OverviewMt. Hallowell is the high point of the Sechelt Peninsula on the Sunshine coast. Located in Spipiyus Provincial Park, it has a good 360deg view of most of the peninsula and surrounding area.
On the peak, there is an old fire watchtower which has been unused for an unknown amount of years.
It is a great easy day hike or can be extended to an overnight if you hike from the washout route.
Getting ThereThere are 2 main routes for hiking Mt. Hallowell. sunshine-coast-trails.com has a good writeup of the directions which go as follows:
1. Coming from Sechelt, follow the Sunshine Coast Hwy. (Hwy. 101) approximately 5.6km past Garden Bay Rd. (PetroCan gas station is on this corner).
2. Turn right on Malaspina Substation Rd. Follow the road about 1km under the power lines. You will see a sign post for the Suncoaster Trail on your left and once you pass this sign you are actually following the Suncoaster Trail.
3. Turn right at the road just before the Substation (not the first one on your right – that one goes under the power lines). You should see diamond markers along the way indicating you are on the Suncoaster Trail.
4. Follow this rough road about 1.6km to a fork. The trail/road on the right goes towards Madeira Park and is the continuation of the Suncoaster Trail. Park here.
5. Head up the gravel road (you are not going to follow the Suncoaster). If you have a 4x4 you will be able to continue driving this road as far as the washout (approx. 2.4km).
6. As you hike up this road you will come out to a clear-cut area and you will see the road forks to the left or continues to the right. Stay right.
7. After about 2.3km you will see a trail/atv track that cuts into the bush and up the bank on your right. Do not turn here, as this goes to the reflector dish on the side of the mountain above the Substation.
8. Keep going straight up the road and you will very shortly cross large washout. There is a creek that flows across the road here, but it is generally easy to cross.
9. Follow the trail and you will keep climbing for a couple of kilometers areas where some small alders border the road. The trees lean toward the center of the road due to winter snowpack.
10. You will come to a fork in the road. Take the right fork.(The left fork will take you to an old Copper mine which has some nice views and is a good choice for a shorter hike.)
11. Head up the hill and take a left and cross a cleared area with a small pond and stream to the final piece of road to the trail head.
12. At this road turn left and keep going for about 1.5km until you see some ribbon markers at the trailhead on your left. There is also a small rock cairn that marks the spot (Some old documentation speaks of an old red cable spool marking the trailhead. The spool has since rotted away and nothing remains but a few rusty bolts.)
If you don't have the time or the desire to do a big hike and you have a 4x4 vehicle you can drive all the way to the trail head. Here are the directions.
1. Take Hwy. 101 (Sunshine Coast Highway) about 11km north of Sechelt to the second entrance to Trout Lake Rd. (at the bottom of the big hill just before the north entrance to Redroofs Rd.).
2. Turn right onto Trout Lake Rd. and follow the road keeping to the left to a main junction at kilometer 12.
3. At kilometer 15 the road will pass through the Caren Range Old Growth Forest. The road will become fairly overgrown at points but still passable.
4. Continue to 19.5km and this should bring you to the trailhead which is marked with ribbon and a small rock cairn. If you emerge into a clearcut, with views of Sechelt Inlet, you've gone about 300m too far.
From the trailhead:
Turn left onto the trail to Mt. Hallowell which winds through the forest. There are a few large trees down (as of October 2011) that you will need to climb over.
The next part of the trail is wet, muddy and overgrown in places. Keep your eye on the ribbons and you’ll stay on track. The trail is well marked with ribbons.
Once you are past the wet, muddy areas you really start to climb and this last section of the trail is very steep. There is a 200m elevation gain from the trailhead to the peak. Hiking time from trailhead to peak is approximately 30-60 minutes.