Mount Fromme is one of those mountains that although it’s obvious on the Vancouver skyline, it seems to get overlooked in favour of it’s famous neighbours like Grouse Mountain. I asked my Canadian colleagues, and most of them have never heard of it. Still, not being famous, doesn’t mean you should ignore this peak; The lack of popularity can be an advantage, as it means you might have a relaxing walk without too much of a crowd.
Just be aware, if you stop at the top, there isn’t much of a viewpoint BUT if you keep walking for a few extra minutes *after* the peak, the trees open out to a wonderful vista of Mount Burwell with Mount Garibaldi in the distance.
I actually attempted this hike twice last June, and then completely forgot to write about it, so this is a very late trail report!
Mount Fromme trail map
Mount Fromme – the basics
Elevation Gain: 825m
High Point: 1185m
Time: 4-5 hours
What to bring:
Water, snacks and your camera!
The 10 essentials.
Facilities: There are bike trails at the start of the walk, but no loos or facilities.
How hard is it?
Intermediate – It’s a good workout, but not technical.
Mount Fromme – Getting started
You can take a bus, (Number 230 from Lonsdale Quay, get off at St George’s Avenue and hike up to the end of the avenue.) Or drive to the top of St. Georges Avenue to find parking on the street. Head towards the forest and you’ll soon reach a powerline trail that is often covered in foxgloves.
I know have a very uncool sense of humour (I love dad jokes!) but the second part of this sign made me smile. “Attention Dogs: Grr, bark, woof.”
St. Georges Trail
Turn left off the Powerline trail and follow a wide path to the next junction where you start on the St Georges trail. As soon as you reach this point, the path is narrow, covered in roots and really pleasant.
You basically keep following the St Georges trail right up until you reach the Grouse Mountain Highway. So enjoy the forest and keep climbing steadily up. It’s far wilder than the Grouse Grind, and doesn’t have the difficult baby-head-sized boulders that you have to contend with on Lynn Peak.
I did this walk on my own, so took it slowly and spent plenty of time looking for mushrooms and flowers. Did you know if you lick the dew-like droplets, they are supposed to be really tasty? I still didn’t get the courage to try it, but I sort of want to! I learned that during our mushroom foraging tour nearby in the Lynn Valley.
One thing I really enjoyed about hiking solo was not scaring off all the birds! In June, there were quite a few woodpeckers being very active and making a racket as they pecked the trees. I think the first little fella is a Downy Woodpecker (I saw him during this hike.)
The other one is a Pileated Woodpecker. I did see one on Mount Fromme, but I was too slow to get a photo. This photo is from the previous week in Stanley Park.
The Faces of Mount Fromme
The other thing I loved about this path was all the smiley tree faces. I spotted at least 3 of the log faces as well as this giant trunk with eyes.
Peer Gynt trail
Once you’ve found the Grouse Mountain Highway (which for the record is no highway! It’s a rocky track wide enough for a car.) you turn off onto the Peer Gynt trail for move lovely trees and even a giant patch of skunk cabbages. This must be pretty in spring when they flower.
The path is pretty obvious. If you are unsure, just keep a lookout for orange markers on the trees.
At one point there you can see plenty of light to your left. If you go to investigate, you can look down on a gravel pit. This is at 830m elevation, so it means you only have 2km (ish) and 350m more elevation to ascend.
Mount Fromme Summit
I’m not going to lie, the summit of Mount Fromme is a bit of a let-down in terms of views. The highest point has trees in all directions and there are no views down to Vancouver.
Mount Fromme Viewpoint
However, if you keep going for a few extra minutes beyond the peak, there is a viewpoint with really fantastic views of the North Shore Mountains. I had met a hiker on their way down who told me there were no views at all, and I have never heard people describe Mount Fromme as a ‘must-do’ hike, so I have to admit I was not expecting much from this view.
How could anyone be unimpressed with this view!? I thought it was perfect! I love the way the trees frame Mount Burwell, Coliseum Mountain and the Needles (the three spiky mountains to the right). It might even be the best viewpoint for the needles I’ve seen so far!
I could easily see as far as the Mountains of Garibaldi Provincial Park, even the Black Tusk over in Whistler!
This is a closer view of Mount Burwell. I was really keen to explore it, but needed to wait for more snow to melt. You can read about our day on Mount Burwell here. It was the most challenging (and exciting) day of 2019 for me.
Returning from Mount Fromme
There are a few ways to return from Mount Fromme. There is an overgrown path that will take you on a loop via Thunderbird Ridge to Dam Mountain and Grouse Mountain. Or you could go down the Mount Fromme Trail and Grouse Mountain Highway. I decided to keep it simple, and returned the way I came, enjoying all the wild flowers along the route.
What do you think of Mount Fromme? I had more fun than I expected to. There were only a couple of other people on the trail, so I actually loved how quiet and relaxing it was. I even enjoyed it more than it’s super-famous sister, Grouse Mountain. Would you like the idea of climbing a quiet, less developed version of the Grind? If so, you might like this too.
Click on the photos below to pin them.