Hike the Forbidden Plateau & Mount Albert Edward

Rate this Adventure 19.9 miles 6866.8 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Ann Conrod

Mount Albert Edward is located in Strathcona Provincial Park, which is the older provincial park in British Columbia and spans over 250,000 hecters. The park is home to rivers, creeks and mountain peaks. Mount Albert Edward stands at 2,093 meters high, putting it as the sixth highest peak on Vancouver Island. This hike can be done as a multi-day hike, or in one day, as you need to hike the Forbidden plateau before you can access the mountain. It is about 16 km each way. I did it in a day. With stops and lunch at the summit it was a full 10-hour day. 

If you choose to do the hike in one day, you'll need to camp close by or in your car so you can get an early start.

I camped at the Ralph River campground at 5:30 a.m., packed up my gear and drove to the trailhead, which is located at the top of the ski hill (Mount Washington). The first few hours of the hike to circlet lake are very easy. The terrain changes from through the woods to valleys with lakes. There's lots of access to water before reaching Mountain. The trail is also  very well marked. There are signs until Circlet lake and many trail markers that make finding the route to the summit easy. ​

Once you get to the base of the mountain and start the incline, the hike becomes challenging, there are places where you need to lift and use your body weight. Get ready to sweat. The biggest elevation gain is early in this part of the trail, as you start to climb up the lower part of the ridge, and quickly get above the tree-line and onto the ridge that will take you to the summit. Finding the summit is easy by following the hundreds of rock cairns that have been built by hikers. 

I enjoyed spending about 45 minutes at the summit - taking some pictures, having lunch and enjoying the view. It is a tough day, so I recommend taking the most of this break.

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Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Wildlife

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