St. Mark’s Summit is a hike that is actually part of a larger hike – the Howe Sound Crest Trail.
After a bit of a confused start, it didn’t take our group too long to finish the ~10 km round trip. You start in the Cypress Mountain Resort parking lot, and quickly make your way into the trees where the trail officially begins. There is a sign post at the beginning of the trail that gives two options – the Howe Sound Crest Trail West and the Howe Sound Crest Trail East. You’ll want to take the one that points East, and heads upwards. This will send you through the trees again, until you come upon a wide gravel road. Take a left on this, and you’ll soon come upon a green water tower. This is where I felt the trail really started. You once again move into the trees, this time climbing the side of the mountain. It wasn’t a hot day today, but if it was, the tree’s would have offered lovely shade. In any case, they were wonderful to look at.
You spend about two-thirds of the trail on this easy mountain-side climb. The last bit of the trail is definitely the toughest. It’s more directly uphill, and there’s more mud. Also it was really busy! There were lots of people (and their dogs) going up and coming down.
At the summit we were greeted with a misty view to watch while we ate lunch. Clouds were whirling in and out, giving occasional glimpses down to the Howe Sound and Bowen Island. It was really more cloudy than not, even though our weather apps had said it would clear up by noon. You can’t win them all I guess!
There is another viewing point a hundred metres or so farther down the trail from the summit point that is perfect for photos (when they sky is clear). It’s worth checking out. However, no one had warmed me about when it comes to St. Mark’s Summit is the bugs! There are little bugs flying around everywhere. They don’t bite though, so other than being annoying they don’t interfere too much.