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Vancouver Island | Sunshine Coast | Gulf Islands

Mount Washington

The ocean to alpine views are stunning from the peak of Mount Washington, which is located in central Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley, west of Courtenay. In clear weather, you can see across the Strait of Georgia and enjoy a panoramic view of the Sunshine Coast backed by the peaks of the Coast Mountains. The adjacent peaks of Strathcona Provincial Park's Forbidden Plateau region are also magnificent.

Outdoor Adventure

In winter, Mount Washington is in its glory. The Mount Washington Ski Resort boasts snow that is often deeper than anywhere else in BC. In 1995, the mountain had more snow than any other ski resort worldwide. Along with abundant snow, the hill is enjoys mild temperatures, an average of -2C. This temperate coastal climate means you can ski all morning, then get down to sea level and mountain bike, sail or golf all afternoon. 

You can also enjoy Mount Washington’s backcountry loops on snowshoes and crosscountry skis. Mount Washington's cross-country ski trails extend from the private ski area out into Strathcona Provincial Park. These ski trails are a great starting point for backcountry skiing and winter camping.

In summer, Mount Washington is covered by mountain bikers and horseback riders. Sightseers take the chair ride to enjoy the view and backcountry hikers set out from the Paradise Meadows trailhead to visit Lake Helen McKenzie and Battleship Lake. The reward? Views of nearby mountain peaks and the Coast Mountains on the Lower Mainland. Hikers can hike to Circlet Lake and then on to Moat and Amphitheatre Lakes, eventually reaching the summit of Mount Albert Edward. 

If you decide to venture out in the mountains in the summer, watch for the Vancouver Island Marmot, one of the world’s most critically endangered mammals. Unfortunately, these housecat-sized ground squirrels number less than 100.

Getting to Mount Washington

Mount Washington is located 25 km west of the Comox Valley and 100 km north of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Once your there, you can stay on the mountain or in Cumberland, Courtenay, Comox, Merville, Black Creek, Saratoga Beach and Campbell River.

  • By Vehicle: Highways 19 and 19A link the Comox Valley with southern Vancouver Island. The Comox Valley is a two-and-a-half hour drive north from Victoria, or a 75-minute drive from the ferry terminals of Departure Bay and Duke Point near Nanaimo. The ski area is about a ½ hour up the mountain.
  • By Air: The Comox Valley Regional Airport fields daily flights between Vancouver and Comox and direct flights from Calgary. Small aircraft and floatplanes land at the Courtenay Airpark near downtown Courtenay.

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British Columbia, Canada

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