NTS Map:92F2. Mt Arrowsmith at 1819 meters is the highest mountain in southern Vancouver Island. This hike will take you up Mt. Arrowsmith along the Judges route, the easiest and quickest way up. The route is about 6 kilometers round trip, should take about 5 hours round trip and has an elevation gain of about 1000 meters.
This route is non-technical, but steep and a bit of scrambling is required in some sections. Any fit person should be able to do this route. The 360 views from the top are fantastic. On clear days you will be able to see the Coast Mountains, the mountains in Strathcona Park, the sea on the west coast and you even get to sign your name in the summit registry to prove that you made it. In winter, bring an ice axe and crampons, snowshoes can also be useful.
The trail begins from the parking lot by heading down the road the way you came up and making a left up the road. Keep going on this road until the very end (25 minutes) and you will see the trail start on your left. For the next length of time keep following the well worn path and look for flagging. You will also get chances to enjoy the views of the Port Alberni Valley and the mountains in Strathcona Provincial Park. After about 2 hours you will come to a view point and if you look at Arrowsmith you will be able to see a radio tower. Here you will want to make a right and head upwards. Once at the top enjoy the views and sign the summit registry. In summer prepare to share the summit with other hikers as this is a very popular hike.
Caution: WINTER ASCENTS COULD INVOLVE AVALANCHE HAZARD, CHECK ONLINE REPORTS AT CAA, BE AVALANCHE AWARENESS TRAINED (CAA), CARRY WINTER GEAR INCLUDING TRANSCEIVERS.
Follow highway 4 out to Port Alberni, at the top of the bump before Port Alberni you will see a sign for Arrowsmith Ski Hill sign, make a left here. In about 20 minutes you will be at the trail head, watch for logging trucks. Drive about 3 km and then turn left on Cameron River Main. You will now start heading up a bit of grade. The road itself is in good condition in this area. Go for about 3 kms, look on your right for a road heading up (about the 4th road) with flagging. You can drive your vehicle up here (very rough for cars), park near the boulders or go about 100 meters further and park on the left in a parking area. Remember on the way back, you will come to a fork in the road, you want to make a right here. The road condition at the time was a bit rough but nothing most cars couldn't handle (assuming you don't mind roughing your car a bit) and all car based SUVs.
(a) Click Wiki Edit This Page to get placed in edit mode
(b) When finished, your update is available to view as draft (click wiki update pending in trail to see draft)
* note: editors are notified and must approve the change
Posted By: Melmidge
- Fri Jul 26 13:02:50 EDT 2013
QuestionCan kids manage this route?ANSWERS are in this forum: Kids?
Posted By: Rainbird
- Mon Jun 10 16:50:34 EDT 2013
UpsideQuickest Route to the top. Fantastic views.
DownsideSteepest Route, and no water available. You bake on a hot afternoon.
CommentDo this route in August or September
Posted By: julzrinny
- Sat Jul 31 16:02:19 EDT 2010
CommentA wee update on directions: There is no longer a sign directing people to the ski hill, but there is a small sign that says "Mt. Arrowsmith" tacked to a tree (easy to miss). Coming out of Port Alberni on Hwy 4, just before the break check at the pass between Port Alberni and Cathedral Grove, there is a gravel road on the right with a Mt. Arrowsmith sign. Coming into Port Alberni on Hwy 4 it's the opposite - just after the break check on the left is the road. You basically stay on that main logging road, passing a gully, two bridges, and then you start climbing up to the parking lot.
Posted By: toolbox
- Wed Aug 26 16:30:48 EDT 2009
CommentAs of right now the roads are open and the gate is unlocked. If it stays this dry it will likely be closed. Your best bet is to contact the timber company and see what is going on.
Camping on this route is harder to find. There are good camping spots if you do the saddle route and camp in the col between Cokely and Arrowsmith. There is even a pond with year round water in it.
Posted By: r2lihou
- Thu Mar 26 22:29:33 EDT 2009
Questionhello, does anyone know if there are any suitable/permitted camping areas in or around mt arrosmith? i cant seem to find any definative answers on my google machine!
thanks, dylan.ANSWERS are in this forum: arrosmith summit camping?
Posted By: baggedpiper
- Mon Jul 21 22:06:50 EDT 2008
UpsideGreat view, challenging trail, beautiful weather.
DownsideTrail is getting worn, needs some work; no available water sources, be sure to pack lots!, trailhead hard to find.
CommentFirst time, really fun trail!!! Weather was perfect, a bit hazy though (fires/smog?). Could see the whole Alberni valley though, plus the mountains north/south. Will definitely come back. x2 above, keep to the flagging tape.
Take it easy, with the dry weather, everything is very easily loosened and you will slip a bit, especially coming down. Poles are great on this trail.
The old road to the trailhead is barely suitable for 4x4s...only a quad or Zuki Samurai could make it easy, unless you like pinstriping. Overall a great day trip. Enjoy!
Posted By: Nordic Hunter
- Sat Aug 25 23:00:00 EDT 2007
UpsideChallening, great elevation gain in short distance. I'm told the views are amazing...
DownsideSaw nothing but cloud, wind and rain, even though weather in the valley was great.
CommentFirst time to the summit for every one in our party. Today we saw nothing but cloud. Weather was great all week, and down in the valley it was great too, but the whole mountain was socked in today. Will definitely be back, hopefully on a clear day. Easy to get off route on this hike, so keep your eyes on the trail and follow the flagging tape. Even still you may find yourselves on a slightly different version of the route on the way down. We ended up coming out at the washout on the old road rather than the actual trailhead, despite following flagging tape the whole way. Took 3 hours to get up and about 1.5 to get down. Take it easy on the rocks though, especially if they are wet. The hike isn't suitable for beginners, but fantastic if you've got some reasonably tough hikes under you belt. Great cardio going up, and tough on the knees coming down.