The Brunswick Mountain trail begins at the gate and follows the same gravel logging road as The Lions trail for the first half hour. After about 15 minutes from the start, it reaches an intersection, take a right turn, another 15 minutes from here there is another intersection, this time you want to take a left turn, a right turn takes you to Mount Harvey or The Lions. Not far from this junction you will cross Magnesia Creek. From here the trail steepens and winds around and when you see a sign "Hat Mountain", follow that direction into a forest with lots of switchbacking and steady climb. At approximately 1500m elevation this trail intersects with Howe Sound Crest Trail, beyond this point the trail is very steep and rough with exposed sections, drop offs and loose rock. At the top of Brunswick Mountain, the view is a 360 degree glorious panorama. To return, you can retrace your ascent route. If you have trekking poles, bring them for this hike, they helped me a lot coming down.
GPS Waypoints Reference:
WPT001 Parking lot/gate
WPT002 The second intersection from start
WPT003 Hat Mountain Sign
WPT004 Intersection with Howe Sound Crest Trail
WPT005 Peak of Brunswick Mountain
Drive North on Hwy 99 toward Lions Bay then take The Oceanview Road exit. Left on Cross Creek Road, turn right on Centre Road, left on Bayview Road, right on Mountain Drive, then left on Sunset Drive and park near the gate. Watch for and obey the parking signs or you may be ticketed.
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Posted By: Centurion
- Mon Oct 22 21:09:29 UTC 2018
Upside- Incredible views. The best on the entire North Shore. - Great workout- you will definitely be earning those views. - Downside- Awful parking situation - Was crowded up there; around 30 ppl when we went on Sunday. That's a lot considering how small the peak is. CommentThis is an incredible hike-- one of the best in the entire region. That being said, it's not for everyone. The trail is basically straight uphill the entire way with no flat sections. It's an absolute grind and I wouldn't attempt it unless you are in peak physical condition. Also, the way down is an absolute knee buster- 100% bring trekking poles.
The views makes it all worthwhile. It's nothing short of spectacular. Once you get to the top you are rewarded with 360 degree views of the entire region. You are actually looking down on the Lions. The final push to the crest has a few very precarious sections, one in particular which is a 'no fall zone'. It's a sheer cliff on both sides, straight down several hundred feet. If you fall, you will die. Be cautious, and for gods sake keep your pets away. I saw a few dogs up there and I was shocked at the negligence of the owners. This is not a dog hike.
There is an old derelict helicopter pad up there which has now become a central 'lunch spot' for people. It's nice.
We had unbelievable weather. It was honestly felt like a mid-August day with perfect sunshine and not a wisp of wind. It was probably around 20 degrees and there was no snow. I couldn't believe it considering how late in the season it is.
Great hike! But respect it. It's 14km round trip and took us 9 hours with lunch and frequent photo stops. We are two athletic 30 year old guys.
Posted By: Dimo
- Fri Oct 19 19:20:28 UTC 2018
UpsideGreat views when it's not cloudy/foggy! DownsideBad Parking situation... "no-fall" zones can be sketchy in complete fog/cloud cover! :) CommentUtilized my Colonizer British accent and hiked it in Total fog/cloud cover! but it did clear up (a little) and there was a lot of humor, yodelling and madness! For your viewing entertainment it's all here in this vid! haha https://youtu.be/9RJVervFr3c Also cleaned up some of the garbage on the trail! :/
Posted By: sillybluecreature
- Mon Nov 30 18:38:29 UTC 2015
UpsideFantastic views once you get 1km to the top. Would have loved to get to the top but the sunlight hours weren't enough and needed the right equipment. DownsideVery long up the logging road and it takes forever to see a view. Very steep but not technical until the end. Then it's quite technical. Dogs were fine, humans needed help (we have Vizslas though). Saw no one. CommentJust did this Nov 29th. No snow most of the way until 1km to the top. We had to stop 500m to the top because we didn't bring ice picks and we didn't all have crampons. You need crampons now for sure. Snowhoes were not much us.
Posted By: mission96
- Tue Nov 11 00:48:19 UTC 2014
UpsideModerately challenging snow climb (29 April 2014) Views on a clear bluebird day. Sunset over Howe Sound.
Photo link: http://1drv.ms/1oAxOmO DownsideHaving to descend. CommentWe summited Brunswick Mountain as a spur of the moment climb on 29 April 2014. I was one day off the plane from Australia and my mate from North Van said go to MEC, rent poles, crampons and an ice axe. With no expectations, and no idea what was ahead, it was amazing. We didn't arrive at the trail head until 2pm, this ended up being a blessing, as to be on the summit for the sunset was such a stroke of good fortune. It made for an interesting descent into the dark! Thankfully we made it below the snowline before total darkness. Try copy and pasting this link for my photos on onedrive if you wish:
Enjoy Outside. Bradley Bennett.
Posted By: Dave001
- Mon Jul 28 05:01:48 UTC 2014
UpsideGreat views up top. Not very busy at all, even on the weekends.
