Mt. Wesley Ridge
Courtenay-Alberni / Port Alberni
20 min driving from Port Alberni
The Mt. Wesley Traverse runs along the back side of Cameron Lake with gorgeous views of the lake on one side and coastal mountains on the other. This trail is steep and somewhat of a bushwhack. It would be a good idea to pack a compass or GPS to navigate parts of the trail that are not clearly defined.
The west end of the trail starts by following Chalet Road leading to the cabins along Cameron Lake’s northwest shores. This dirt road splits off from Hwy 4 about 100 metres west of Cathedral Grove, gated by a yellow gate. Follow this road until you reach the cabins, and after the second cabin, look for flagging on your left near a chainsawed blowdown marking the beginning of the trail. This trail climbs steeply up through the forest to reach the railroad tracks.
The steep, well-worn trail to the saddle between Mt. Horne and Mt. Wesley will have you working up a sweat, but the trail will level out as you reach the saddle. There is a fork in the trail where heading right will take you towards Mt. Wesley, through overgrown and prickly raspberry bushes for about 200 metres before heading up into the timber. As you climb up to the rock bluffs, it will meet with the original trail, and follow the flags to stay on this route to the summit where you will find a summit cairn.
The trail will almost disappear but keep continuing east through the forest. Trail flagging is sparse as you approach the lower saddle. Your compass or GPS would be helpful, but in general, you want to try to stay on the top of the ridge and keep moving east. The trail will keep going down, and then you’ll hit a false peak called Salmon Hill. There are some great views along the bluffs here. The trail is well worn and easy to follow until it begins to criss-cross with quad trails. Keep an eye out for the flagging to try to stick to the trail because the quad trails can take you off track. The key is to keep heading east. As you descend, the trail becomes steeper, following switchbacks all the way down to the railroad tracks. Walk along the railroad track across the trestle to the parking area.
If you are using two vehicles, you have the option to leave your first car at Cathedral Grove.
|Seasons:||Spring, Summer, Fall|
We have a downloadable GPS map for this trail!
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|Duration Round-Trip (solo):||960 min|
|Distance:||17.60 km (round-trip)|
|Elevation at Start:||196 meters|
|Elevation at End:||196 meters|
|Elevation Minimum:||184 meters|
|Elevation Maximum:||905 meters|
|Elevation Gain:||1,270 meters (round-trip)|
|Elevation Loss:||-1,270 meters (round-trip)|
|Slope Up:||12.20% (round-trip)|
|Slope Down:||-11.30% (round-trip)|
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