Access: Getting to Lynn Headwaters

Level: Easy

Distance: 5.7 km r/t

Time: 2½ h

Elevation Change: 250 m

Topographical Map: 92 G/6

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Season: April to Nov

At 5.7 km, Lynn Loop is slightly longer and a somewhat steeper than the former stroll. In order to avoid climbing the switchback sections at the top end of the trail it is recommended that you complete the trail in a counter-clockwise direction. If so, expect the first half of the hike to wind through a mature, second generation forest while the return trip is more open, following the banks of Lynn Creek. Pause a moment to cool your toes here: but remember your toes and everyone else's have rendered the water undrinkable.

bear sign

Be Bear Aware: Lynn Headwaters is home -- you are the invasive species -- to both black bears and cougars. Neither wants an encounter with that nasty species, homo sapiens. Be alert at all times, travel as a group and possess foreknowledge of how to react when encountering these magnificent creatures on their own turf.   

Lynn Loop Trail begins a short distance to the right [south-east] of the bridge. Watch for directional signs on the left of the road towards Rice Lake. The first half of the trail follows the high ground along a bench well above Lynn Creek. The first junction you'll encounter leads up to Lynn Peak. Take the left fork instead for a short distance until you see another side trail veering off to the right. A few minutes along this track leads to a couple of glacial erratics, giant boulders deposited by receding glaciers at the end of the last ice age. Back on the main trail you'll reach a major junction at the 3.1 km mark. Note the massive, upside-down cedar stump here. To return to where you started take the left fork 0.7 km down through a series of steep switchbacks. At the bottom you'll take a left again following Lynn Creek downstream for 1.7 km of easy hiking.

An alternative route continues along the bench land for an additional 2.4 km to the debris chute at the start of the trail to Norvan Falls and on to Grouse Mountain. Though, considerably longer, you'll drop down to Lynn Creek at a much more gradual pace. From the debris chute double back along the Cedars Mill Trail for 2.1 km before regaining the Lynn Loop Trail. Altogether, this extension will nearly double your hike to 10.3 km but the going is no more difficult than the shorter option detailed above.

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Rogue waves occur when the crests of individual waves from different wave-trains momentarily coincide. Hokusai's famous Tsunami, pictured here, is actually not a rogue wave at all.

Backpackers following the intertidal shelf should be aware of something known as "rogue waves". Unless seismic in origin, waves are usually created by the transferance of energy from wind to water. Three factors, wind speed, duration and fetch or the distance which a wind can blow, unimpeded, contribute to wave size. The energy moves wave-like through the water, displacing that water but not in fact transporting it. In other words the energy moves but the water doesn't.

Long wave-trains, waves marching in succession, can travel over great distances across the water. At any given time the waves from several wave-trains from disparate origins may come crashing on any particular beach. Rogue waves occur when the crests of individual waves from different wave-trains momentarily coincide. In short rogue waves occur when two or more waves displace the same water at the same time. When two wave crests come together they create a bigger than average wave. When a crest and trough coincide the result is a smaller than average wave.

Rogue waves occur when the crests of individual waves from different wave-trains momentarily coincide. Statistically the coincidence of two waves doubling up is thought to occur as frequently as one in 23 normal-sized waves. Certainly often enough to warrant caution whenever mucking about at the very edge of rocky shelves. When walking along the edge of metre high surf the margin of safety will rapidly disappear whenever a two metre wave hits the beach. Backpacker and knapsack may very well disappear as well if three crests overlap. Fortunately triple-sized waves are predicted to occur only once out of 1, 175 while four crests meeting simultaneously is as rare as one in three hundred thousand.

A further dynamic, not fully understood yet, occurs when coinciding waves are further pumped up by ocean currents. Though not a frequent occurrence off the B.C. coast, waves on steroids have been measured as high as a 10-story building from crest to trough. Coinciding troughs are known to create momentary liquid black holes from which an unlucky freighter or tanker would be unlikely to reappear. Every year a handful of cargo ships vanish from the oceans of the earth. At least a few of these are thought to have fallen prey to rogue waves.

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