About Me

Taryn Eyton, author of Happiest Outdoors
Hi, I’m Taryn!

My home is in Vancouver but my heart is in the mountains.  I share advice, info and inspiration about my happy place: The Great Outdoors.

My Dad took me hiking and mountain biking often when I was a kid, but it wasn’t until my first backpacking trip on the West Coast trail in 2004 that I really fell in love with the backcountry.  Since then, I’ve spent as much time outside as possible hiking, backpacking, camping, snowshoeing, biking, paddling and exploring. You can often find me on the trails of Vancouver’s North Shore on weeknights, and somewhere in the backcountry of Southwestern B.C. on weekends.

I’m passionate about discovering new places, revisiting favourite trails, taking photos, and planning trips.  Oh and gear… I love outdoor gear!  I also like to help others learn about how to enjoy the outdoors responsibilities, which is why I got certified as a Leave No Trace Trainer in 2006. I teach totally free Leave No Trace Awareness Workshops and post LNT tips on Instagram each Tuesday as part of the #LeaveNoTraceTuesday hashtag movement I started.

I’d like to share my love for the outdoors with you and I hope it makes you as happy as it’s made me.  Follow along for stories of my human powered adventures, gear reviews, outdoor advice and more.

Where I’ve Been:

Check out my Backpacking Trips List for the complete list of everywhere I’ve ever slept in a tent (or a hut).

 

Want to get in touch? Email me: happiestoutdoorsblog [at] gmail [dot] com

16 Comments

  • Reply
    Roger D
    December 15, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Hey, wow your so lucky to have these opportunities! I once had them but moved back East..Oh well…excellent article and the ice skating sounds amazing!

  • Reply
    Victoria
    December 16, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Hi!
    Love your Instagram page. Just wondering how long elfin lakes took you a couple weeks ago?
    Thanks
    Victoria

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      December 16, 2014 at 10:59 pm

      Hi Victoria. Glad you like the photos! Elfin Lakes took us about 7.5 hours including a longish lunch stop at the lakes. I was with a fairly fast group so I think most people would take a bit longer. As well, once there is enough snow to do it on snowshoes it would definitely take longer as snowshoeing is a bit slower than just walking. I wrote a blog post about our trip to Elfin if you want more info: https://happiestoutdoors.ca/elfin-lakes/

  • Reply
    swellconditions
    January 27, 2015 at 6:21 am

    Hello Taryn, I found you though Instagram – what a beautiful gallery you have there! I just wanted to say “hi” and I’m glad I found your blog, you’ve got some great posts here! ~ Heather

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      January 27, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      Hi Heather, So glad you have enjoyed my blog and it’s always great to make another “Insta”-friend. I’ve added your blog to my RSS reader and I look forward to more posts from you. – Taryn

  • Reply
    Karen Kirsch
    February 12, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Taryn,

    I also follow you on instagram which inspires me daily!! I have to say I am super impressed by this blog. I love it! I’ll be adding it to my list to read.

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      February 12, 2015 at 8:39 pm

      Hi Karen, Thanks for your kind comments about my blog and Instagram! What’s your Instagram user name? I’ll have to check out your feed.

  • Reply
    Andy
    April 25, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Taryn! I am looking at doing the Cheakamus Lk to Garibaldi Lk traverse. Advice on direction, route etc….distance between camp sites?
    Thx
    Andy

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      April 25, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      Hi Andy. It’s been a long time since I did that trip (over a decade) and I’ve only ever done it from Rubble Creek trailhead to Cheakmus Lake but I think I can still offer some advice. The Garibaldi Lake area can be very busy (rightly so as it is beautiful) so you should try to plan your trip so that you don’t arrive at the Garibaldi Lake campground on a Friday or Saturday night as the campground will be full. You might also want to plan to spend an extra day at Garibaldi Lake so you can hike Black Tusk or Mount Price. On the actual traverse, the middle day between Garibaldi Lake and the Helm Creek campsite is a nice hike with lots of interesting things to see, especially the cinder flats. If you have enough time, definitely hike up Panorama Ridge as the view is amazing. The Helm Creek campsite is nothing special (and can be VERY buggy). The switch back trail from Helm Creek campsite to Cheakamus Lake is similar to the Rubble Creek switchbacks up to Garibaldi Lake except that the Helm Creek side is way way WAY less busy. Other than timing your arrival to Garibaldi Lake to a day that won’t be as busy, I think you could easily hike the traverse in either direction. Have fun!

