Mount Collins

April 19, 2021


Bowen Island, BC

Mt. Collins is a small summit on Bowen Island that somehow managed to gain popularity in recent years thank to the inclusion in a local “Baggers Challenge”. I had wondered about this peak for a couple years ever since I did Mt. Gardner in 2016, and I always thought this was going to be a bushwhack from one of the sides. Later I learnt that there’s actually a trail that goes up the southern flanks. The trail had seen no reference on the internet back in the days but that’s no longer the case anymore.

With the beta of the trail I thought Mt. Collins could then be done as a before-work exercise despite the logistic complication with the ferries. Kat and I left home at around 8:30 am and caught the 10:15 ride to Bowen Island. We opted to take the truck to the island and this saved at least a couple kilometers of walking each way. The downside would be the extra cost but having enough time contingency was much more important. The trail-head had a clear marker but the available parking spots were minimal. Thankfully there was only one vehicle parked when we arrived and apparently the vehicle’s owner wasn’t even hiking the peak as we saw nobody on the trail.

Mt. Collins trail from the south. GPX DL

The quality of this trail was much better than anticipated such that I would actually rate it “excellent” by SW BC standard. There was no bushwhacking in underbrush nor notable amount of dead-falls, and the trail was very easy to follow. Beyond the initial 15 minutes there was basically no side branch to confuse us. There was no view whatsoever from anywhere along this trail other than a small “viewpoint” about one third of the way up, and the summit was completely forested, which was as expected.

My truck parked at the small trail-head. It almost looked like a private property
The start of the hike had some steep grade for a while
There were some steep and scrambly steps lower down
One of the many short down-hill stretches
Kat continuing leading the way.
As you can see, this trail was very monotonous
The terrain flattens out and we were not far from the summit at this point
Me on the summit of Mt. Collins
Kat on the summit of Mt. Collins

Our ascent time was exactly an hour. On the descent we sped things up in order to definitely catch the 1:10 pm ferry ride back to Horseshoe Bay. There was nothing worth noting about the return hike.

Kat starting the descent. This was as typical as it was…
At least the weather had been excellent..
Probably the only stretch that I would classify as “overgrown”
The West Lion and Unnecessary Mountain from the only viewpoint
The double summits of Mt. Strachan with St. Mark’s Summit on the far left
This picture sums up the trail condition.
The only step that required us to lower ourselves down
A bit steep and slippery on the bottom one third
Past this water tower and it’s almost done..

We managed to line up at the ferry’s terminus with about half an hour’s spare so I even earned some extra time to take pictures of the flowers. The ride back to the mainland was quite scenic with some head-on views of the North Shore Mountains so we spent most of the time on the deck taking pictures. The rest of the drive back to White Rock was uneventful and I even earned myself half an hour’s napping time before work.

Cherry blossom on Bowen Island. Wasn’t expecting that..
Brunswick Mountain and Mt. Harvey on the ferry ride back home
Me on the ferry. Almost back to Horseshoe Bay terminus