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Posted By: trailrunner
- Thu Jul 22 19:43:29 UTC 2010
UpsideWHAT I LIKED Trail is well tagged and on top of it ribbons give further clarity. There are very clear beautiful wooden signs. After first 1/5 of the way, it is almost rock free and very soft ground. Easy for fast running for downhill. Beautiful trail. There was enough trace on the trail itself to not to get lost even at high speed run. The way they tag; when the trail is veering to left or right direction from where tag placed, only left or right half of the tag is shown indicating which direction the trail is headed. This is really helpful in following the trail without getting lost when you are running. DownsideWHAT I WISHED THEY HAD I think this is the best low elevation peak trail I have ever been!! I wished Mt. Elphinstone was bit higher so that trail goes longer. On cloudy day you might get lost near the peak as there are many stray trails. CommentTRIP CONTENT Time taken. To the peak from the trail entrance 75mins. To trail entrance from the peak 53mins( including 5-7 mins stopping to take bunch of pictures, fixing camera). It was a comfortable pace. Rest at the top 15mins. Fast runner should be capable of 55min up and 40mins down. â?? but this trail is so nice why hurry?
How to reach the trail; go up Sunshine coast highway from Ferry terminal and turn right when 4-lane hwy finishes, then turn right(not left) again in 100m. Park car here and walk towards a yellow gate with sign â??Private, no trespassingâ?? On your left at this point, you see a beautiful wooden sign â??Mt. Elphinestone trailâ??, with yellow tag shaped paint.
Marking is very clear and trail is wide & exposed enough and there is no need at all to worry about cutting your legs with bush- I was quite surprised after several failed attempt to get to the peak so easily and pleasantly. Trail is very wide and easy to run from the outset with some gravel exposing. Soon trail gets very soft and nice feeling on your heel as it does not have very heavy traffic to compress the soil. Trail goes mainly on the various ridges under nice second growth forest without a view. But still nice. Reached the first creek crossing in 36mins(Then there are 3 more small creek crossings later if I remember right). It is a steady gentle climb you can continue running. After a while the trail starts going north and some decline. Then you reach a first view point in 50mins where there seems to be the end of an deactivated(long time ago) old logging road. I kept going on this road for few minutes but it kind of goes downhill a bit. Flagging and tags continue so I kept going. Then there is a tag pointing up left from the logging road and I start the ascent. Now soon I get into stands of first growth primarily of Amabilis Fir mixed with Mtn Hemlock and Cypress starts(don't remember if this was before or after the logging road for sure). The stands here looked kind of funny; some second growth-ish or young old growth-ish trees were mixed. Most of them are not very large in diameter. Very pleasant trail continues. Trail stays very soft on ground and well marked. Virtually all obstacles were removed or cut out consistently to the very end. It is slightly fuzzy at pond areas. The trail looked like it was reaching to the peak and ponds show up but then soon I realized peak was still some distance away. There is another steep climb. Those two steep climbs I just could not run and crawled. Also at this point there are nice wooden signs saying â??summit trailâ?? and â??Langdaleâ?? â?? â??Dakota creek roadâ??. After second steep climb I thought this was the peak but ascent continues. Soon you get to some rock exposed site with grand view of Gibsons and I thought now this should be the peak but trail does seem to go further towards some point where elevation seems to be slightly higher. Finally I reached the peak with a phone tower. As you can see the photos view was fantastic. Met one bear, no people.
To summarize this is the best around 1000m elevation gain trail I have done as long as I can remember. Great beginners trail. No technical challenge. Various nice alpine plants at the peak area. Makes excellent outing with friends or run training of both uphill and downhill. Highly highly recommended.