I had done Coliseum from the demo forest as a bike and hike but was curious to see how the Lynn Headwaters approach compared. It took me two hours to reach Norvan Falls from the LSCR parking lot where I quickly had a snack then rushed up trailhead. After walking past the DO NOT ENTER signs I veered right into a wildlife camera mounted high on a tree supposedly taking count of hikers that ignored the warnings of trail closures due to dangerous levels of snow. I was curious to see what this meant after hearing snow levels were at 15% the historical average from a friend who works in the area.
While the trail was steep it certainty wasn't as steep as the stretch to Paton lookout. Eventually the trail flattened to a low upwards gradient. I passed quite a few swamps with a nice diversity of riparian habitat. After an hour up the trail I realized Coliseum was a poor choice of warm up hike for the rest of the season. The Norvan creek section drags on a bit, but does pass a really nice pool and waterfall not far from actual Norvan Falls.
False Green Hellebore Veratrum viride
Western Wild Ginger Asarum caudatum
Long Beech Fern Phegopteris connectilis
Deer Cabbage Fauria crista-galli
which I mistook for wild ginger dominated the swamps
Brides Bonnet Clintonia uniflora
Western Columbine Aquilegia formosa
with it's crazy cool looking flowers
As for wildlife I had a large sooty grouse fly past me while walking the trail.
The snow started at around 1000m and only lasted the last 700m of the hike. The crampons definitely weren't necessary, but my ice ax did get me down the snowy section of the trail quickly. The snow was definitely lacking for this time of year and foreshadows future water restrictions in the city.
East Cornett Lake above the seymour resovoir
Burwell and Cathedral
Perrault group and Britannia range
Snowy Bonneycastle which I have been egging to bag for the last couple years.
Overall I passed 4 other parties, one of which included two tourists sporting runners and nearly no gear who decided to press up the trail despite being warned of what lied ahead. I still prefer the demo bike and hike option over the headwaters trail. The biking section of the demo forest saves about and hour and twenty minutes of approach time. Plus Paton lookout makes the perfect snack pitt stop. From car to car the trip was 9 1/2 hours.