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A Hike to Landslide Lake for Logan's Birthday

For as long as Logan and I have been together, he has talked about wanting to hike Mt Moriarty. He once hiked it with his parents and has wanted to return ever since, so this year we decided it would be a great way to celebrate his birthday. But we didn't want to just go up in back in a day. We also wanted to spend the night on the mountain and wake up to the epic views from the alpine, so that's what we planned to do. We packed our bags and had everything ready to go, but two days before our scheduled departure we checked to see if the forestry gates we needed to pass through where open, and of course, due to fire worries, they were all closed.

To say Logan was disappointed was an understatement. I, however, saw this as an opportunity for us to explore even more of beautiful Vancouver Island and I set out on a quest to find an equally exciting and beautiful trail to hike. In that process I stumbled upon the trail to Landslide Lake and Berg Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park and decided this would be the perfect stand- in adventure. I'm not sure why, but we had yet to even think about this gorgeous trail. This park is the oldest park in BC and one of the most beautiful, yet for some reason we have explored very little of it. I couldn't wait for that to change.

On Saturday morning we loaded up our backpacks and Max and drove the 2.5 hours to the trail head. We arrived to a jam packed parking lot and took the very last parking spot, unloaded our bags and began up the Elk River Trail.

Forest fire smoke permeated the air as we began our trek up the trail. It was barely visible, but our nostrils knew it was there. A two ha, uncontained fire was burning about 25km away with quite a few mountains in between us and the fire, so we weren’t worried about running into it, but if air quality was poor due to smoke it was going to make this hike a lot more difficult.

The steepest part of the hike before the first campsite was right at the beginning. A few switchbacks leading us up a hill before the trail led us back down the other side into the valley. For a 11km we meandered through red cedars and some of the largest hemlock trees we had ever seen, engulfed in the canopy of the forest. It also didn’t take long for us to hear the sound of the elk river to our left. Throughout the hike we wound our way along and away from its clear and cold running waters.