  • Reply
    Kayla
    July 3, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Hi Taryn!
    I was wondering where did you get Leave No Trace Trainer certified?
    I love backpacking! 🙂
    Kayla

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      July 3, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      I got certified when I lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia but there are trainers everywhere. If you are in Canada check out leavenotrace.ca and for America lnt.org as there are listings for trainers on both sites. Often people who teach wilderness survival, wilderness first aid, avalanche safety, or work as guides will also run Leave No Trace courses. You can take a short awareness workshop (anything from a few hours to a full day) or you can take a 2-day course to become a certified Trainer (that’s what I did). You can also take a 5-day course to become a Master Educator so you can train new trainers.

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    December 20, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    HI Taryn,
    Love your blog! I came across it as I was planning a walk at UBC. I was wondering if you’d consider doing some additional info for future walks/hikes? You’ve got a great resource going here, but I have to go hike the trails on my own to check the accessibility factor for people with wheelchairs or other physical disabilities. Here’s some ideas: http://www.wheelchairtraveling.com/how-to-rate-wheelchair-accessible-hiking-trails

    Just a thought to help the beauty of the outdoors become more accessible for all 🙂

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      December 21, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      Hi Suzanne. Glad you love the blog! I actually did some work at UBC on universal design and accessibility when I was a student there over 10 years ago. I worked on the first version of UBC’s wayfinding/mapping website to provide universal access information for each and every building for wheelchair users or others with physical disabilities. So I’m familiar with the challenges that some people face when navigating the built environment, and I guess by extension, the natural environment as well.

      Thus far I haven’t included any information on my trail posts about whether the trail is suitable for wheelchairs or those with physical disabilities because unfortunately 99% of the places that I hike are probably too challenging for those users. I agree that the beauty of the outdoors should be accessible for all, and there are definitely places that work well for wheelchair users or those with physical disabilities. A couple of trails spring to mind that are designed for universal access: Yew Lake trail at Cypress Provincial Park and the Spirea Nature Trail at Golden Ears Provincial Park. I’m sure there must be more. A thought for you: If you’ve spent the time exploring trails checking to see if they are accessible for physically disabled users, maybe you could start a blog about that? It sounds like you have some good info to share 🙂

  • Reply
    Nancy
    December 30, 2017 at 4:40 am

    Hello from the other side of the country (Well, the other side of the world for now). I’ve been to Vancouver many times, and I LOVE your city! It’s the best place to live in Canada, in my opinion 😀 (Don’t tell the other Torontonians!)

