Agate Mountain

September 14, 2021


Princeton, BC

Agate Mountain might actually be a more popular objective in the immediate vicinity of Princeton, B.C. because there’s a fire lookout on the summit and to get there on just have to plod on an ATV track for a few kilometers. The access does require some lengthy driving on logging roads but that’s a typical thing for hiking and peak-bagging in B.C. outside the parks. The view from the fire lookout is actually quite expansive despite the lowly status of this peak, and I’m surprised this hike hadn’t caught the masses’ attention on social media yet.

I did it immediately after bagging Wilbert Hills which is a complete dumpster-dive. The drive to Agate Mountain’s “trail-head” shares the same start as Wilbert Hills’ road system. The drive up Agate Mountain wasn’t too bad neither but the last spur was narrow and a bit rough. I parked at the start of the ATV track. The drizzling had already intensified to a steady rain but since I was there I had to go.

Agate Mountain via the south side approach. GPX DL

I started the hike wearing rain jacket but soon I had to delayer as the “road” climbed steeply up a hill for almost 150 vertical meters. I met a group of hunters driving their ATV outwards and they warned me that they saw a cougar on the summit and this area generally held a lot of bears. Their words did play a little bit in my mind as I didn’t even bring a bear spray on this trip, but I managed to let that go and resume the ascent. There’s literally nothing worth noting about this “hike” as all I needed was to plod down this ATV track for 2-3 km and then I was on the summit. I’m not really a fire lookout hiker but that structure provided a nice shelter from the rain so I stayed inside for a while.

The hunters and their ATV passed me near the start
As typical as the “hike” went…
For a long while I plodded through this secondary growth forest
The summit fire lookout, at last. It was pouring pretty hard now…
A view from inside the lookout.
Me on the summit of Agate Mountain
A southern view from the summit showing more rolling hills of the area

Eventually I figured I should start the long journey back home so I got out of the shelter and plodded back to the truck. Part of me was disappointed for not seeing the cougar or “lots of bears” as per the hunters’ words but part of me was glad I didn’t see them. I immediately started the truck and drove down and out of the FSRs before they became too wet and muddy. After driving back into Princeton I still had about 3 hours of driving awaited. I had to pull over and take a nap somewhere in Manning Park as I was really exhausted. After the nap I pulled off the entire drive back home in one shot and I even managed to arrange and squeeze an hour of work into the evening.

Me plodding back down the few kilometers of ATV track