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


Horsetails

Horsetails

Some would say the first plant: ever! A gigantic earlier relative of the common horsetail thrived in the Carboniferous era and eventually became our present day coal deposits. Containing silica, horsetails make a natural "sandpaper." On the west coast horsetails and salmon slime were used to polish masks, canoes, bone tools and soapstone pipes. In spite of the rough texture of the stalk, the young plant heads can be eaten as asparagus.

Illustration by Manami Kimura