Mt McDonald

Length: 80 minutes, 2.6 km return.
Ascent: 300 m
Technical Difficulty: 4/5. Steep enough that some sections have ropes to help you up.
Summary: Straight uphill from Humpback Road.

Map: Ooops, I deleted it, but it’s pretty obvious.

Description: Drive south along Humpback Road just Humpback Lake. Either park in the parking lot at the lake, or continue on for another 500 m. There are a few areas on the road where the shoulder is wide enough to park. The start of the trail is just to the right of the road where you can see a sign just inside the forest that says the area is closed.

The climb is steep and constant.

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Indian Pipe in the summer.  A peculiar saprophyte of myccorhyzal Russula.
Indian Pipe in the summer. A peculiar saprophyte of mycorrhyzal Russula.

Soon you leave the coniferous lower slopes and get into more open grassy and less crowded arbutus. A nice view of Mt Wells across the Humpback Valley presents itself.

Along the steeper sections, somebody kindly took a knotted rope to help up the steeper sections.

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At the top is a large tower and antenna and views of the Olympic Peninsula to the south.

beyond the Straight of Juan de Fuca to Olympic National Park
beyond the Straight of Juan de Fuca to Olympic National Park

And Mt Baker / San Juan Islands to the east.

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I’ve gone down the access road back along the south slopes of Mt McDonald, but this ends in private property. Alternatively, I believe it is possible to follow the access road back through the watershed, but you’d probably get a scolding if you were caught.

Victoria Cycle Paths for Cyclepaths