Exposure up top makes for a bit of excitement, but as long as you have confidence in your footing and take your time, it's quite manageable. DownsideSegments of the trail are a bit overgrown, but nothing too bad.
You'll need to get there early if you want a parking spot at the trail head. CommentThere was no snow on the trail when I went up today.
Some bugs during the 2nd half of the hike, but nothing excessive.
Wandered off the wrong way when the trail intersected with the Howe Sound Crest Trail, but that was mostly due to me not being observant. When you're getting up there in elevation, just be on the lookout for the intersection, and pick the steep centre path. If you're observant, you'll see a small silver plate on a tree on the right reading "Lion's Bay" as you approach the intersection. At the intersection, if you follow the correct path you'll see a similar "Brunswick Mountain" plate. If you wander on one of the HSCT trails, you'll find plates with other destinations.. turn around immediately and find the right path if you do.
At a moderate pace, took me 3h45m. I tend to drink a decent amount of water, and about 3.2L lasted me the round trip. In the absence of snow, there was no water source up top.
Posted By: ktgriffi
- Mon Jun 03 06:31:23 UTC 2013
UpsideVery well marked trail. Can see so many nice trails. This was my first time using crampons/iceaxe in Canada. Pretty quiet. I saw 4 people the whole time, on a Saturday which had promising weather reports. DownsideLittle bit of a mission getting to the trail head. Have to be careful about parking. It says residents only on much of the parking. Not sure how well this is enforced, but every car parked in those spots had a sticker so don't take the warning lightly. CommentI brought my whiny friend who would not stop complaining. He didn't bring proper gear and he just cried and cried and I had to turn back only 400 meters from the peak, simply because it was too dangerous to do without an axe. But I am going to go back next week and nothing is going to stop me from reaching the top.
Posted By: burnbabyburn
- Thu Jul 26 22:39:36 UTC 2012
QuestionHey fellow hikers! I'm hoping to hike Brunswick Mtn this week but I was wondering if just hiking boots is sufficient or would you recommend any other gear? How much snow left?
Thanks for your help!ANSWERS are in this forum: Crampons needed?
Posted By: granolapher
- Mon Jul 09 03:02:22 UTC 2012
UpsideGreat views, a much more serene experience than the crowds on The Lions DownsideParking is limited near the trailhead, overflow is 1km down the road at the school CommentThe lower portion of the trail to Brunswick was well marked and very obvious; but becoming grown in at spots,
The 1st half of the upper portion of the trail winds steeply through an old logging cut.
The 2nd half of the upper portion is still mostly snow covered, with well consolidated snow.
The summit was entirely clear from snow, we had solitude and great views of Howe Sound and the Lions.
Ascent time 3.5hrs, 2.5hrs descent time, distance 16.5km (from the school parking lot).
Posted By: TerryM
- Sun Sep 12 04:45:23 UTC 2010
UpsideNo snow and no bugs at the end of August. DownsideSome exposure on the peak. CommentThis is not a dog-friendly hike- lots of very sharp jagged protruding rock shards that will slice paws. I feel sorry for the dogs that get taken to the exposed peaks. Mt Harvey is a much better option for the pooch.
Posted By: bennyboubou
- Sat Jul 31 04:57:32 UTC 2010
UpsideFree of snow (on July 26th). Beautiful view. Physically challenging. DownsideTons of bugs, loose rock, due to dry weather CommentInteresting hike, always quiet, good workout. Unfortunately, I had to deal with a lot of bugs and with loose rock, which made the hike less enjoyale than usual. If the weather remains the same for the next few weeks, make sure to bring a long sleeve shirt and lot of water.
Posted By: trailrunner
- Mon Aug 17 02:31:54 UTC 2009
Upside Not very busy, yet fairly clearly marked good quality trail. Most of crowd from cars parked seemed to have gone to Lionâ??s. Large portion of trail is based on logging road, so there is no roots to trip up. Even at pure trail in the high elevation, root was not too much. If you are in good shape, you can crank the running speed up on this easy to run trail & continue running almost all the way up to the exposed rocky final accent to the ridge. No bugs. Fantastic view. Overall my most favorite mountain run so far. Downside Very limited parking space; I had to park like a km away from the parking gate. Not sure I should rate as downside or upside, but after alpine opening, the cliff like climb on crumbled sharp rocks are challenging - or thrilling. Although it is very short distance, but after you get to the ridge, the route goes along the â??real high ridgeâ??; its like 50cm wide and one side 150m another side 30m pure fall. Being a timid mid distance runner first peak after the ridge was best of my ability. There was second peak with bench on top but I just couldnâ??t see myself getting there without literally killing myself. But again it was very thrilling. I forgot to change the running method on this pure ascend hill; if you are heavy calf muscle use uphill runner, go easy on â??accenting calf muscle useâ?? until the end, or risk of pulling calf increases. And when it happens, make sure to bend foot instantly(as opposed to pointing toes) to stretch calf muscle immediately to minimize its damage. Comment 104mins to the first peak(before the second peak with bench on it) from the parking lot/gate. (But 10-15mins slower than usual pace due to calf muscle pulling half way, 5mins slower in downhill). 59mins from first peak to the parking lot/gate. 163mins go and return excluding resting-exploring at the peak(213mins including all rests/exploring 50mins). Real fast runner should be able to do in 2hrs return.
