the lookout at the top!
As the last real days of summer are quickly coming to an end in the lower mainland, Stefan and I have been hiking with the kids every Saturday morning. We'll pick a place we've never been to, and find a hike that will be a doable challenge for the kids and at least a bit of a workout for us. If I'm going to do the work, I want to make sure I get good and sweaty, and tired myself! As we drove to Sumas mountain to look for the elusive hiking trailhead, we found that it was closed due to fire safety issues. We didn't want to go completely home without hiking (what a bust!) because we had driven about an hour to that point. Stefan found that close by was a hike that was also a downhill bike trail and apparently it had a good view from the top. Did it ever!
McKee peak is one of those trails that you'd never notice from the side of the road but the locals all know about. At the beginning, the area to the side is under construction. It looks like they are developing the area, but there's no way they'd cut into the mountain so after a little elevation gain you're totally in the woods. The hike was a challenge for our kids because it's pretty much straight up and straight down. The day we went was pretty warm out, and the final push up to the lookout is steep. There are many downhill bikers that are hiking with their bikes up the hill and when Stefan asked how long it takes them to go down, one replied, "about 5 minutes"...that's how fast those guys go down the hill! Crazy.
The lookout at the top is completely worth the view, but take care to read the directions to find the actual lookout, the top is just a boring radio/electrical tower with no view. The view is INCREDIBLE. The spot to lookout is extremely small, though, and on a cliff ledge. I basically let the kids stay there for three minutes, and then told them they had to go back. I was pretty anxious to get them back 'into the woods'. I'd take extreme caution with children 5 and under.
Of course the photo at the top just doesn't do a darn thing for the actual view at the top. You can see for miles, (that thin strip that cuts the photo in half is the highway) and on a clear day is was gorgeous. What a view! My ipad just doesn't do what we saw any justice, I guess you'll have to go up there yourself!