Incredible views of the town of Hope and the Coquihalla and Skagit Valleys from the summit. A variety of terrain and multiple alpine ponds offer a unique hike.
||10.0 km (return)
||Linear - Return
Follow Highway #3 East from Hope. Soon after the Coquihalla Highway interchange, turn right onto the Hope Mountain forest service road across from the Nicolum River provincial campsite.
The road has some steep sections and a bridge out at 5.1 km that requires a capable 4x4 vehicle. After the washout the road is in rough shape, with significant amounts of alder growing in on either side. Ignore all side roads until approximately the 8.0 km mark, where a sign for the trailhead indicates that you should travel straight instead of following the main road up a steep hill to the left.
It is a short 500m from junction to the parking area at the trailheads for both Hope Mountain and Wells Peak.
Starting at parking area, locate the flagged trailhead on the right. Descending slightly into a small valley, the trail passes through a large number of blueberry bushes and the occasional set of log "swamp steps". Since there is a resident population of black bears in the area, it is advisable to use caution in the late summer when the blueberries are ripe.
Off in the distance, a seasonal waterfall at the base of Wells Peak roars as it descends down into the bowl valley. After crossing a pleasant creek on a small plank bridge, the trail begins to climb up the west ridge of the valley. Climbing at a steady pace, the trail gradually switchbacks up the dry ridge. Generally speaking, the trail only seems informal maintenance and it should be expected that this portion of the trail may have some dense overgrowth.
Near the top of the ridge, the trail reaches a "T" junction at what remains of an ancient logging road. Turning left (south) here and bushwacking through the sea of slide alder will eventually lead towards a faint trail leading up the south-west side of Wells Peak. To continue up Hope Mountain, turn right and follow the trail past a couple switchbacks before finally cresting the top of the ridge. Here, two viewpoint benches offer fantastic views of Wells Peak, Hope Mountain, and Kawkawa Lake.
Continuing straight over the ridge, descend down through overgrown blueberry bushes to an old logging road. Turn left on the road, and follow it as it heads west. Watch for a cairn on the left 600 meters later, marking the location where the trail leaves the old road. It's very easy to miss the trail - if you reach the end of the road at a talus slope, you've gone too far.
* Turn left and follow roughly parallel to the logging road slightly above it.
* Trail at this point has small fir/hemlock trees (10 feet high). Lots of grasses, etc. Blueberries too.
* Trail eventually enters forest, heading slightly to the South and crossing a Talus slope. Moderate grade.
* Soon after talus slope trail reaches an open, rocky hill with views of Skagit Valley and Wells Peak. Rocky hill is treed but feels much more open, *almost* subalpine (but not yet)
* Trail turns right and goes up over mostly smooth rocky ground/rock hill until top then turns left and starts climbing very steeply West
* After steep section trail opens up into sub-alpine meadows and an excellent viewpoint of Silver Lake and Skagit Valley
* Trail climbs from viewpoint to a minor plateau with a pond
* Pond area offers great views all around and a view of final summit climb
* Soon after plateau need to traverse sideways across a rock wall/cliff with a slight overhang. An old rope is here, tattered and broken. Not too difficult, cliff isn't very scary
* Trail completes climb to summit. JUST before summit there is a very, very minor scramble, barely worth mentioning.
* Summit has 3 green towers, 2 external solar panels, 1 external huge battery, and a view of another green tower on a lower secondary peak (not too far away).
* Two ponds at summit area, views all around except for Silver Creek Village.
||10U 617522 5465263
|Wells Peak Trail Junction
||10U 617166 5465952
|Top of First Ridge (Bench)
||10U 616994 5465992
|Trail Leaves Old Road
||10U 616264 5466226
||10U 615732 5466562
|Plateau and Pond
||10U 615333 5467068
||10U 614927 5467277