  • Reply
    Don Carlson
    July 19, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    I was looking at all the hikes you have done in the Squamish & Whistler corridor including Elfin Lakes & was surprissed to see that you have not listed Mamquam Lake. Perhaps the question of whether the Ring Creek Bridge still exists or is passable has kept you from attempting this hike. My twin bros. & I did it many years ago in early-mid 80s as a long 44 km. day trip on the August long weekend. We had attempted it on the July long weekend but even the trail to Elfin Lakes had lots of snow from about the half way mark so we abandoned that attempt. In August we left the parking in the dark & returned at last light with a only a brief 10-15 minute stop at Elfin Lakes for a snack & water & about 1 hour at Mamquam Lake for lunch, soak our weary feet & make about a dozen casts with a fishing rod before having to begin our trek back to the parking lot. As is apparently typical, the Ring Creek Bridge was out of commission but as we arrived there early in the morning it was not too difficult to cross although it was icy cold & instantly numbed our feet. Our return crossing was in late afternoon so the creek was much higher, swifter & more difficult to cross. We had heavy day packs so it was passable via careful wading & rock hopping but I do not think we would have risked it with heavy backpacks. I have always wanted to return because I love fishing & had one large strike which I lost after about 6-8 seconds. My brother is a once is enough hiker & rarely does a hike a second time. The trail down into the lake is fairly steep & its definitely a slog climbing up it when you begin the return journey & would be even more so with a large, heavy backpack. We were walking on an ice field for about 1 km in the area between Ring Creek & Mamquam Lake. It was not too slippery to traverse & was pretty cool because in the heat of the day ( & that day was the hottest of that year hitting over 90 degrees Fahrenheit) there were all kinds of small pools reflecting green & turquoise hues. By the time we arrived back at Elfin Lakes the bottom of our feet & ankles were extremely tired & sore & we knew we still had 11 km to go. While it is possible to do this as a very long day hike I would not recommend doing so without at least 1 overnight so the hiker can enjoy the lake experience. We only saw 2 small tents in the meadows around the lake but never saw or heard a soul during the brief time we were at Mamquam Lake. We could, however, hear some vehicle sounds from the logging road high above the lake.

    WEDGEMOUNT LAKE: I did this hike in the mid-late 80s with my brother & a friend & it stands out as the most disappointing hike I have ever done. The 103 or 105 hiking book(s) rave about how beautiful it is after but after slogging our way up the trail & surviving the large, slippery granite bounders near the trail head we were all very disappointed. The first simultaneous comments out of my brother & friends mouths were that it looked like a mining slag (tailings) pond. They should know as our friend was from Smithers & my brother audited several large mining companies during his stint with Price Waterhouse. I had never seen a slag pond but my immediate reaction was that this was probably a most apt description. I have reviewed the dozen or so photos that I took many times over the years & they make the area look better than it was in real life likely because I was using Fuji film & the blues sky was much deeper blue than reality as were most of the other colours re clothing etc. I was wondering what your thoughts were on the scenic rating of this hike. I do not remember the actual hike up as being anything special other than some colourful early fall leaves on some trees near the bottom. It was basically dull, unrelenting & a true slog from the boulder field to the lake & in our opinions not worth the effort. We passed a girl only about 10 minutes from the top. She had run out of legs & gave up. We told her we felt she was very close & one of us would climb back to the ridge & let her know if it was worth slogging up the last half km or so but if she did see or hear us at the ridge line not to continue on as it likely was no worth any extra effort on her part. Needless to say we did not go back to encourage her to complete the hike & that was a 1st for all of us. She was very good looking too & the 3 of us were all single so not going back to encourage her on gives you the clearest picture of how unattractive& disappointing all 3 of us viewed the lake scenery. Maybe an attractive young woman joining us for lunch would have made the hike seem more worthwhile? Did we miss something? To the best of my recollection there was a Quonset hut at the lake & the ridge line around the lake appeared to match that shown in the hiking books we had read.

    • Reply
      Taryn Eyton
      July 19, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      Hi Don. The list on this site is just the list of places I’ve camped. I’ve hiked from Elfin Lakes part way to Mamquam Lake but the fog and rain rolled in so we turned around and headed back to Elfin. I’m hoping to get all the way to Mamquam later this summer though.

      I’m surprised to hear you didn’t like Wedgemount Lake. If you are used to seeing subalpine lakes surrounded by meadows then Wedgemount might not be as appealing. It’s in the high alpine, above the vegetation line. The coolest part of visiting Wedgemount is hiking down to the far end of the lake to see the glacier. When I first visited about 10 years ago the toe of the glacier was next to the lake. When I was there last summer the glacier had retreated a few hundred meters uphill and was forming a new meltwater lake at it’s toe. You can see a photo of it in the August section of this post: https://happiestoutdoors.ca/memories-of-2017/

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