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Mount Arrowsmith via Judges Route

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Little Qualicum Falls Park

Mount Arrowsmith via Judges Route is a 3.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 3.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,300 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
2 days ago

Very challenging kind of hike indeed but worth a try! Spend almost a full day with friends so to take our own pace while enjoying the views as well as meeting up other fellow hikers

hiking
blowdown
2 days ago

Me and my friends had a great time hiking today. I found it very challenging going down. We’ve met friendly hikers on the way too.

tough one. really great but stuck in the clouds this time

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
5 days ago

Had an awesome day with incredible visibility! Still some snow hanging around; but easy enough to punch through with boots. This trail was a great intro to Arrowsmith!

hiking
rocky
scramble
9 days ago

Awesome trail, thought it's a little longer than expected, we recorded around 7.2 km. We did it with a medium sized dog and the last third on the way up/first third on the way down was about as hard as it could have been without us needing to carry the dog. There was one spot on the way down where we had to lift her down a small ledge! If your dog is nervous don't bring them unless you can carry them.

hiking
9 days ago

some small snow patches on June 28, 2020. I didn't need crampons, but the guy I talked too that went up the Main Gully said he wouldn't have made it without them and his axe. Judges route was fine with just boots. top third of this hike is quite steep and rocky, but you should be able to tell that by looking at it. bring water and an extra layer of warmth for the summit. Not for beginners.

hiking
rocky
16 days ago

hiking
rocky
scramble
17 days ago

Beautiful day. 4 small (<30m) snow drifts. Mostly trail, rock and a great day! :)

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
22 days ago

Well travelled trail, so easy enough to grind through to the summit without much orienteering. There are still some snow chutes, but these can be bypassed if you don't mind some low 4th class scrambling.

hiking
icy
1 month ago

STEEP! This trail will make you appreciate switch backs, as it has none Also, winter conditions once you break through the tree line, I wouldn't attempt this without crampons and an axe until late June.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

hiking
snow
3 months ago

While still driving on the logging road, about 10min to trail head we hit about a foot of fresh snow (which we expected) Beautiful trail in the snow but do not attempt without crampons at a minimum. Way too much snow to hike normally, without being pretty unsafe. The way up may be doable but way down would be very slippery and dangerous with that sort of incline. Writing this review as more of an update for the weather conditions up there at the present time.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
3 months ago

Great views at the top! Whoever said you don’t need special gear to do this hike this time of year (March 21st) led us astray. Higher elevations in the trees was very icy even off the trail. Nearing the top there was 4-5 feet of snow and steep inclines. Having read the previous review that said no crampons or anything was necessary we had to turn back with 200m to the summit. We brought only poles and hiking boots. 6 or 7 people we met on the trail with crampons and picks told us it got pretty hairy near the top and it would be sketchy without gear so we got as high as we could and stopped. Looking forward to coming back when there is less snow or with proper gear. Overall a beautiful view of surrounding mountains and a great hike. The trail itself can be tough to follow since it is not well tracked-out and there is orange/blue flagging tape for the trail and also orange tape for the forestry operations - we had to give a couple a ride a kilometre back up the forestry road to their car as we were leaving.

hiking
icy
scramble
snow
3 months ago

Great hike. Challenging conditions with the snow on March 15th, 2020, but we made it to the top without crampons or ice pick with both of our dogs. With that said, we are both late 20’s and avid hikers, and we definitely had to help our larger dog up the last few scrambles. Stunning view from the top on a blue bird day. I can’t speak to the conditions with no snow, but the incline was relentless and sustained to the summit. Loved seeing the transition out of the coastal western hemlock ecosystem zone into the mountain hemlock zone. Such diversity in tree species as you gain elevation. Keep your eye out for the point where western hemlock, red cedar, and amabilis fir, transition into mountain hemlock, yellow cedar, and subalpine fir!

hiking
4 months ago

March 1 made it half way up with just crampons. At least an ice axe would be needed for the remaining.

First time hiking up Arrowsmith in many years and the first ever on the Judges Route. This is a definite grind as the incline rarely relents on the way up. However the views at the top are totally worth it. It took us just under 2 hours to the summit and about an hour getting back down. There is no snow and a minimal amount of ice and frost heave near the summit.

hiking
8 months ago

What a view!!! I loved every bit of this trail! We did the hike last Saturday, 2nd Nov. Some snow & ice, bit nothing to worry about I do understand, though, why this is considered hard. One of the couples we met on our way up did not make it in time and had to return. We are usually fast hikers. It took us 2 hrs up (including some short breaks for chats with the only 5 other people we met) and about an hour down (running bits when not too steep). The scramble to the top is a bit tricky, especially coming down. Once at the top, it is breathtaking (well sometimes even going up, maybe ;-) )

hiking
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

Awesome trail! We were with 5 people aged around 22 and it took us 2.5 hours to go up and 2 hours to go down. Near the top it is very steep and you have to climb using both your hands and feet, the trail was a bit lost here as you just need to figure out a way to get up. Some icy and snowy parts. Beautiful views at the top.

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