After a (stressful) drive in that left one car parked 6km away from the trailhead, and one modo in just about one-piece we set off in three different groups on the trail. Once you leave the highway it should only be about 1hr 45 to the trailhead (which is what it took the guys in a truck), but took more like 2hrs+ in the modo, and longer for the group that had to hike/hitch up the logging road. In hindsight given the condition of the road I would have called it and turned round to do a smaller hike in Squamish, or parked earlier and hiked the rest of the way up the road. There’s no snow but very steep inclines/descents, with water cuts that would bottom-out anything long/low.
The newly built parts of the trail were great for the first 4km or so – there was patchy snow that didn’t really warrant snowshoes on this part of the trail, turning slushy/muddy by the time we hiked back. The main part of the hike still had about 1-2m snow. This whole section of trail is completely exposed to the sun – even on a cooler day 3-4l of water would have been a good idea, we all felt pretty sun-baked after several hours. The trail became harder to follow as we reached the treeline to hike up to the lake – the trail markers were covered by snow and we got lost several times trying to follow the footsteps of the group ahead of us.
We all met up at the lake just after midday and hiked back down as a group of 16, after lunch and some gorgeous views/sunbathing. Despite being well marked, the new turn off down to the trailhead on the way back is quite easy to miss and we ended up adding a few km by heading down the old trail before realising our mistake. The snowcovered lake was dramatic but with all the snow didn’t feel much like the first hike of summer!
Do: bring way more water that you think you need, suncream, suncream, suncream
Don’t: attempt to drive here in anything without 4WD