Trip Date: April 22, 2012
Participants: Brittany Zenger, Geoff Zenger
After a hard Saturday of labour on my granddad’s farm, Brittany and I had a free Sunday to work with. We had originally intended to go ski touring in the Squamish area, but the forecast was significantly better out in the Fraser Valley, and so we decided to head out for one of the low-elevation 103 hikes that we hadn’t done before and set out Sunday morning for Mt. Lincoln. It was a pleasant drive out to Hope in the morning, and we made our way to Yale, where we had no difficulty finding the proper parking area and setting out from the car at around 10:30am.
At no point was the trail difficult to follow, although the ground was covered by a layer of moss in places and it’s clear that the trail would be in better shape if it saw a bit more traffic. Except for a few views down to the parking area and to Yale, the ascent is entirely in the trees, and the trees are infested with ticks. On the way up I found no fewer than 3 ticks on Brittany’s shirt while hiking behind her, and so I highly recommend that anyone hiking this trail carefully inspect themselves for ticks after returning home.
From the summit the only interesting views are of Mt. Breakenridge as well as a broadcast tower situated near the summit (and which is supposedly why the trail exists). There is a viewpoint a few minutes below the summit that actually has a better view of Yale than can be obtained from the summit area itself. The ascent took us a bit over an hour (definitely less than 1:15), and due to the steepness of the trail it took us a similar amount of time to descend back to the car. By the time we reached the car, it was sweltering, with the car thermometer reading 25 degrees. The trail itself wasn’t very interesting or enjoyable, but at least good weather had arrived!
According to the lists at the back of the 103 hikes book, the Mt. Lincoln trail has the steepest average grade by quite a substantial margin, and having done the trail, it’s easy to see why: the trail goes up, and keeps going up. The vast majority of the trail is just steep dirt, although there are four places where hand-lines have been installed to give hikers some additional confidence where there is some exposure. This exposure was the most surprising part of the trail to me: there are many hikers out there who would feel very uncomfortable descending a trail this steep.
Verdict: 1/3. It’s there, it can be done, but you probably won’t return.