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Hike to Elsay Lake via 'Forbidden' Lower Elsay Trail (Indian Arm trail)
Timestamp Free: 2020.06.04 - 20:18:40
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Coast Mountains / Pacific Ranges / Fannin Range
  (2 days)
Participants: Robin Tivy, Betsy Waddington
Difficulty: 2: Long (18 km one way to Elsay Cabin. One steep exposed section. Easy to follow. 8 hours one way.
From Mount Seymour highway, hiked Lower Elsay trail in to Elsay Lake Cabin, then returned next day on standard trail to Mount Seymour, and down parks trails to car.
Editors Note: The Lower Elsay Lake Trail is now called the "Indian Arm Trail" on Open Street maps.

It was going to be a rainy weekend. We wanted to do an interesting 2 day trip without a huge energy-consuming drive. Peter Gumplinger had previously written up the Lower Elsay Lake trail in Bivouac, so we thought we'd give it a try. Something new!

We got up late Saturday morning, printed out Peter's DETAILED waypoint list from Bivouac. I packed my "underwater" hiking gear and a tyvek 1:50,000 map. We were at the old parking area on the lowest hairpin on the Mount Seymour highway (377m) at about 10:30. The first confusion was that there was a brown BC Parks sign in the woods saying "Trail Closed, Use Forbidden". We also couldn't find any of the expected orange trail markers. It was raining, and Betsy wasn't too keen if we couldn't find the trail. So I was anxious to get started on something, so I led the way on a very faint trail down to Francis Creek, just to the north end of the parking lot. Nothing reassured us we were on any trail, and then Betsy said that perhaps we should try the other more established trail, just a bit south of our trail. (I had not seen this initially).

So we went back to the parking spot, and started on the other trail. It was certainly more major trail, and looked like a Parks trail. Within a couple hundred meters, we hit a really major trail, complete with markers, which went both up and down. We headed up this trail, across the same creek we had crossed earlier (Francis Creek), and continued up the hill. This turned out to be the Three Chops Trail. Anyway, once on the Three Chops trail, it was so easy to follow, we stopped paying attention to where we were going, and instead passed the time arguing about the workings of these...

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