Mount Seymour (Quadra Island)

August 29, 2017


Quadra Island, BC

Not to be confused with Mt. Seymour in the namesake provincial park of North Shore Mountains, this one sits pretty far up north and is much less known unless you are the locals living in Campbell River of Vancouver Island. The only “significance” about this peak is the status of being the highest peak on Quadra Island (one of the northern Gulf Islands) but even so as ascent of Mt. Seymour has hardly anything worth to be proud of. The summit is forested. The hike has just over 400 meters of elevation gain on a well-maintained trail and that puts this trip exactly into the category of “dumpster diving”. To make it even worse, getting to the trail-head requires two ferry rides each way for someone living on the mainland, and this pretty much explains why I had never even heard of it..

The decision to explore a couple lowly, forested summits on Quadra Island was a complete last-minute spontaneous call between Adam and myself. We were very low on motivation thank to the exhausting, but superbly high-quality trip into the core of Strathcona Provincial Park with ascents of Golden Hinde, The Behinde and Mt. Burman. Naturally I just wanted to go home but then getting onto Vancouver Island is an expensive fair plus the weather was still looking golden for at least another day. It took a lot of brain power to come up with this objective to be honest but in the end I have to say Mt. Seymour and Mt. Lolo are pretty damn good objectives to salvage a day like this.

Hiking route to Mt. Seymour on Quadra Island. GPX DL

The ferry ride from Campbell River to Quadra Island runs for about every hour from dawn to dusk so there’s no need to rush whatsoever. I think we got onto one of the 8 am or 9 am ferries and within 20 minutes we were ferried over to this Quadra Island. Apparently this island has some fame for its whale-watching so we did the exact same thing right off the bat. Rebecca Spit is a good spot and believe or not we did see a couple whales pretty close to the shore. Adam was more excited than me (who spent most of these couple hours sleeping beside the car)… Eventually the whale’s gone and we had to resume or business. The crux for this ascent was probably finding the trail-head…

A smoky sunrise over the Coast Mountains horizon

That striking peak right of center on the horizon is Mt. Doogie Dowler

The first part of this hike was simply following a deactivated logging road with some gradual change of elevation. There’s literally nothing worth noting until the terrain opens up towards the summit plateau. The logging road comes to an end but there’s a signed trail junction with arrow pointing at “Mt. Seymour summit” so we knew we were doing good. There’s also an option to go explore the nearby Nugedzi Lakes but we had little interest in that. I’m pretty sure there’d be hundreds of mosquitoes at the lake so why bother..

As much as the logging road hike at the start

This is a critical trail junction

The trees are finally thinning

Nugedzi Lake, doesn’t look much interesting at all…

The summit plateau traverse was actually more fun than I thought with lots of open areas although we never got that perfect 360-degree panoramic view. Some up-and-downs were thrown in just to add a bit of variety but still, before realizing we were already on the true summit. Thank to the smoky sky there’s not much to see (the actual summit is forested anyway), but we still lingered for more than an hour.

Some views from the summit plateau traverse

One of my favourate views from this little peak.

A zoomed-in view towards Campbell River on Vancouver Island

This is looking south down into Straight of Georgia

Me on the summit of Mt. Seymour (Quadra Island)

Surprisingly this peak has a pretty big summit cairn…

After a nap on the summit we decided it’s that time to leave this place behind. Going back across the summit ridge had some views but once into the forest the hike became a mind-numbing slog. The good thing, this hike is short.

As much as the descent went..

It’s tempting to get lazy but we knew why we were here so there goes the next objective – Mt. Lolo.