Distance done: 26Km Elevation done: 780m
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Vicar Lakes trail map
Take the Mt Seymour Parkway Exit from Hwy 1 in North Vancouver, at the north end of the second narrows bridge. Continue straight onto Lillooet Road for about 5 km. The road ends at the Rice Lake Gate and its parking lot. You are in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve.
This trail is usually done as a bike/hike. There is about 2.8km bike ride to get to the trailhead. You have two options. The second option is the best one.
1- Seymour Valley Trailway: Bike to the end of the paved road (10Km) and cross Seymour River (bring sandals) at Dear Creek Bridge. On the other side, there is a short trail which takes you up to the Eastside Seymour Mainline, where you turn left. Seymour River can be high and not passable.
2- East Seymour Mainline: Bike along Seymour Valley Trailway and turn right on Hydraulic Connector (at about 5.2Km), cross Spur 4 Bridge over Seymour River, and then turn left into East Seymour. The trailhead is at about 12.4Km marker and is marked well. East Seymour Mainline is an unpaved road but it is in good condition exepct a small section in the middle.
A few minutes from the trailhead, don't miss on the General and the General's Wife, two giant cedar trees. The trail is steep and bushy but well marked and there are several fixed ropes along the way. The trail eventually levels and goes through 3 different pounds and Vicar Lake from which Mt Bishop is in view. From this area you may find access routes to Mt. Bishop and the Indian Arm trail.
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Jay @ Mount Bishop (from Rice Lake Gate)
Mood & date:
Aug 05, 2013
A real mixed bag of biking (both road and gravel trail), hiking, scrambling, and downclimbing using fixed ropes. The variation provides for an interesting and challenging day. Expect to descend slower or at the same pace you ascend. The ropes aren't always needed going up, but essential coming down. Trail is quite easy to follow. If coming from the paved Seymour Demo Road, cross the Bear Island Bridge, huff and puff up the switchbacks and then stash your bike at the "SLOW" sign. Trailhead is on your immediate left when facing south. At the base of the final minor scramble near a running creek we chose to head up and to the right via a narrow gulley with loose rocks. Should be no exposure required and no snow/ice equipment needed in August. Big bug party at the top though!
Ahmad @ Vicar Lakes
Mood & date:
Jun 26, 2011
This is perhaps the most interesting low-elevation trail that I have done. There are very old and giant trees and perhaps the trail offers how forests looked like 1000s years ago. The trail is steep but there are many supporting ropes. I found the area more beautiful with snow cover. The conditions seemed right to continue to Elsay Lake. It was perhaps good to do Mount Bishop as well. But it was too late to do any of them. I spent an hour hanging by the lakes and it was hard to leave. There is new a blowdown on the trail but it was not difficult to by pass it. Snow started at 900m. The gate to Spur 4 Bridge was closed but I passed it from the side without a problem but I am not sure if this was allowed or not. Total trip took 8:30 hours: 1:45 hour biking, 1 hour break, and 5:45 hours hiking.
Comments:4 Photo votes:9 Votes:1 Reads:1227
Ahmad @ Vicar Lakes
Mood & date:
Oct 02, 2010
I did a small part of this trail last year and realized the potential of it. There are huge trees. Ones of the biggest that I have seen and definitely the biggest in Northshore. It is best to do this trail in a dry weather as the trail is very steep. It crosses several steep rock slabs. Some were still wet and slippery even it had been dry for the last few days. There are many supporting ropes on most of the steep sections. Some of them are very necessary and some not. The conditions of the ropes are generally good. There are some older ones mixed with newer ones. The old ones are not in good conditions. The hardest section is between elevation 520 and 620m and the crux is at picture 22. After the steep hike, there is a number of lakes. I missed the biggest one but where I was, it was just gorgeous. Bishop was still far away where I was. I could see its reflection in the lake but I estimated that I needed another 2-3 hours to get to the peak. Being at the lake at 4pm, it was beyond my
Photo votes:4 Votes:2 Reads:1637
Andrew @ Vicar Lakes
Mood & date:
May 15, 2010
What a trip. I set off alone and biked to the trailhead with my hybrid commuting bike. One with fatter tires would be better, but I had no major difficulties. Along the East Seymour Mainline road (the gravel one) the streams are running well right now - there are major streams at bridges, one close to the Spur 4 bridge, and another at almost 9km. The trailhead is marked by flagging and an orange diamond on a tree on the right-hand side of the road (traveling north.) The trail is steep and it goes up relentlessly. There is some significant windfall in a few lower sections of the trail, but easy to go around. There are sections where you have to do a bit of bush-bashing, but the flagging is very abundant. This is a scramble, make no mistake - there is exposure and you will have to use your hands unless you're some kind of pro climber. Many of these scrambling sections have fixed ropes - if you choose to use them, I strongly suggest you vigorously test them from a safe location
Comments:2 Photo votes:10 Votes:3 Reads:2407
Ahmad @ Mount Bishop (from Rice Lake Gate)
Date: Oct 24, 2009
Most of my trip was biking. I went first along Seymour Valley Trailway. It is 10Km road and it is very well paved. It crosses many creeks and there are several picnic areas. At its end, it connects to Old Growth Trail. It is not paved but it is easy to bike, hike, or both. The water level of Seymour river was high. I looked for a while for a wide section of the river that I can cross. The best that found was close to Dear Creek Bridge. But it was still high and not passable. I biked back to Hydraulic Creek (about 5.2Km) where there is a connection to Spur 4 Bridge over Seymour River. I biked again a road called Seymour East which is located on the other side Seymour river for 7Km upstream. This road is gravel but is in good condition except a small section that is under construction. The road has much less traffic. I only met 3 bikers. At about 12.4Km marker is the Bishop Trail. It is a very steep trail. It goes through very old-growth trees. They are the oldest that I have seen
Photo votes:10 Reads:1854
Sabine @ Mount Bishop (from Rice Lake Gate)
Date: Aug 01, 2009
A full day cycling / hiking / swimming! I started cycling from home to Rice Lake Gate, met the North Shore Hikers, continued on the Seymour Valley Trailhead to its end. We crossed Seymour River. Having sandals is a good idea. The water level is quite low and it was easy to push the bike across the river. The rest of the road is unpaved. The two cedar trees on the trail (called the General and General's Wife) are really impressive! This trail is typical for the North Shore, very steep, bushy, lots of roots. I was surprised to see several ropes to help you go through the most difficult sections. Vicar lake is perfect for a dip on that hot day! I've never seen the North Shore so dry. Not that many mosquitoes near the ponds and none at the summit, only a few dragonflies.
Photo votes:7 Reads:3198
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