Alouette Mountain – Golden Ears

Alouette Mountain – Golden Ears

Alouette Mountain is one of those mountains that I have been meaning to explore for a while. I knew most of the 20km trail is within forest, so I thought of it as a Shinrin yoku or forest bathing hike. However that description did not quite prepare me for how fabulous and expansive the views are once you reach the peak! Alouette Mountain is a challenging hike with 1360m+ elevation gain. But it never gets super steep, so it is actually pleasant and not as tough as I was expecting.

Once you’re at the top, if you sit in the right spot, you can peek between Blanchard Peak and Evans Peak to see the summit of Golden Ears.

Alouette Mountain Map

Alouette Mountain – the basics

Distance: 20.1 km 
Elevation Gain: 
1188 m
High Point: 
1361 m
Time: 7–8 hours
What to bring:
Water, snacks and your camera!
The 10 essentials.
There is loo by the trailhead at Mike Lake
Dogs are allowed off leash as long as you keep them under control.
How hard is it?
Moderate to hard. The trail is not technically difficult, but it is long so can be a bit of a challenge if you’re not used to 20km and 1000+m in elevation gain.

Alouette Mountain – Getting started

There are a couple of places you can start, all along Mike Lake Road in Golden Ears Provincial Park. We parked at Mike Lake and started by heading up the Incline trail.

I did this hike with the lovely Lisa from West Coast Hiker Girl in October. The weather forecast predicted some rain, but instead, we just hiked up through some mist.

The Ghost Stump

About 3.5km, there’s a pretty fabulous scary stump. It would make a pretty good squirrel jail.

Stephen Canning Memorial Lookout

4km along the trail, you’ll reach a picnic bench by a pretty viewpoint. This is named after a local climber, Stephen Canning who died while descending from Canada’s highest mountain – Mount Logan in the Yukon. It’s a gorgeous spot to commemorate his love of mountains.

Alouette Mountain – How steep is it?

If you are looking for a workout, Alouette Mountain is such a fab option. There are a couple of flat-ish sections (like between the ghost stump and the lookout) but other than that, it is a pretty constant climb.

How good are the trails?

Parts of the trail follows along a fire access road, which is wide and easy to hike along. There is a bit of a contrast to the other sections of the trail which are steeper and rootier. I liked the wild, rooty parts of the hike best. There are some fantastic giant trees along the way.

Dragonfly close up

We found a dragonfly that had died, balanced on ferns. I’d normally not be able to get close enough to take this kind of photo, so it was cool to see her delicate wings were wet with dew.

Choose your route

The middle section of the trail actually has two options. We took the Fire Access trail (shown on the map above) on the way up. On the way back we took the Alouette Mountain trail instead. The turn off is 13.5km into the hike. This mini loop allows you to vary your scenery and will take you past some incredible old growth trees and a teeny lake.

Fabulous mushrooms

Does anyone else love autumn hikes!? It may be soggy and cold, but there are no bugs. Plus interesting mushrooms start to take the place of the wildflowers you’d see in the summertime.

Perfect for Shinrin yoku (森林浴)

Have you ever heard of forest bathing or shinrin yoku? The idea is for you to enjoy spending time in the forest, soaking up the relaxing atmosphere. Most of the hike up Alouette Mountain is within forest, so it is ideal for this.

About 8km into the hike, the trail flattens (near some ponds.) After that you’ll hike up a rockface for the final push to the summit. We started to see patches of blue sky at this point, so we hoped reeeally hard for views.

Blanchard Peak

This trail may mostly be in the forest, but the views are magnificent once you reach the rocky area above the trees! I was delighted to see Blanchard Needle (also known as Blanchard Needle) popping out of the clouds. When I first saw that peak from Evans Peak, I called it “sharks fin.” It looks even more fin-like from Alouette Mountain!

Alouette Mountain Views

Lisa and I were so happy to stop and rest with these views while we ate lunch. Blanchard Peak links up to Edge Peak, which then curls around to Golden Ears. It was pretty cool to watch out for glimpses of Golden Ears through as the mist wafted over us.

Evans Peak vs Alouette Mountain

We had a great view down to Evans Peak (the dark peak in the bottom right of my photo below). Although the hike to Evans Peak is shorter and has less elevation gain than Alouette Mountain; I found it harder. I guess it is because that trail is so steep and relentless. I remember finishing Evans Peak with complete jelly-legs. The trail to Alouette Mountain is more relaxing in comparison.

I’ll leave one more photo of Blanchard Peak once it emerged from the mist. The views up there must be stupendous, but I don’t think I’m close to that level of climbing!

This is the view west towards the Pitt-Addington Marshes.

If you do decide to try this hike in the autumn, bring plenty of layers! By the time we’d finished lunch we were both a little chilly, and mist had left a pretty layer of dew on the shrubs.

Heading back

The route down Alouette Mountain is basically the same as the way up (with the exception of the optional loop via Lake Beautiful…) So just follow the trail slowly back down the mountain.

Panoramas from Alouette Mountain

I always seem to have a few panoramas to add at the end of my trail reports. The views from Alouette Mountain look even better in person, but you can get the idea from these.

