Trail: Stave Dam Interpretation Trail
Distance from Vancouver: Approx. 1 hour
Directions with a Link to Google Map: Click here for Google map
Ages of Children Hiking: Under 1 (in Ergo), 2 (in Ergo), 2 (in Ergo), 4, 7, 8, 10
Stroller Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: Yes, but on leash. There are steep sections
Time it took us to complete: 1.5 hours, including stopping at top
Jelly Bean Rating: 2/5
If you’re looking for a hike that’s reasonably short, a decent climb, and a great view from the top the Stave Dam Interpretation Trail is it!
As you head along Dewdney Trunk road you’ll see a pullout. This is where you park. PLEASE keep your kiddos close by in this area-people tend to go quite quickly down this road.
We did this trail in early July on a nice cool day. We reached the trailhead and upon our arrival found ourselves in an absolute flurry of child emotions. After a pretty epic tantrum from one of my kiddos, we made our way onto the trail. This gal went from screaming so loud that no bears within a 5 km distance would want to have anything to do with us to being blissfully happy within 5 minutes of being on the trail. Nature really is magical, eh?
You’ll see the trailhead as a small bridge and stairs that will lead you into the mountain.
The trail is nicely maintained and is manageable to get up. It’s a little steep, but a good little workout.
There are numbers put up all along this trail. I have no idea why they’re there, but they serve a wonderful purpose of keeping the kiddos looking out for the next one while you get to teach them how to count!
The trail opens up to a crossroad, but keep going straight. You’re almost there!
*The top has quite a sheer drop off. It’s not immediate, and there is a lot of room to run around still, but this is where I give my kids the “we need to stay together” talk.
Go up one last little steep part (or wait around for 10 minutes while the kids gorge themselves on Huckleberries-you know, whatever works for you) and you’re there!
Like I said before, there’s quite a bit of room to play at the top. There’s a great boulder that the kids always seem to come up with the coolest games on. This time they were making potions…I wasn’t brave enough to ask what for, but it kept them happy for a long time!
To make your way down you can go down the way you came, but I highly suggest going down the other side. It’s really beautiful. If you’re looking at the rock with your back faced to the view go to your right (so, opposite of where you came up on). The trail is a little bit covered by foliage but you should be able to make it out.
The trail is a little more variant here and has some fun bridges. All kids like bridges. It’s great:)
There’s another lookout on your way down, but we didn’t end up going there. The kids were reaching their point of no return and we knew we had to get down that mountain stat.
You will come to another bridge that leads you to a forest service road. Just cross over the road to carry on to the trail.
Apparently, the next part of the trail is clothing optional? She was convinced to leave her clothes on, don’t worry:)
Keep following the trail.
The trail will eventually spit you out back where you started! Don’t forget about the busy road, though.
If it’s a hot day make your way to Hayward Lake, which is just a few minutes up the road. OR treat yourself to some gelato or delicious pasta at Hotties restaurant, which is just past the turnoff to Hayward Lake. So many options here!
Jellybean Rating for Stave Dam Interpretation Trail
The Stave Dam Interpretation Trail is a solid 2 on our Jellybean Rating system. Truthfully, I didn’t have a hard time keeping my kids going on this trail. The bridges, the trees, the numbers-it all kept them really intrigued. There are a lot of little checkpoints that keep the kids happy, and it’s still a decent enough workout to keep me happy. It’s short enough that you don’t really have to worry about packing up a whole bunch of stuff, and everyone will likely still have the energy to go for a dip afterward.