It starts with a regular logging road, and this incline stays consistent 90% of time till the end of the logging road based trail. There is a flat section after turing off from Lionâ??s trail. There are several forks but either there is a clear sign or very obvious which way to go. The trail goes under the second growth forest. There is a one section the incline gets bit too steep without let up so I started to mix walking. In about few hundred meters from there you get to the first opening view of Howe Sound. This is the end of logging road based trail and from here incline gets much steeper.
I would need to walk 2/3 of the way in the steep switch back and Grouse Grind like incline pure uphill trail. I pulled calf muscle here had to stop running till the top completely. But soon trees become thinner, ground gets drier & brighter while incline gets slightly less. There is another trail crossing later. It becomes quite beautiful way up from around here even the view is not wide open, and I would have run here if the calf was fine. Then you get to a complete opening with previous level of steep incline, except there is no trees now with bunch of exposed small rocks and small stunted trees scattered around. Rocks are shuttered into many tiny pieces, and often the layer outcropping is running almost 90 degrees towards the sky. I had to crawl often till get to the ridge.
Turn right at the ridge although left looks higher peak from here. I got to the first peak and saw a bench on the second peak with only 50m away on another peak. But with calf muscle twitching and inexperienced in scrambling as I am, 45mins of slow crawling in various ways wouldnâ??t get me there- (but it was a good rest & calf stretch). Probably there is an easier way up there since there is a benchâ?¦ On return the steep opening rock decent was lot easier than I thought. Rest was quite straight forward comfortable downhill run.
Posted By: nvangirl09
- Wed Jun 03 00:07:36 UTC 2009
UpsideThe views are breathtaking. The burn in my legs climbing up and the ache in my knees going down are worth it simply for the exhilaration of getting to the top and being able to see in all directions the mountains, ocean, islands and city. The other upside is that there is no one up there so there's virtually no garbage on the trails. DownsideUmmmm...none. Except for the sore muscles I still have 3 days later. CommentI first did this hike with one of my friends at the end of October 2008. There was no snow on the climb but there was a bit at the top - on the North side. So the climb up the loose rock was tricky but doable with care and attention. I went again this past Saturday and, in addition to have the entire mountain to myself, I had a different experience simply because of the time of year. Magnesia Creek was deeper than it was in October so I had to remove my boots and socks to cross it. On the way back, I just walked through the water with my boots and socks on. I was too tired to care about wet feet and my socks wicked away the moisture pretty quickly. Anyway, there was still a LOT of snow above the treeline and I was grateful for my poles as they helped me climb up some seriously steep stretches. The approach to the last 100 metres is different when there's snow on the ground too so I was a bit disoriented. There were enough prints from previous hikers, though, so I just followed them. I was too stubborn to strap on my crampons but wish I had done so sooner as it definitely would have made the final 100 metres (and in fact, the last 400 metres), MUCH easier!! I put my crampons on for the descent and that was probably one of my better ideas that day. I've added some pictures but for some reason, they're showing up WIDE.
If you go, try and go with a buddy and be sure to bring LOTS of water!! Enjoy!!
Posted By: jakenull
- Thu Sep 25 20:59:22 UTC 2008
UpsideThe elevation at the summit. Best views I've seen. Flat wooded rest stop before final push. DownsideThe elevation gain CommentGreat hike, best views ever! You're so high with a view right down to sea level.
The scramble from the flat spot to the summit is really steep and had tons of loose rock. Its like climbing a gravel pile in spots.
Need lots of water, especially on the hot days. Only stops for water are a creek way at the start or snow at the top.
No crowds at all!
Don't do it on a cloudy day, unless your just in it for the exercise.
*Cell phone worked from the summit* - in case of emergencies.
Posted By: mountseymour
- Mon Feb 27 00:31:03 UTC 2006
UpsidePerfect 360 views You could even look down and watch people climb the lions NO CROWDS EVER! And there are the spectacular cliffs on the northside of the mountain and a small glacier below DownsideLong Long Long Long walk up the never ending logging road! Long long long long long hike up the never ending switchbacks CommentThere are two ways to get to brunswick: Howe sound crest trail and the Lions bay logging road and I would reccomend the Howe sound crest trail because its more exciting and there more views and features than the long very steep logging roads
BE CAREFULL: The ridge right before the peak (You have to cross it in order to get to the peak) has 300 foot drop offs on each side and there is only 3 feet between them and there is some very sharp and loose rock up there WATCH HERE YOU STEP!