Mount Washington is a popular ski resort located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is situated in the Comox Valley, about a 30-minute drive from the town of Courtenay. Mount Washington offers a variety of winter sports activities, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tubing.
The resort has a base elevation of 3,281 feet (1,000 meters) and a summit elevation of 5,214 feet (1,589 meters), providing skiers and snowboarders with a vertical drop of over 1,500 feet (457 meters). Mount Washington also offers summer activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and scenic chairlift rides.
Mount Washington Travel Guide: A Brief History Of Mount Washington, BC
Rising on the eastern fringes of the Vancouver Island Ranges in British Columbia, Mount Washington reigns supreme as the majestic site of the Mount Washington Alpine Resort, a hub of winter sports and a myriad of other activities. Located approximately 25 km (16 mi) from the Comox Valley, this mountain was christened after Rear Admiral John Washington, official Hydrographer of the British Royal Navy, by Captain George Richards during his cartographic exploits along the West Coast in the 1860s.
Apart from skiing enthusiasts, Mount Washington beckons hikers, mountain bikers, and nature lovers to bask in its summer glory, flaunting an abundance of scenic chairlift rides and hiking trails to explore. However, the mountain’s allure doesn’t end there – it plays host to the Vancouver Island marmot, one of the planet’s most vulnerable mammals, found in the wild solely on Vancouver Island. This species of marmot differs significantly from others, and as part of an effort to boost its population, the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation has set up captive breeding facilities across Canada, with the Tony Barrett Marmot Recovery Centre located on Mount Washington being the largest.
Notably, the east face of Mount Washington accommodates transmitters for several broadcasting stations that face the Comox Valley and Campbell River, highlighting the mountain’s diverse and multifaceted character.
Mount Washington Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in British Columbia
Mount Washington is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The area offers a diverse range of attractions and places to visit, making it a must-see destination for anyone visiting British Columbia.
One of the top attractions on Mount Washington is the Mount Washington Alpine Resort. This ski resort offers a variety of winter sports activities, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tubing. It is also a popular destination for summer activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and scenic chairlift rides.
Located at the base of the mountain, Raven Lodge is another popular destination on Mount Washington. It is a hub for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking in the summer. The lodge offers a cozy atmosphere with a restaurant and lounge area for visitors to enjoy.
Strathcona Provincial Park is a stunning park located just a short drive from Mount Washington. It offers breathtaking views of mountains, lakes, and glaciers, and is a popular spot for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.
Another unique attraction on Mount Washington is the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Centre. Located on the mountain, this center is dedicated to the conservation of the endangered Vancouver Island marmot. Visitors can learn about the marmot and its conservation efforts and even get a glimpse of these adorable creatures.
The Comox Valley Farmers Market is a popular attraction held every Saturday during the summer. This market is a great place to explore local produce, crafts, and food, and is a must-visit destination for foodies.
Miracle Beach Provincial Park is another nearby destination that is a great spot for beachcombing, picnicking, and swimming in the summer. The park’s stunning beaches and scenic vistas are a must-see for any nature lover.
Finally, the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park is a historic lodge and park located in nearby Comox. Visitors can tour the lodge and explore the park’s gardens and trails, and learn about the area’s history and culture.
Overall, Mount Washington and the surrounding area offer a plethora of attractions and places to visit, making it a top destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors.
Top 10 Things To Do in Mount Washington, Canada For Visitors
Here are the top 10 things to do in Mount Washington, Vancouver Island:
- Skiing and Snowboarding: Mount Washington Alpine Resort is one of the premier ski resorts in North America, with over 1,700 acres of skiable terrain and a vertical drop of 1,657 feet.
- Snowshoeing: Take a snowshoeing tour of the mountain’s snowy trails and enjoy the stunning scenery of Vancouver Island.
- Cross-Country Skiing: Raven Lodge offers over 55 km of groomed cross-country skiing trails for all skill levels.
- Tubing: Try snow tubing at the resort’s Tube Park for a fun-filled activity for all ages.
- Scenic Chairlift Ride: Take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of the mountain for breathtaking views of the Comox Valley.
- Hiking: Mount Washington offers a variety of hiking trails for all skill levels, with stunning vistas and wildlife sightings along the way.
- Mountain Biking: In the summer months, the mountain’s trails transform into a mountain biker’s paradise, with over 80 km of downhill and cross-country trails to explore.
- Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Centre: Visit the recovery center on Mount Washington to learn about the conservation efforts to protect the endangered Vancouver Island Marmot.
- Strathcona Provincial Park: Take a short drive from Mount Washington to Strathcona Provincial Park, where you can explore the rugged wilderness, lakes, and glaciers.
