Hike to the Boulder Gardens
Out of all of the hiking trails in Tumbler Ridge, the Boulder Gardens trail is probably one of the most interesting hikes. The well maintained gravel road the trail is situated on, makes it an accessible and easy destination to reach. As it is a circle route, you’re always bumping into something new along the trail, and the many side routes provide plenty of photo ops.
We rounded up a group that wished to brave the hike to the Boulder Gardens despite the large amounts of rain the area had been receiving. Luckily the rain decided to let up for a couple of hours that evening making for a drier hike than we had anticipated.
The landscape along the trail is quite fascinating. One side trip lead through a narrow chimney to a view site where some of the more adventurous hikers decided to spend some time climbing boulders. The next trip brought us to an area decorated with a number of lichen towers that are so high they are able to meet and even exceed the height of the tallest spruce trees. With towers so tall, it would have been surprising had we not wanted to explore this section of the trail more. As you can guess, more bouldering ensued. While both side trips were quite impressive, a lot of common sense and some careful footing is needed to attempt to scramble up any of the boulder areas.
Walking further down the trail took us to a beautiful tarn surrounded by the same kind of boulder terrain we had been hiking in. Here the trail became difficult to follow, however it is easy to figure out which direction to walk in as the foliage is thin and easy to maneuver around in this area.
Eventually the highest point of the trail is reached, where you are able to overlook Roman Mountain and the coal mine activity in the area. As the day’s light was beginning to fade on us, we were able to take in the artificial lights from the mine contrasted against the natural charm of the mountain.
From here the trail began to descend through a valley that provided us with even more views, caves, and bouldering opportunities. Though we had to pick up our pace to beat the setting sun, the rest of the hike was equally enjoyable.