Sumas Mountain, situated between Abbotsford and Chilliwack, is a well-known summit in the Fraser Valley, offering a variety of trails and attractions in Sumas Mountain Regional Park. Among these are Chadsey Lake, the Abby Grind, Taggart Peak, and, of course, the mountain itself. This hike encompasses two popular destinations within the park: Sumas Mountain and Chadsey Lake.
Sumas Mountain is a year-round hiking destination, although during winter, the summit may be covered in snow, requiring the use of micro spikes or even snowshoes. In the summer, it’s advisable to bring bug spray, as mosquitoes can be quite active in the damp environment.
While this hike is popular throughout the year, it experiences a surge in visitors during the summer when Chadsey Lake becomes a major attraction. Relatively fewer people continue on to Sumas Mountain, but it still remains a popular spot. To avoid crowds, an early start is recommended.
This hike welcomes pets, and it’s common to see families on the trail. However, it should be noted that the trail becomes more challenging and rugged, especially after the ascent from Chadsey Lake. Land disputes have resulted in some parts of the trail being unmaintained and overgrown, but overall, the trail is well-marked and easy to follow.
Sumas Mountain Hike Overview
- Hiking Difficulty: Intermediate
- Hiking Time: 6.5 hours (Round Trip)
- Hiking Distance: 13.5km
- Elevation Gain: 715 meters
- Best time to hike: May – November
- Camping Allowed: No
- Distance from Vancouver: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Public Transit Available: No
- Dog Friendly: Yes
Sumas Mountain Video
Sumas Mountain Hiking Trail
Sumas Mountain, situated between Abbotsford and Chilliwack in the Fraser Valley, is a well-recognized peak in the region. The Sumas Mountain Trail, which forms part of the Centennial Trail, runs along the north side of the Trans Canada Highway, offering a scenic hiking experience.
Starting from the trailhead, venture into the forest, being mindful of occasional muddy sections, especially in spring or after rainfall. The trail winds through the woods for approximately 10 minutes until it descends into a ravine, where a sturdy bridge awaits your crossing. Take a moment to appreciate the refreshing river air, as most of the trail from this point onward will involve uphill trekking.
Ascend through the forest, navigating some narrow stretches due to abundant plant and tree growth. It’s worth noting that there are disputes over the jurisdiction and ownership of the land on Sumas Mountain, including claims by First Nations. Consequently, the trail is not as actively maintained as others.
After about an hour of hiking, you’ll reach a gravel road where a section of trees has unfortunately been clear-cut on the left, offering a less appealing view. Walk approximately 40 meters to the right along the road, where a sign directs you to continue the trail on the left. Reenter the forest and resume your ascent, immersing yourself in the invigorating scents of the woodland.
About 20 minutes later, the trail levels out slightly and continues parallel to the mountain. Stay vigilant and follow the orange markers carefully, as it’s easy to lose track of the trail amidst the trees. Occasionally, you may catch glimpses of the Fraser River below on your left.
The trail gradually continues uphill, crossing another creek along the way. After approximately 45 minutes of hiking, you’ll arrive at the tranquil shores of Chadsey Lake, a picturesque body of water surrounded by dense Douglas Fir trees, with the imposing Sumas Mountain serving as a backdrop.
Proceed to the opposite side of the lake, where a trail begins to climb towards the summit of Sumas Mountain. Exercise caution during this section, as the trail can be steep, narrow, slippery, and at times poorly marked. Around 30 minutes into the ascent, you’ll reach a clearing offering a scenic viewpoint of the Fraser River and the neighboring farmlands. Push onward for another 30 minutes to reach the peak, where, on clear days, you can enjoy panoramic vistas of Mount Baker, Chilliwack, and the Fraser Valley.
After savoring the magnificent views, begin your descent back towards Chadsey Lake, making sure to retrace the same trail you used to reach the lake (western approach). From there, follow the path back to the dirt road, eventually leading you back to your initial parking spot.