- Comox Valley Farmers Market: On Saturdays during the summer, visit the Comox Valley Farmers Market to explore local produce, crafts, and food, and experience the vibrant community of Vancouver Island.
What To Eat and Drink at Restaurants in Mount Washington, Vancouver Island
Mount Washington Alpine Resort offers a variety of dining options for visitors to the mountain. The resort’s restaurants and cafes offer delicious cuisine, stunning views, and a cozy atmosphere.
One popular restaurant at Mount Washington is the Eagle View Bistro, which is located at the top of the mountain and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area. The menu features a variety of dishes, including salads, sandwiches, and hearty entrees.
For a more casual dining experience, the Ted’s Bar & Grill is a popular spot for après ski and offers pub-style food and drinks. The restaurant also features live music and events throughout the ski season.
Another option is the Alpine Cafe, which offers quick bites, coffee, and snacks. This cafe is perfect for a quick breakfast or lunch before hitting the slopes.
The Raven Lodge is another dining option on the mountain, offering a cozy atmosphere with a fireplace and comfortable seating. The lodge’s restaurant serves a variety of dishes, including hearty breakfasts and delicious dinners.
Overall, Mount Washington Alpine Resort offers a variety of dining options to suit every taste and budget, and visitors are sure to enjoy the delicious cuisine and stunning mountain views.
Tours For Visitors To Mount Washington, British Columbia
Mount Washington Alpine Resort offers a variety of tours for visitors to the mountain. These tours are a great way to explore the mountain and learn about its history and natural beauty.
One popular tour is the Snowcat Tour, which takes visitors on a guided tour of the mountain in a heated snowcat. The tour includes a stop at the mountain’s summit for stunning views of the surrounding area.
Another option is the Snowshoe Tour, which is a guided tour of the mountain’s snowy trails. This tour is a great way to experience the mountain’s natural beauty and wildlife.
For those interested in the mountain’s history and culture, the Mount Washington Museum and Nature Centre offers guided tours that explore the history and natural beauty of the mountain.
In the summer months, visitors can take a scenic chairlift ride to the top of the mountain for stunning views of the Comox Valley. The resort also offers guided hiking tours that explore the mountain’s trails and natural beauty.
Finally, for those interested in the conservation efforts to protect the endangered Vancouver Island Marmot, the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Centre offers guided tours of the facility and educational presentations about the conservation efforts.
Overall, Mount Washington Alpine Resort offers a variety of tours for visitors to the mountain, and these tours are a great way to explore the mountain and learn about its history, culture, and natural beauty.
Mount Washington Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels
Mount Washington Alpine Resort, located in British Columbia, Canada, offers a variety of accommodation options for visitors looking to stay on the mountain.
One popular option is the Bear and Deer Lodge, which offers affordable hotel-style rooms with easy access to the mountain’s amenities. These rooms feature comfortable beds, private bathrooms, free Wi-Fi, and parking. The lodge is just a short walk from the ski lifts and village center, making it a convenient choice for visitors.
The Alpine Village is another great option for those looking for a more luxurious experience. This village features a range of spacious townhomes and chalets, complete with full kitchens, fireplaces, and stunning mountain views. These accommodations are ideal for families or groups of friends looking for a home-away-from-home experience. The Alpine Village also features a range of amenities, including a hot tub and fitness center.
The Nordic Lodge is a ski-in/ski-out lodge that offers cozy hotel rooms and suites with access to the mountain’s slopes. The lodge also features a hot tub and sauna, perfect for relaxing after a day on the mountain. The Nordic Lodge is an excellent choice for those looking for a more intimate and peaceful experience.
For those who prefer a more independent style of accommodation, the mountain offers a range of condominium rentals, ranging from studios to multi-bedroom units. These condos offer all the comforts of home, with full kitchens and separate living areas. They are a great choice for those who prefer to cook their meals or have more space to relax.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort offers a range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and budget. Whether you’re looking for a cozy hotel room or a luxurious mountain chalet, you’ll find the perfect place to stay on the mountain.
Day Trips From Mount Washington, Vancouver Island
While Mount Washington Alpine Resort offers a range of activities and amenities, there are also many day trips and nearby attractions worth exploring during your visit to British Columbia.
One popular day trip is to the nearby town of Courtenay, which is approximately 30 minutes from Mount Washington. Courtenay is known for its vibrant arts scene, local shops, and restaurants. Visitors can explore the Courtenay Museum and Paleontology Centre, take a stroll through the Courtenay Riverway Heritage Walk, or enjoy a delicious meal at one of the town’s many eateries.
