Weekend Report: Cheakamus Lake

Cheakamus Lake, sunset, hike, camping “Do you think we’re getting old?” I forget who said it, but it came at the end of a conversation in which we’d all been extolling the virtues of a relaxing weekend. You know -a short, flat hike followed by lounging at the edge of a beautiful, glacier-fed lake, cooking gourmet food over camp stoves (my food group opted for boil-in-a-bags, but everyone else seems to have graduated to bringing cutting boards and fresh veggies along on their hiking trips) and sipping box wine. Citing a broken back, I had finally cracked and bought one of those contraptions that turns a therm-a-rest into a comfy chair (why did I ever wait?). Conversation largely revolved around relationships and kids, career paths and life paths. One thoughtful friend set up a hammock next to the tents. We straggled out of bed around 9 in the morning -when our creaky bodies decided our sleeping pads weren’t doing it for us anymore that day. A far cry from dragging the bare necessities up some epic haul to hang out for the brief remaining daylight minutes at the foot of the glacier or spire you plan on climbing early the next day; there weren’t even any fits of alder-inspired rage -mainly because there was a wide, flat, bike-friendly path (aside from some very large fallen trees here and there) all 7km of the way there.

If you’re wanting to feel hard-core, or a sense of accomplishment after doing something hard, don’t go to Cheakamus lake. If you’re looking for a gorgeous, hike-in camping spot and a feeling of total contentment/bliss, I would highly recommend it. It’s even just warm enough to jump in and out again without going entirely numb. Even as a day trip or a trail run, this would be a great spot -something lots of people seemed to have figured out. With the turn-off at Function Junction, it’s only about a 45 minute drive from Squamish (depending on how well your vehicle manages rutty FSRs). I have no idea how I’ve never been there before.

Maybe it’s because I’m only just getting old.

Well, if this is getting old, then bring it on. It’s so much fun. Whether it’s the view from my therm-a-rest chair or old-timey friendships, comfort can be exhilarating. I just didn’t believe that when I was younger. And being old didn’t stop us from selfie-ing the crap out of the trip, or transforming a large piece of moss into the Best Moustache Ever.

Hopefully I’ll do some scrambling this summer -maybe bag some peaks, travel some glaciers, climb stuff, do something that makes me feel totally hard-core. But hopefully I get to spend a lot more weekends like this one too.

Information for hiking Cheakmus Lake can be found here. To see current bulletins and pay for (required) overnight passes, go here.

Cheakamus Lake, moon, night sky, hike, camping


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  1. Nice trip report!

    I have fond memories of Cheakamus Lake, being my first overnight hiking trip back in Grade 9. I remember the trail being quite tough and a slog to get in and out…. maybe I should revisit it.

    • Thanks, Rich! Wow, amazing to think what you’ve done between then and now…you could probably hike that thing without even realizing it, given how it compares to some of your adventures :p