Level: Difficult

Distance: 13 km r/t

Time: 7 h r/t

Elevation Change: 980 m

Topographical Map: Squamish 92G/11

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Season: July - Oct

Access: See Getting to Whistler

This thigh-burner starts out the same as the previous walk. Instead of turning off at the Bluffs Trail keep following the logging road for another 20 minutes as the trail gradually turns inland meeting up with the Old Deeks Lake Trail. Both trails join now, following a route parallel to Deeks Creek that is decidedly up.

The logging road dwindles down to foot track just before it detours up and around a landslide area. The bypass is well-delineated with orange markers. Phi Alpha Falls will be first heard then seen as you approach the last steep set of switchbacks before climbing over the lip above your destination. Deeks Lake is a beautiful mountain jewel surrounded by scree slopes, old-growth forest and areas of open scrub.

Mount Windsor is directly east while to the north Deeks Peak lords over the lake that shares its name. Both were named for John Deeks who, in 1910, created the lake to provide a dependable water source for his quarrying operations far below. Tarry awhile over lunch, a refreshing dip or lakeside snooze before undertaking the knee-gnashing descent. Return to where you started or, for a change of pace, follow the Old Deeks Lake Trail out to the highway. Be sure to return before the last bus passes by.

The End


Fireweed

Fireweed

Gashes in the forest caused by fire, blowdown or human intrusion are quickly filled in by pioneer species such as fireweed or salal. Quick growing red alder and maple soon take over, being themselves supplanted in turn by Douglas fir once soil has stabilized. Eventually shade tolerant climax species such as western red cedar and western hemlock will come to dominate. The whole process can take centuries if not millennia. Immature fireweed plants can be cooked whole like broccoli while the young leaves can be used as salad greens. Fireweed is high in both beta-carotene and vitamin C. During pre-contact times fireweed seed fluffs found utility as pillow stuffing.

Illustration by Manami Kimura