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.
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.
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.
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.