hike Arrowsmith Trail to Lookout

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles 

On Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, at the Port Alberni Tourist Information Centre, I picked up a free brochure called Mount Arrowsmith. There is a guidebook, but the brochure is all you need to hike this mountain.

The brochure map shows 11 trails for hikers, climbers, snowshoers and skiers.

Close to amazing Cathedral Grove, is one easy access to the mountain, Old (Historic) Arrowsmith Trail.

There’s good parking ($3), pit toilets and a picnic area at the east end of Cameron Lake.


The trailhead across the highway is easy to find … after you know where it is. (I drove by it the first time.)

It starts (deceptively) as a road.


In fact, this route is extremely well marked. It has to be for winter adventurers, when snow covers the track.


This trail gets very steep and rough in places, climbing continuously for about 2hrs.

I was lucky there had been no rain for about a month. In wet conditions you might be scrambling up temporary creeks.

The route is mostly tree locked. That makes getting to Lookout even more enjoyable:

click for larger size
click for larger size

If you have about 8hrs, you can continue on this trail to the now defunct Mt. Cokely ski hill. One trip report calls that 20km return.

Better, however, would be to slog up in the afternoon. Wild camp tent overnight. And explore the top trails next day.

That’s what I’ll do next time.

click for larger map (PDF)
click for larger map (PDF)

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