Trip Date: October 8, 2012
Participants: Brittany, Nancy, Geoff Zenger
Difficulty: 1/2 (one very short class 2 traverse)
Report: Hope Mountain dominates over the south side of the town of Hope, looks impressive, is a short hike (only 2:15 hours from parking to summit), has amazing views, is well described in 103 hikes, and yet sees relatively few ascents. Why is that? Bush. The first 1.5km of this hike is as overgrown and bushy as anything can be while still being called a trail, and is badly in need of being brushed out. Beyond that, however, the trail is in great condition, and the route is very pleasant up the largely open south ridge of the mountain to the summit. The Lower Mainland hiking community would be well served and very grateful if somebody chose to spend a day clearing out the lower trail through the clearcut.
The road requires a high clearance 4×4, and is in decent shape until the final junction except for a short loose section a bit more than 3km up the road that would challenge a low clearance SUV. Furthermore, the 400m from the last junction to the clearing that serves as the trailhead for both the Hope Mountain and Wells Peak trail is quite overgrown with alder and so you can expect to give your vehicle a thorough alder scrubbing if you choose to drive all the way to the end (we did).
Nancy was visiting town for the Thanksgiving weekend for a friend’s wedding, but made the time to accompany Brittany and me on a hiking trip to enjoy the good weather, and needing to be back in the city for Thanksgiving dinner, we chose to head to Hope Mountain. We left the trailhead a bit past 9 o’clock on what was the last nice day of this year’s hiking season, and made our way up the badly overgrown trail/road to the ridgeline above the parking area. From here, the trail is in better shape as it follows a road on the backside of the ridge and contours towards Hope Mountain. Where the trail leaves the road, it is badly overgrown again for a short while until the edge of the clearcut is reached, where the trail becomes much more pleasant as it enters a much more mature forest on the ridge south of Hope Mountain. Note that despite being badly overgrown low down, the trail is never hard to follow.
The ascent of the south ridge is pleasant and easier than it looks from below. The trail is in great shape, and except for one short (3m) traverse on an unexposed ledge about half way up requiring the use of hands, it is a straightforward trail hike. We reached the summit around 11:30 in beautiful T-shirt conditions and sat down a short ways away from the communications structures on the summit to enjoy the fantastic views all around.
We lounged on the summit for a full hour before starting our descent. The trip down was quick and uneventful, and we were down at the car just past 2 o’clock, 5 hours from when we started. A couple days after this trip, the Vancouver weather turned sour, and so this was a great trip to cap off this year’s hiking season.