Are there tiger lilies at the top of Teapot Hill?

A timber sign post with an arrow pointing right to Teapot Hill. Are there tiger lilies on teapot hill?

“There are tiger lilies at the top!” said the lady approaching me on her way down the trail.

I was a bit out of breath but managed to reply, “Oh, wonderful!”.

She kept walking, and I stood there for a moment feeling a bit confused.

Every time I hear the words tiger lily, two thoughts pop into my mind in quick succession.

First, is the daughter of the late Michael Hutchence from the Australian band, INXS. I was a fan of their music in my high school years.

Of course, I have never met the girl, but her unique name was in the media a lot, so it has stuck.

The other is the princess of the Piccaniny tribe from Neverland, the magical island from the Peter Pan story created by J.M. Barrie.

I could not see how either of those could be relevant to this situation.

Hiking at Teapot Hill

We are currently housesitting in Chilliwack, Canada. This area is a hikers’ paradise.

There are hiking trails all through the mountains and along the Stó:lō (Fraser River). Each morning, I select a new trail to explore.

Teapot Hill is to the south, on the edge of Cultus Lake. Apparently, the name was given by a logger who found a teapot on the hill back in the 1940s.

The trailhead is easy to access from a small carpark off Columbia Valley Road.

Today, there are said to be upwards of 70 teapots scattered along the trail. I didn’t see that many, but I did spot quite a few.

Some people had been quite imaginative with the placement of their tribute teapot!

Several teapots in the forest on Teapot Hill

Some of the teapots on Teapot Hill. Captured by Joy Taylor.

Tracking down tiger lilies

We were about two-thirds of the way up the trail when we saw two ladies on their way down.

They were chattering excitedly to each other but slowed to share their news when they saw us approaching. They had seen tiger lilies at the top.

They kept walking down the hill, and we kept going up. I was no longer thinking about teapots. I was trying to work out what she meant.

It took me a minute to recall seeing tiger lilies mentioned on a signboard at the start of the trail, showing pictures of the flora you might see in the area.

I did not really know what I was looking for or where to look, but I was hopeful to spot them for myself.

Lucky for me, David was hiking with me today.

He is a great spotter of things in the bush, from bottle caps and bear tracks to fungi, flora and fauna.

He found a stem with tiger lilies flowers a few meters off the trail about 20 metres before the summit.

There was a slightly trampled path to them, so we ventured down to have a closer look.

The tiger lily flowers were quite unique, with their spotted orange petals curling backwards into rings.

They smelt a little bit spicy, making me think of cinnamon and cardamom.

Looking up from underneath a tiger lily flower with spotted orange petals.
A tiger lily flower. Captured by Joy Taylor.
Although we kept our eyes peeled, and I now knew what I was looking for, we only found that one stem. I guess that is why the ladies were so excited to have seen them.
Joy and David at the summit of Teapot Hill with Cultus Lake in the distance behind them through the trees.

We made it to the top of Teapot Hill and enjoyed the view of Cultus Lake. Captured by Joy Taylor.

Finding milk and more

After reaching the summit and sitting to watch a little squirrel busily gathering goodies, we started to make our way down.

About halfway down we reached a junction, with the choice to go back to the car park or turn to the right and venture on.

It was cloudy and cool, perfect conditions for hiking. The forecast was for some light rain only, so we decided to venture on.

Passing through brilliantly green forest, we did not pause often as this stretch includes an avalanche zone. It is not the season for it, but we figured it is safer to keep moving anyway.

Some of the fungi we found on the Teapot Hill trail. Captured by Joy Taylor.

This part of the trail lead to Watt Creek, which has a large car park and a water-filling station.

Along the way, we could hear the water tumbling down the hill, as well as the regular thump-thump of cars driving over something.

When we reached the road, we saw a timber bridge, the source of the thump. Crossing it, we made our way along to the village of Lindell Beach, a popular spot for summer holiday camping on the edge of Cultus Lake.

Opposite the Maple Bay campground, is a cute general store called Milk & More.

We chatted to the friendly lady running the store, who kindly made us a couple of salad rolls which we ate at one the picnic tables outside until the rain started to fall.

A little dairy to finish the day

After finishing my lunch under the shelter of a large tree (I am still learning which tree is which, but I think it may have been a Western Hemlock), I went back to buy an ice cream.

Milk and More stock Birchwood Dairy ice cream. A local, family-owned dairy known for their delicious ice cream! They have more than 50 flavours, but I could not go past the salted caramel.

On the walk back to the Teapot Hill trailhead, where our car was waiting, we went down to the edge of the lake. It is easy to see why this spot is so popular. The water is cool and clear and very inviting.

Perhaps we will get back here another time and take a dip!

Cultus Lake from Maple Bay

Even on a cloudy day, the water of Cultus Lake looked clear and inviting. Captured by Joy Taylor.

So, now when I hear the words tiger lily I am sure the memory of this day will register in my mind.

I will picture the spotty orange blossom, recall the spicy scent and relive an enjoyable adventure hiking to the top of Teapot Hill.

A path through a green forest, a mandala of pine cones and two pairs of feet in hiking boots, looking up the trunk of a very tall tree, a salted caramel icecream in a waffle cone.

Memories of the day hiking on Teapot Hill. Captured by Joy Taylor.

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Joy Taylor

Joy Taylor

Joy has been working her way around the world with her kids, solo and with her partner for over 20 years. Her motto is ‘travel cheap, travel deep’. She built a green house and tries to live a green life. 36/196


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