Flower Ridge hike
The Flower Ridge hike starts with an arduous climb up the first half of the route. This hike then leads to a stunning, flower studded alpine ridge with fantastic views into the south end of Strathcona Provincial Park. The traverse of Flower Ridge is filled with views of the most striking peaks on Vancouver Island, including a picture-perfect view of Nine Peaks across Cream Lake.
From Campbell River head west along BC 28 towards Gold River for 47.3km. Roughly 6.5km past the entrance to Strathcona Park you will reach a junction where you will continue straight towards Westin Mines, along Westmin Rd. Follow this windy road as it contours along Buttle Lake for just under 30.0km. A short way past the Ralph River campground you will see signs for the Flower Ridge trail on the left. Park in the ample dirt pullout.
|When to do|
July - September
Several Camping opportunities along the ridge
Low to Moderate
Out and back
Route Description for Flower Ridge
From the parking area look out to the highway and see a sign pointing to the left (south) with “Flower Ridge Trail”. Cross the bridge over Henshaw Creek then find the trailhead to your left.
Over the initial 6.0km of the Flower Ridge trail (roughly half of the way out) you will gain over 1000m. This is along a well-maintained BC Parks trail, which has a number of well graded switchbacks. You will have several sporadic views along the way, typically to the west looking at the east aspect of Mt Myra.
Finally, after several false lips you will crest Flower Ridge and emerge from the trees. Beyond Myra, you will get views to the east looking at the mountains surrounding the Comox Glacier. More to the Northeast you can even see the tip of Albert Edward (another hike on this list) poking its head out.
Continue hiking along Flower Ridge for another 6.0km, with the trail undulating up and down. The trail is at times hard to follow since the route along the ridge is not maintained by BC Parks. However simple intuition and watching out for cairns usually does the trick just fine.
As you progress south along Flower Ridge you will get some fantastic views of Mt Septimus and Rousseau directly to the south. Looming over Flower Ridge, these mountains provide a stunning ambiance. At the end of Flower Ridge, you can look down to the southwest across Cream Lake at the picturesque Nine Peaks in the distance, in between Septimus and Big Interior Mountain.
There is no official end to the Flower Ridge Trail, however BC Parks claims it ends after approximately 11.5km. Simply find a good spot to sit with the classic view of Nine Peaks and call it a day! Then return the way you came.
There is very limited water along this trail, only a few somewhat dirty tarns along the ridge. Bring enough for the long slog up!
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