Mount Daniel is a perfect introduction to hiking along the Sunshine Coast. We had fun on our hike to Triangle Lake the previous day, but this walk up Mount Daniel was even more impressive considering the effort to view-payoff. It took us a single hour to reach the summit, but we had to stay there for a while absorbing the beautiful view and pink skies.
This trail is listed in the 105 Hikes In and Around Southwestern British Columbia book (you can read my review of 105 Hikes here.) It is the kind of walk I expect from the 105 Hikes book. It was pretty steep and leads to some truly fantastic views. We did this walk on the November Bank holiday, so we didn’t have the trail to ourselves. Still, it was pretty quiet compared to hikes that are closer to Vancouver.
Mount Daniel Trail – the basics
Distance: 4.5 km (there and back)
Elevation gain: 380m
Highest Point: 450m
Time: 2 hours
Just a car park and a map at the base of the trail.
What to Bring:
The ten essentials and a camera if you like gorgeous views.
It’s fantastic for dogs but they need to stay on a lead.
How hard is it?
Moderate because it gets very steep BUT it’s a short hike, so anyone can manage it if they take it slowly.
Mount Daniel Trail Map
The Sunshine Coast – Where to stay
You could probably hike up Mount Daniel as a day hike from Vancouver, but you’d have to leave really early, and risk not getting a spot on one of the later ferries to make it home again. We decided to stay the night at Pender Harbour Resort & Marina. We stayed in one of the cabins overlooking the marina. It was just perfect, and not too pricey (although I have a feeling it’d cost quite a bit more in the peak holiday season…)
My photos for this hike look a little strange as in November, the sun doesn’t seem to rise very high along the Sunshine Coast. This photo of the Marina was just before 11am, but the sun looked like it had only just risen. Our time on the Sunshine Coast felt like an extended golden hour.
View of Mount Daniel
There are not many mountains along this part of the coast, so we had a good view of Mount Daniel across the various lakes we needed to drive past to reach the trail head. If you are considering visiting the Sunshine coast, and you’re not into hiking, I think it would be fun to just drive around exploring the various lakes. The photo below is of Mount Daniel from Hotel Lake. The second Lake view, is slightly further along the road, on Garden Bay Lake.
Mount Daniel – getting started
It’s pretty easy to find the Mount Daniel Trailhead on Garden Bay Road (just off the Sunshine Coast Highway.) It is listed on google maps as Mount Daniel Peak Trailhead. There is a car park and a map board at the start of the trail, so it is hard to miss. Once you get started, the trail up the mountain does have some very steep moments. Get ready for a mini workout!
Mount Daniel Mushrooms
If you’ve been following this blog recently, you’ll know we have found a LOT of mushrooms recently. This walk was not quite as mushroom-filled as our adventure to Triangle Lake the previous day. Still we found some really interesting fungi here too. I’ll only include a few photos, as I have probably added too many ‘shrooms to my blog recently!!
Mount Daniel Peak views
We hiked up quite quickly and got our hearts pumping, so it was fantastic when we emerged from the trees to see this lovely view.
Once we made it to the top, I looked at maps to work out the names of some of the islands. It turned out we were really close to Hornby Island (we visited there during the summer.) The large Island in the distance (out in the Strait of Georgia) is Texada Island… Then if we could see over the hills, Hornby Island is hiding behind it.
We arrived at the top for lunchtime, but the light was just so eerie and pretty. It looks like sunset, even though it was the middle of the day!
Sunset photos at lunchtime
Aren’t these views lovely!? It’s well worth an hours hike to reach these views. Now the sun wasn’t actually setting for another couple of hours, but it really did look a bit like a sunset, even before 2pm.
I really loved these views from the Sunshine Coast. The walks we found here may have been easy, but they are really good fun.
I am sure we’ll come back to this beautiful area. Would you like it too?