Do you like the look of this adventure up Alouette Mountain? It’s great for the end of the hiking season when your legs are strong-ish. Or if you fancy other shorter hikes near Golden Ears, have a look at Evans Peak or Golden Ears Canyon Loop.

37 thoughts on “Alouette Mountain – Golden Ears

  1. Wow, this hike looks amazing! I’ve only been to Golden Ears Provincial Park once and I haven’t hiked Alouette Mountain yet. I also love the name ‘shark’s fin’ for Blanchard Needle, haha it looks exactly like that! I’m always a little skeptical of my abilities when it comes to doing a mountain hike right up to the top but this one sounds doable since it’s a steady incline and not so steep. Although I may have to work my way up to 20km first haha

    1. Golden Ears is gorgeous isn’t it!! Did you camp there, or go on one of the fabulous hikes?

      It doesn’t take too long to work up to 20km. If you hike fairly regularly I bet you could manage it. 🙂

  2. Wow! What a great day you had for this hike – the sunlight through the mist and the clouds are stunning! I want to do it again to erase some of the ghosts of our first visit on a stifling hot day with virtually no shade at the top and nowhere to cool off our overheated feet. But yeah, the view at the top is superb…

    1. Thanks Andy! I always see lots of people do this hike in the spring/snow…but then I hardly ever hear about it after that. I guess it would be tough on a hot day at the top (although the shade in the forest would be welcome!)

      It sounds like visiting in autumn worked out in our favour.

  3. If I had time to do the 20km I would love to do this hike. Especially with my dog, and love that they can be off leash too!

    1. We did see some very happy dogs near the bottom on the incline trail. 😀
      (after that, we didn’t see any one higher up the mountain at all!!)

  4. This looks like a super scenic hike through the forest. I love your misty pictures near the start of the trail. That ghost stump gave me a good laugh. I’ve never heard of forest bathing, but it sounds like something that I would enjoy!

    1. When I first heard of it, I assumed they meant like sun bathing with dappled light through the trees… But after speaking to Japanese hiking friends; It’s more about soaking up nature and enjoying the feeling of being outside in the forest.

      After reading your trip descriptions, I have a feeling you do it already, without a word for it.

  5. Such a beautiful place and I love the idea of doing this hike during the autumn. The colour of some of the trees looks amazing! My dog would certainly love the idea of a long off-lead walk here 🙂

  6. I would love to this hike! Also love that it is dog friendly off leash, I bring my pup hiking whenever I can!

    1. Yay for hiking with dogs. I think this would be a good trail for dogs that are used to hiking longer distances. Otherwise they might get a bit exhausted on the way back…

  7. Lakes, trees, mountains, wonderful views! What else could you possibly need? Looks like a fabulous hike. You live in such a great part of the world. Great photos as always.

  8. The views on this hike are gorgeous. I’m not a seasoned hiker so glad you offered some options for some easier trails

  9. What an incredible hike! I think I’d find this one pretty challenging, but those views look incredible! I love the concept of Shinrin yoku – I feel so at home in the forest so this totally resonates with me! What a beautiful idea!

    1. Thanks Hannah. Yeah, it’s one of those concepts that as soon as I heard of it, I was like, yep, lots of people would love that!

  10. Love the atmosphere on the pics, how would it be in reality? Would love to experience that myself. The entire hike would be a bit too much for me. But I’m sure there are some other shorter trails for beginners as I am, aren’t there? 😀

    1. It was a big’un… although if you stayed in BC for a while I bet you could manage it. You just need to work up to this kind of bigger walk.

  11. Just wow! Would love to hike at Alouette Mountain! The trail looks serene and the kids would LOVE to find that ghost stump (and they like looking for the ‘fancy’ mushrooms. Ha!). Your photos are gorgeous by the way! Will add it to our BC bucket list!

    1. Oooh, I have a feeling your kids would love hiking with us in the autumn, we find so many fancy mushrooms! 😀

  12. I haven’t heard of this mountain before, but the tail looks so beautiful to hike around. Adding it to my list!

  13. A stunning hike! Autumn would be a great time with those gorgeous colours. Blanchard Peak is an extremely photogenic lump of rock that’s for sure… Those panoramic shots deserve to be printed and framed!!

  14. This sounds like an amazing hike! And your photos are just gorgeous! Thanks for taking us along on your journey. I’d love to visit Golden Ears Provincial Park one day and try this hike!

  15. I always love a dog friendly trail so I can bring my adventure pal, Ole. This looks like a truly incredible hike. I love the sunlight pouring through the trees and how wet everything looks. So green and beautiful!

  16. I love the views of the peaks and all the varied terrain. I’d definitely be on the lookout for all the fungi and mushrooms.

  17. These are some of my favorite photos of yours to date, Josy! The mist through the trees has such a magical effect. Thanks for sharing this gorgeous hike!

    1. Thanks Susan.
      I guess we got lucky with how the clouds and mist hugged the mountains. It was a cold day to be out, but so worth the effort!

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