Hiking Brunswick Mountain


You can download my GPX or KML files for use in your own GPS trackers or mapping tools.

Brunswick Mountain is the tallest peak in the North Shore Mountains at 1788m and has a panoramic view of Howe Sound and other popular peaks including the Lions.  My Garmin told me I climbed 1561m over a 17 km round trip with grades over 40%, which made for a long day.  The effort is worth it in the end though, it's not often you get to look down on Mt. Harvey, Sky Pilot, the Lions, and everything else around.  The hike starts at the end of Sunset Drive in Lions Bay, but there are only a handful of parking spaces and this is the trailhead for several popular hikes.  It's pay parking and they will ticket you.  Nothing is free these days, not even hiking.

The 2D profile for the hike is shown below.  It gets progressively more steep as you go.

 

The trail gets into dense coastal forest immediately.  I took a different route up on the lower slopes than I did coming back (see map above), and it was steeper so I don't necessarily recommend that section of trail.  I did find an old truck frame though which is slowly sinking into the forest.

From the initial section of gravel trail you will come to the route marker showing the way to the Lions and to Brunswick.  Don't miss the marker otherwise you are climbing the Lions.  The way to Brunswick is narrow and over grown, easy to miss.  Once on the Brunswick trail you start climbing through the forest with only slugs to see.  The trail never seems to end and around every corner is just more of the same.  New views at all, you just have to get through it.

As I was hiking I started to encounter fog/clouds and I was worried that the summit might be in cloud cover but I pressed on hoping for the best.

The trees eventually start to thin out but the trail gets even steeper from this point.

After more climbing, you start to see the first views through the trees. You have already gained significant elevation by this point, but there is plenty ahead.

You will come to an intersection with the Howe Sound Crest Trail and there are makers on several trees.   You can head left to Brunswick Lake, Hanover Lake, or Deeks Lake.  To the right is Mount Harvey, the Lions, and eventually Cypress.  Straight ahead (and up) is Brunswick, it should be somewhat obvious at this point.

The trail isn't always obvious, but there are orange markers to help lead the way.

The views are starting to get good though, making the effort easier.

 

The last section of the climb is steep and sometimes loose.

You will reach a plateau where you can finally see over the mountain, but the true summit is just to the right.

Some views before the final summit push.

The summit is actually three separate peaks.  This is peak 1 (which you can see in on the map at the top).

 

If you want to try and tackle the other two peaks it is possible without any special gear.  This view doesn't show it clearly but there is a definite gap between all three peaks with the gap between the first and second being the most tricky.  Obviously a mistake here has high consequences so I don't recommend it unless you are comfortable with such hiking.

The gully between the first and second peaks. It's a long way down.

Raven keeping me company.

The approach to the second summit is a bit sketchy.  I'm not a fan of heights and I just mad sure not to look down too much.

Once on the second peak, you will find some remnants of a structure that is now a bench.  You can see the view back to the first peak here as well.

Final push to the third peak.

 

The third and what seems like the highest peak of the three.  Standing on the highest point in the north shore, which is a very cool feeling.

It's a harsh life for the plants and animals up here.

Hikers on the first peak. Don't want to slip here.

Some final views from the summit, then the long road home.

Mount Harvey in the valley, Lions in the distance, Howe Sound to the right.

 

Cam settings by photokaz.com