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Crest Mountain

 
Crest Mountain

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Vancouver Island/BC, Canada, North America

Lat/Lon: 49.87279°N / 125.87991°W

Object Title: Crest Mountain

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 5197 ft / 1584 m

 

Page By: vancouver islander

Created/Edited: Nov 2, 2014 / Oct 5, 2016

Object ID: 920362

Hits: 1433 

Page Score: 76.66%  - 7 Votes 

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Overview

Crest Mountain N Aspect
Crest Mountain N Aspect

Crest Mountain is a comparative rarity in Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. An easy peak with an engineered trail directly off pavement almost all the way to a friendly flat summit. What makes it worthwhile is the incomparable camping on a wide open alpine plateau with all of Strathcona’s highest peaks in uninterrupted and jaw-dropping view just a few kilometers to the south. A night up here in such alpine splendour should be considered an obligatory experience for anyone who considers themselves an Island alpine afficionado.

Crest is also used as the approach to higher, more demanding summits to the north such as Heber, Judson, Isardi and Big Den, although no trail exists to these objectives once past the summit of Crest.

Getting There/Approach

Vancouver Island can be reached directly by air from, amongst other places Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Seattle and San Francisco to Victoria and by ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria on The Coho and on BC Ferries from Vancouver to Victoria or Nanaimo. Public transport on the Island is relatively poor and anyone arriving by air would be advised to rent a car. Access in this case is all on paved roads and, therefore, fine with a normal sedan. From Campbell River, at the end of the Island Highway 19, take highway 28 west towards Gold River. After approximately 30 km the road meets Upper Campbell Lake and after 40 km you will enter Strathcona Park at Elk Portal. 1 Km Further on highway 28 makes a right turn over the bridge at Buttle Narrows. Take this turn in the direction of Gold River and drive 27 km to the Crest Mountain trail head on the right. 

Route

Take the well signed and engineered Class 1 trail from the parking lot, across the bridge over Drum Narrows and up the mountain. Water is available just under half way up and then not until the alpine. Reckon on about 2-3 hours – depending on pack weight - up the switchbacks to the alpine at a large tarn and then a further 0.5-1 hour northwest on use-trail, or just follow your nose, to the large flat summit and cairn.

Crest Mountain Trail
Crest Mountain Trail

Big Den Mountain
Big Den Mountain

North Strathcona Peaks
North Strathcona Peaks

Crest Mountain Summit
Crest Mountain Summit

Red Tape

You are outside the core area of Strathcona Park and there are no fees to pay. BC Parks does not operate an intentions system, so there is no book to fill in. Make sure, therefore, that you have left a detailed trip plan with someone responsible. Parks and the appropriate SAR agency will respond in an emergency but it is up to you to initiate the process.

Camping

Pretty well anywhere you like with flat ground and a handy water source.
Crest Mountain Camp
Crest Mountain Camp

Boil or treat your water since giardia is very well documented on Vancouver Island. Practice scrupulous backcountry camping methods: keep your kitchen area and tent free of food scraps and hang all food well away from your tent at night to discourage critters. Light no fires if at all possible and if you really must, remove all traces of it before your leave.

Summit Views

Mt Heber
Mt Heber

Victoria and Warden Peaks from Crest Mountain
Victoria and Warden Peaks from Crest Mountain

Crest Mountain Summit View NNW
Crest Mountain Summit View NNW

Crest Mountain Summit View S
Crest Mountain Summit View S


Useful Links

Beyond Nootka – A Historical Perspective of Vancouver Island Mountains, Lindsay Elms, Misthorn Press, ISBN 0-919537-29-4 and/or visit http://members.shaw.ca/beyondnootka/

Island Alpine – A Guide to The Mountains of Strathcona Park and Vancouver Island, Philip Stone, Wild Isle Publications, 2003, ISBN 0-9680766-5-3 and/or visit www.wildisle.ca/publications

Strathcona Provincial Park

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Images

Big Den MountainCrest Mountain SummitCrest Mountain CampVictoria and Warden Peaks from Crest MountainCrest Mountain N AspectCrest Mountain Summit View NNWNorth Strathcona Peaks
Crest Mountain TrailCrest Mountain Summit View SMt Heber