The Cypress Park mountains are at the south end of the Coast Range and are sedimentary and volcanic rocks from the middle Jurassic age and earlier. They were later intruded by granite and quartz diorite batholith. (Benton, 1974) 16,000 years ago, mile-high glaciers covered the peaks of all three mountains in southern Cypress Provincial Park. When the ice finally receded 14,000 years ago, many signs of these glaciers’ powerful action remained. The peaks of Black, Strachan and Hollyburn were rounded by these glaciers, which left striations (grooves) on the rocks, showing the movement of the ice across the peaks. Glacial erratics - boulders brought from the north by the glaciers – were left behind as the glaciers melted. Examples of these erratics can be seen along the Yew Lake Trail, near the Burfield trailhead in Hollyburn Ridge, and on Mt. Strachan’s south peak.

The Yew Lake area is a buried valley, created by glaciers cutting deeply into the bedrock, and later filled with sediment and glacial till. The channels through which Cypress and Montizambert creeks now flow down to the sea were also created by this glacial action. A peat bog was created in Yew Meadows, and a series of small terraced ponds formed in the impermeable peat and clay soil. These ponds can be easily seen from the Yew Lake Trail near the Old-Growth Loop.

A self-guiding tour of the Geology of Cypress Provincial Park written by David Cook P.Eng can be found here.


Hollyburn Peak

For more information, see the 1974 Cypress Park Interpretive Assessment and the 1992 Cypress Park Background Report.

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