The Coquitlam Crunch is a well-known local hiking trail and a fantastic workout loved by all Tri-Cities locals. It is the perfect workout that can be done in under and hour while burning a ton of calories and enjoying astonishing views Mount Baker. This local Coquitlam fitness tradition is a 5 kilometres round trip with the highest elevation point at 320 meters (about 80 storeys) and it is considered a moderate rated trail in the difficulty scale. The trail runs from Guildford Way to the top of Westwood Plateau at Eagle Mountain, along a BC Hydro right of-way. The Crunch is part of the city's 90-kilometre trail system, which includes a portion of the Trans-Canada Trail. It was originally part of the "Green Links" initiative, which dates back to the mid-1990s.
Some say it is not a very pretty trail but we disagree. However, no one argues how well maintained it is or the fact that it has some other perks that no other local trails in the Lower Mainland has to offer. Some of these perks are that it is dog friendly and has an enclosed Dog park halfway up, which makes every dog as happy as they can be to get some exercise and to also mingle with others. There are lots of bear proof garbage cans and a couple of great benches to take in the amazing views of Mount Baker. Another perk is the ability to move through it as it is not as busy with other users as other places like the Grind.
Some say the Crunch is a less intense and a shorter version of the Grouse Grind, which we agree with, however, we prefer to stay local, shop local and hike local so for us this is our beloved Crunch. While not nearly as physically exhausting as the Grind, it does have certain similar elements mainly the stairs as they’re long enough to make you tired. This hike is perfect for anybody training to do the Grind for the first time and wants a taste of it and some practice.
The Coquitlam Crunch trail had a facelift in 2014, including the installation of more than 400 new timber stairs (which are lined to make sure that people don’t slip on them when it is wet), drainage improvements and informational signage. The Crunch's re-opening coincided with Move for Health Day, an international event created in 2002 by the World Health Organization to promote physical activity.
There are a total of 488 stair steps if you count the ones towards the parking lot and at the top by the basketball courts, but the bulk of them are in what we call phase 1 which is a total of 438 steps. A local user (who can do the trail a few times in one visit) told me once that he thinks of them as “Stairway NOT to Heaven” and I happen to agree since they keep your body, heart and lungs in such good shape.
There is also an annual event which is a fantastic local community challenge for all. For more info about this please click here: http://www.coquitlamcrunch.com/about-crunch-event