Switchback Heaven

Today, since it was a bluebird day with warm sunshine and cloudless blue skies, we chose to hike the trail on Bald Mountain, which is located beside Lake Cowichan.  The lake is large, at about 30 km long, and it’s nestled among some large hills/mountains.  These slopes support a busy logging industry, evidenced by the many clear cut areas.  The houses and cottages, along with docks, that line the shores, indicated to us how busy the lake would be in the summer. Today, however, it was quiet and peaceful.

Bald Mountain rises to abut 600 m and we went to the first summit at about 530 m., about 4 km from the trailhead.  What a great trail and hike.  It brought back memories of hiking in the Rockies – smooth switchbacked trails that take you up to heights with gorgeous views.   None of this rocky, muddy, root-ridden trails that just go straight up and therefore are completely eroded that we did so often in the Adirondacks.  This hike was pure heaven.  We easily gained altitude and had great viewpoints all the way up, adding to the magic.  And since the mountain is on a peninsula, we got lake views on both sides.  

Looking South
Looking North

As we got higher, the views got more spectacular and we had the feeling of being above the treeline, since there were so few trees.  The reality, of course, is that the lack of trees are a result of this area being logged at some point in the past (probably quite a while ago since regrowth is well under way).  We could see the stumps and abandoned logs.  What we could not figure out is how the logs that were harvested were brought down the mountain.  We didn’t see any significant logging roads.  It reinforced to us how dangerous this necessary industry is. 

We want thank the local government for providing and maintaining such a great trail, as well as providing excellent signage. 

I didn’t realize our friend Cliff, in Ottawa, was dangerous.  😉 The shade sign would be welcome in the summer.  There is not a a lot of shade on this trail so in the heat of the summer the shaded enclave would be a haven for many hikers.

At the summit, we enjoyed the expansive views, the warmth of the sunshine and reflected how blessed we were to be able to do a hike like this.   I also had fun climbing on what nature provides!

Lake Cowichan from Bald Mountain 530 m
Happy Hikers

The hike was a very special one for us – a perfect combination of trail conditions, scenery, weather and company.  We will be back!  

One thought on “Switchback Heaven

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