Au­thor keeps find­ing new hik­ing trails

IN­DUS­TRY EX­PERTS BEST OF VAN­COU­VER

The Georgia Straight - - Best Of Vancouver - By

STEPHEN HUI

Born and raised in Van­cou­ver, lo­cal hik­ing guru Stephen Hui was exposed to the breath­tak­ing beauty of B.C.’S great out­doors at an early age. The au­thor and photographer of the best­selling guide­book 105 Hikes In and Around South­west­ern Bri­tish Columbia and for­mer Straight staffer doesn’t think he’ll ever get tired of the hikes in our prov­ince.

“I’ve been hik­ing for 25 years, and I grew up in Van­cou­ver so I started out hik­ing as a young­ster in Scouts. It’s what got me into camp­ing,” Hui ex­plained to the Straight in a phone in­ter­view. “In high school and univer­sity, I got in­volved with out­door clubs, and that’s what re­ally in­tro­duced me into back­pack­ing.”

Hui gen­er­ally goes on a hike every other week­end, some­times with his six-year-old son in tow. From short na­ture walks to longer day hikes to overnight trips, he’s con­stantly roam­ing through dif­fer­ent ter­rain. It’s hard for the hik­ing ex­pert to pick his favourite trek, but the most mem­o­rable hik­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in his book (fig­u­ra­tively and lit­er­ally) is the Sun­shine Coast Trail.

“[It] was the long­est hike I’ve ever done, [and] it was an amaz­ing back­pack­ing trip,” said Hui. “It kind of tests your lim­its just be­ing alone in the woods for so long. It also has beau­ti­ful scenery and you meet amaz­ing peo­ple.”

There are many coun­tries around the globe that of­fer great hikes, but B.C. hikes have a spe­cial place in the lo­cal au­thor’s heart. “First of all, you never run out of hikes to do. There are just hikes around every corner,” said Hui. “I keep on find­ing out about more hikes. There’s so much to do and it’s never bor­ing.” He enjoys ex­plor­ing the prov­ince’s wa­ter­fal­land wild­flower-meadow–filled trails so much that he’s al­ready started to work on a se­cond hik­ing guide­book, which will also fo­cus on south­west­ern B.C. He can’t spill too many de­tails on his up­com­ing book for now, but here are some of his in­sights and tips for those who also love a good out­door trek in B.C.

BEST THING ABOUT WRIT­ING A BEST-SELL­ING HIK­ING GUIDE­BOOK Go­ing on all the hikes, plus hav­ing the ex­cuse to learn tons about the history, ecol­ogy, and ge­o­mor­phol­ogy of the re­gion. BEST HIKE THAT YOU’VE EVER DONE IN B.C.

Sun­shine Coast Trail

Pow­ell River

It’s so hard to pick, but the most mem­o­rable hike was the Sun­shine Coast Trail. Ten days, 178 kilo­me­tres of walk­ing in the woods. I’ve never had so much soli­tude and just an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence. I met a fam­ily of Ger­mans who live in Hope on that trail, and now we’re friends.

BEST THING ABOUT GO­ING ON A HIKE THAT YOU’VE NEVER DONE BE­FORE?

Ev­ery­thing is new, so just be­ing sur­prised and see­ing a new en­vi­ron­ment and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing new chal­lenges and just get­ting to know an­other place.

BEST HIK­ING SNACK YOU NEVER LEAVE YOUR HOUSE WITH­OUT That’s changed over time. It used to be sesame snaps, and now it’s dried mango. BEST HIKE TO GO ON WITH THE EN­TIRE FAM­ILY

Lynn Head­wa­ters

Re­gional Park

North Van­cou­ver

Any­thing in Lynn Head­wa­ters Re­gional Park in North Van­cou­ver. My son loves the hike along Lynn Creek, hear­ing the sound of the wa­ter and look­ing for big trees. He likes to call them grandpa trees.

BEST FOODS TO BRING WITH YOU ON A MUL­TI­DAY HIKE

Any freeze-dried meals con­tain­ing tor­tilla chips. There’s some­thing about eat­ing salty, soggy chips at the end of a long day of hik­ing. There are a few items [at MEC] that have chips in them, which is kind of weird when you add wa­ter to them.

BEST ES­SEN­TIALS TO BRING ON A HIKE

Aside from the 10 es­sen­tials, plenty of snacks and the right hik­ing part­ner.

BEST HIK­ING SPOT TO CAP­TURE JAW-DROP­PING PHO­TOS Frosty Moun­tain

Man­ning Pro­vin­cial Park

Ev­ery­one’s go­ing to say that log at Jof­fre Lakes, but I’m go­ing to an­swer with Frosty Moun­tain in Man­ning Pro­vin­cial Park. You can see the North Cas­cades, wild­flow­ers, and, in the fall, you can see the large trees turn­ing yel­low.

BEST HIKE THAT’S A HID­DEN GEM Look­out Peak

Keats Is­land

Peo­ple al­ways get mad when you talk about these ones, but that’s okay. Look­out Peak on Keats Is­land: It’s in Howe Sound and most peo­ple don’t even know the is­land’s there. You take a ferry from Horse­shoe Bay to Lang­dale, then you take an­other foot ferry from Lang­dale to Keats Is­land, and then it’s a short hike you can do to the top of the is­land. You get views of Howe Sound and the Sal­ish Sea. It’s just a day trip.

BEST WAY TO WIND DOWN AF­TER A GREAT HIKE

If you’re lucky enough to be at a hot spring, it would be soak­ing in that. Oth­er­wise, it would be de­vour­ing an ice-cream cone. That’s ac­tu­ally how I get my son to fin­ish hikes. The other thing that’s amaz­ing is to have a whole wa­ter­melon sit­ting in your car that you can slice into when you come back down from the hike.

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