Welcome To Fraser Valley Now Travel & Leisure
An article by Natasha Mijinke, Fraser Valley Now Community Development Specialist
“I’m a little teapot, short and stout”, the song rattled through my head many times today as our family completed the Teapot Hill at Cultus Lake provincial park.
Long weekends will usually lead our family camping, so when a hiking trail is nearby we take advantage of it. Cultus Lake is one of our go to places in the late Spring as it is pretty quiet before the summer tourists flood in to make use of the great lake and camp grounds. This past May Long weekend we found ourselves at Honeymoon Bay group campground with friends which made Teapot Hill an even easier trek as the trailhead was directly across the road from where we set up camp for the weekend. The parking lot, provides free parking for hikers; however only a dozen spots are available before you have to start looking elsewhere.
With our kids, nieces and nephews and a dog (on a leash) we braved the Spring time drizzle and headed up just after lunch.
The trail was fairly easy at first, offering space for the kids to roam free from side to side up the service road and throw rocks in the passing stream. Although not visible from the parking lot, there is an outhouse just up the first part of the trail but my kids wanted the true outdoor experience and opted for a “pee in the bush” later on as we hiked.
We stopped to offer to take a photo of a family who were gathering in front of a sign to mark their achievement for the day. Unfortunately, we didn’t notice that the sign was actually pointing us to the right where the trail actually started leading us up Teapot Hill. Well a short detour down some horse trails never hurt anyone, and we eventually turned around and went back to where we were supposed to start our adventure in the first place.
Right away, my kids started noticing the array of teapots adorning the trails. Look up, look down and look around that bush because you don’t want to miss anyone of these cute additions. Some tell stories, some look familiar, and yet some serve a purpose to the forest so you want to make sure they stay put for years to come. This “treasure” hunt was very entertaining for my kids, big and small. It became a challenge of who could find the most and the best one at that. It kept their minds off the actually increase of intensity of the trail and most of the time we found them running ahead of us to try and find the next one. My older kids brought their iPods and enjoyed taking pictures of the teapots which I didn’t mind at all because it also kept them entertained.
We reached a clearing, which at first, we thought was the top because we were able to see down to the lake and even a small glimpse of our campsite from above. This levelled area provided a nice spot to rest for a bit and break out a quick snack and snap some more family pictures. The kids noticed more teacups so we continued up another 100m to the actual top of the trail. The top of Teapot Hill was fenced from the edge and even through the thick tree coverage we were able to see a slight peak-a-boo glimpse of the Columbia Valley below. The top wasn’t exactly what we had in mind, but I was reminded of the saying, “It’s not in the destination, but the journey you took to get there”. The scattered teapots and cups provided such an interesting aspect to this trail which had my kids wanting to head back down almost immediately so they could see if they missed any on their route up.
In total, our 5km round trip (including a slight detour) took us just over two hours with six kids in tow. It was fairly easy, even for my three-year-old who didn’t even ask once to be carried.
My favourite part of Teapot Hill is the close proximity to the Fraser Valley without having to drive on any dirt roads to access the trail head. This year-round hike is popular, especially in summer time when camping and boating season is in full effect. A great hike to bring the family and out of town visitors. We found 29 teapots, how many will you find?