Added by Sarah Seads

Distance: 11km (6.8 miles) roundtrip. Elevation gain: 600m (2,000 ft). Backyard bliss. Best view of the Comox Glacier. Awesome summit for new hikers, kids, and those seeking micro adventures close to home.

Trail access begins at the end of Forbidden Plateau Road, at the site of the old abandoned ski lodge. It is an ugly place to begin a hike to such a beautiful summit, but do not let that deter you. Past the trash of forest parties, around the remnants of the old ski lodge and over the washed out ruts of 4 by 4s, you will quickly leave it all behind as you head towards the boundary of Strathcona Park.

Head directly up the face of the old ski hill and follow the quad track as it passes under Tower 6. Pause to enjoy a panoramic view of the Comox Valley and Salish Sea below. Continue upward, following the quad track/old access road until you pass a second chair lift, then watch for the Park trail head on the right.

The top of the Forbidden ski hill merges with the boundary of Strathcona Provincial Park and you will step through the entrance to Vancouver Islands Eden after a short 25-45 minute climb. The Park was created to protect our Island's most pristine mountains, rugged ridge lines, remote alpine lakes and fragile mountain meadows. I consider this a sacred border- one that should be treated with big respect. Respect for the environment, for the status of the Park and for the untamed attitude of the wild beyond.

I can't help but reminisce every time I walk this path. I have traveled it countless times and the moments flow around each bend, boulder and root as I pass them again on the climb up. I remember the faces, the incidents, the laughter and the solace. From my first dance with hypothermia during an overnighter with my Dad to winter wonderland snowshoeing and bike-run adventures with friends...this mountain holds many of my stories in her cracks and crags.

Trekking and running onwards, you will be welcomed into the sub alpine by twisted hemlock and fir trees draped with lichen, the 'old mans beard' of the mountains. Two thirds of the way to the summit, you will reach the right turn to Mt Washington via the Forbidden Traverse. In a few hours and 23kms of sub alpine traversing, you could be on the deck of the pub at Mount Washington Ski Resort. You can see the summit of Becher from this junction, only fifteen-thirty minutes away.

Follow the worn, rocky, rooty path to the summit beyond the forest and you will be rewarded with the most remarkable view. Once on the summit, you will suddenly find yourself standing face to face with breathtaking Comox Glacier and the edge of Vancouver Islands Eden, Strathcona Park.

More Information:

  • Beyond Nootka – A Historical Perspective of Vancouver Island Mountains, Lindsay Elms, Misthorn Press, 1996, ISBN 0-919537-29-4
  • For route information further into the backcountry, refer to Island Alpine – A Guide to The Mountains of Strathcona Park and Vancouver Island, Philip Stone, Wild Isle Publications, 2003, ISBN 0-9680766-5-3
  • Backroad Mapbook. Volume III: Vancouver Island


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