Hope Mountain

July 13, 2017


Hope, BC

Hope Mountain has a very eye-catching 1700-meter abrupt rise from the town of Hope. In fact, its north face is very recognizable from the Trans-Canada Highway when driving southwards down Fraser Canyon. The standard ascent route is however, by a well-maintained trail starting high up on its SE flanks. From a technical perspective it never exceeds “class 2” and thank to a trail there’s very minimal route-finding challenge neither, but getting there involves about 8 km driving on a steep and rough logging road such that a high clearance 4×4 vehicle is required. Al and I decided to tag it together with the nearby Wells Peak so that we don’t have to drive that access road twice.

Wells Peak and Hope Mountain standard route. GPX DL

Not doing much lingering after finishing Wells Peak we almost immediately started the trek up Hope Mountain. There’s still very little sign of improvement in weather. Thank to Al’s time constraint to get back home before 7 pm we had to keep the blistering pace such that I almost had to jog in order to keep up. After a short descent crossing a creek this trail goes onto an old logging road which brought us up and over a rib. The trail is very well marked but has quite some frustrating up-and-downs and also slippery at places. After a while we ascended to the start of Hope Mountain’s broad, wooded south ridge, and right off the bat we had to deal with more up-and-downs.

As typical as the trail goes

We then followed this stretch of logging road for a while

Onto the south ridge now. This is the typical terrain

Eventually the grade steepens up and then the trail becomes rockier and lesser defined. We also had to deal with a couple Class 2 steps but following the trail was still not a problem. The hope was that this layer of clouds would lift up once we made to the summit just as what happened on Wells Peak but we had no such luck. We waited on the summit for at least half an hour but it’s pretty apparent that any further waiting would be hopeless.

One of the few boulder fields

The trail higher up. Note the flagging

Hiking through this chimney near the summit

The summit towers…

Hopeless view on the summit of Hope Mountain

Down the mountain we went and at about 200 meters down from the summit we broke out of this layer of ceiling. There’s some decent views looking down at the adjacent valleys and it surely showed the long way down to Highway 3. With this bit of consolation views our mood improved a little bit. The rest of the descent was uneventful.

On the descent we got some views after all..

This is looking at the junction between Highway 3 and Highway 5

Looking back at the upper reach of Hope Mountain

Al negotiating the only tricky step

A glimpse down towards Kawkawa Lake in Fraser Valley

This is looking down the Skagit Valley

Quite a lot of elevation regain on the return

Back to the parking lot. Two peaks in the bag…

Back to the truck Al again, did an excellent job getting us down this rough road. Pretty sure I’ll never come back up here again unless I have tendency to put more damage to my vehicle. And that’s the end of this trip.