Trail: Teapot Hill
Location: Cultus Lake, British Columbia
Distance from Vancouver: Approximately 1 hour 15 mins
Directions (with a link to a Google map): Click here for directions
Time it took us to hike: 2 hours
Ages of children hiking: 1,1,3,3
Stroller friendly: No
Jellybean rating: 4/5
If your trying to motivate your kids to go hiking, a trail with hidden teapots is one for you!
With over 101 teapots strategically placed along a winding path, Teapot Hill features some of the most beautiful views of Cultus Lake you will see once you reach the top…that is if you first even make it onto the trail from the parking lot without your children getting distracted by the large body of water they want to jump into, instead of marching up the mountain above it!
Thankfully, telling them ‘magic’ teapots await them at the top- like I did with my 3 year old-was enough to get him and his 5-year-old friend moving!
Teapot Hill can get busy so don’t expect a tranquil, serene wilderness, but hey- why not add 4 screaming kids to the mix of various trail runners and dog walkers you can expect to see at any given time? Plus, its nice to add some competition to the numerous games of ‘Count the Teapots’ you will see and hear among friendly groups of locals enjoying their beautiful backyard. With its easy access and well-maintained trail system, its no wonder you may find yourself also competing for a parking spot. Don’t worry, just park on the other side of the road, next to the lake, and walk across the street to the trailhead.
With a short steep section at the start of the trail on a park maintenance road, you will see an outhouse to the left. This is a good reminder, for anyone brave enough, to get any unfinished business taken care of before venturing further into the forest.
With each of our one-year-olds securely fastened down in our Deuter child carrier and MEC carrier, the 3-year-old and 5 year old, bravely led the way and marched onward toward the top. Often times, my 3-year-old tends to get tired from his courageous leadership skills and will randomly decide at any given time- he would like to lead from the comfort of being strapped to my back.
NO PROBLEM, I CAME PREPARED! I always bring the Ergo! With a quick switch, I strap the Ergo on in front wearing mode, got my 1-year-old from the carrier to the Ergo, and then slip the 3-year-old back into the carrier. Awkward at first, but you get an extra leg burning workout, as you are now participating in a similar training regime the military uses…except instead of a kevlar bullet proof vest weighing you down in the front and a loaded backpack weighing you down in the back, you have children with arms and legs dangling on both sides of you!
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves quite yet. Hopefully, this scenario is only happening after the initial uphill grind. But if it does, do not worry! It does eventually level out, allowing you to catch your breath, and no longer having to motivate your kids up the hill by exhausting your creative responses to the endless questions of why, how, and where, the magic teapots will be!
As the trail gets narrow and flat, you know your close to the right-hand side of the merge where there is a sign that says ‘keep right to Teapot Hill’. But, if your like us, we missed this merge and found ourselves off the nice clear path, and onto a rather not so nice, bushy path! Its OK! We just backtracked a couple minutes and then found ourselves laughing at how its actually very hard to miss this right merge…Unless you have a 3 and 5 year old battling with large sticks and all your attention is on keeping them from impaling themselves!
As you head up Teapot Hill from this point, the trail starts to get narrow, so be mindful of the edges with kids as your going up. Otherwise, you may find yourself chasing after a3-year-old cartwheeling down a large dirt hillside that will surely not end well.
At this point, the ‘magical’ tea pots appear! They are placed alongside of the path, but they tend to get moved periodically so there is no designated spot. Also, being ceramic, they will break, as we found this out when my 3 year old decided to use the tea-pot as a baseball and pitch it into a stump! Thankfully, the teapot only suffered a minor crack, but it made me realize maybe the reason why I only found 5 teapots and other trip reports say there are 50, is because too many baseball games are taking place along teapot hill by 3 year olds! Then again, it is also hard to stay focused on looking for teapots, as the trail becomes quite narrow with a steep cliff and hand holding mode was engaged! We were not scared, nor were they, but holding hand mode seemed to be a good option! Stay close to young kids, we don’t want any accidents happening!!
Near the top, the trail opens up again and leads to two wide open spots, minutes from each other as you reach the top of the ridge. We found the first view more spectacular than the last, which is located at the top. The top has a lot of tree growth and a fence that blocked our view. However, it is a better option for snack time due to the safety net of that fence and not having to worry about one of the children leaping off in an uncontrolled base jump down through the forest.
Despite the first view being the best to embrace while you eat, it’s a a little too stressful when you have two 1 year olds wanting to roam after being in a backpack, and a 3 year old who wants to explore. Not staying long at the top, we quickly gave the kids a snack, changed diapers, and then bribed them with a swim at the lake if they reached the bottom of the Teapot Hill trail.
Taking mostly all their energy to get up, the kids were all pretty exhausted by the time we headed down. Overall, with 2 hours of trail travel, the ergo came in handy as I anticipated. I did end up switching so my 3 year old could snag a ride part way down. The five year old got a bit cranky, but was still pretty entertained by all the sticks that became swords and spears in a battle against the poor foliage of mother nature.
The picnic in the cooler we left in our cars stayed cool, and we headed straight to Cultus Lake for a quick swim and lunch on a soft grassy area across from the parking lot.
Jellybean Rating Summary of Teapot Hill
Teapot Hill gets a 4/5 on the Jellybean Rating. It’s quite a long trek to the top with not a whole lot to look at until the teapots start showing up. The views from the top are beautiful, but the top isn’t a great place for kiddos to roam and frolic. It’s still a great adventure and definitely gave my kids a feeling of accomplishment!