Another popular day trip is to the nearby Strathcona Provincial Park, which is located just a short drive from Mount Washington. This park offers a range of hiking trails, camping sites, and breathtaking scenery. Visitors can hike to Della Falls, the highest waterfall in Canada, or take a dip in one of the park’s many lakes and rivers.
For those interested in exploring local wineries, a day trip to the nearby Comox Valley is a great option. The valley is home to several award-winning wineries, including 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery and Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery. Visitors can take a tour of the vineyards and taste some of the valley’s best wines.
Other nearby day trip options include visiting the town of Campbell River, exploring the coastal town of Tofino, or taking a scenic drive along the Pacific Rim Highway.
Overall, there are many exciting day trips and nearby attractions worth exploring during your visit to Mount Washington and the surrounding area.
Mount Washington Transportation Guide
Getting to and around Mount Washington Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Canada, is easy with a variety of transportation options available.
If you’re arriving by air, the closest airport is Comox Valley Airport, which is located approximately 45 minutes from the mountain. From the airport, you can rent a car, take a taxi, or use one of the local shuttle services to get to Mount Washington.
If you’re driving to the mountain, there are several routes you can take depending on your starting point. The most common route is to take the Inland Island Highway (Highway 19) to the Comox Valley Parkway exit and follow the signs to Mount Washington. The drive takes approximately several hours from Victoria and many more from Vancouver.
Once you arrive at the mountain, there are several parking options available. The resort offers free parking in several lots, including the Alpine Lodge, Raven Lodge, and Nordic Lodge parking lots.
If you prefer not to drive, there are several shuttle services available that can transport you to and from the mountain. These services run from nearby towns and cities, including Courtenay, Campbell River, and Victoria. The resort also offers a free shuttle service that runs between the Alpine and Nordic lodges.
During the winter season, the mountain operates a shuttle service that provides transportation between the parking lots and the ski lifts. This service is included with your lift ticket or season pass.
Overall, Mount Washington Alpine Resort offers a range of transportation options to help you get to and around the mountain, whether you prefer to drive, take a shuttle, or use the resort’s own transportation services.
Where To Visit After Your Trip To Mount Washington?
After visiting Mount Washington Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Canada, there are many other nearby destinations worth exploring.
One popular option is to visit the nearby town of Courtenay, which is located approximately 30 minutes from the mountain. Courtenay offers a range of cultural attractions, including the Courtenay Museum and Paleontology Centre and the Comox Valley Art Gallery. The town also has a vibrant shopping and dining scene, with many local boutiques and restaurants to explore.
Another nearby destination worth visiting is the town of Campbell River, which is located approximately an hour’s drive from Mount Washington. Campbell River is known for its incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, with many tour operators offering excursions to spot whales, grizzly bears, and bald eagles. The town is also home to the Museum at Campbell River, which offers exhibits on the history of the region.
For those looking to explore the great outdoors, there are many nearby parks and natural areas worth visiting. Strathcona Provincial Park is located just a short drive from Mount Washington and offers a range of hiking trails, camping sites, and breathtaking scenery. The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, located on Vancouver Island’s west coast, is also a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering stunning beaches, rugged coastlines, and old-growth rainforests.
Finally, if you’re looking to continue your skiing or snowboarding adventure, Whistler Blackcomb, one of the largest ski resorts in North America, is located approximately four hours from Mount Washington. Whistler offers a range of winter sports activities, including skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.
In addition to the destinations mentioned earlier, there are several other nearby towns and villages worth exploring after your trip to Mount Washington.
Gold River is a small town not far from Mount Washington. The town is known for its scenic beauty, with many hiking trails and waterfalls to explore. Visitors can also enjoy fishing and boating in the nearby waters.
Tahsis is another small town located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The town is known for its fishing and wildlife viewing opportunities, with many tour operators offering excursions to spot whales, sea lions, and other marine life.
Port Hardy is a larger town located on the northern tip of Vancouver Island. The town is known for its stunning coastal scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities, including grizzly bears and bald eagles. Visitors can also explore the nearby Cape Scott Provincial Park, which offers miles of rugged coastline and old-growth forests.
Alert Bay is a small village located on Cormorant Island. The village is known for its rich Indigenous culture, with many totem poles and longhouses to explore. Visitors can also take a ferry to nearby Hanson Island to view the famous Orca Lab, a research center dedicated to studying wild orcas in their natural habitat.
Sointula is another small village located on Malcolm Island. The village was founded by Finnish settlers in the early 1900s and has a rich cultural history. Visitors can explore the local museum and art galleries or take a walk along the beach to enjoy the stunning views.
Overall, there are many exciting destinations to explore after your trip to Mount Washington, from cultural attractions and outdoor adventures to nearby towns and national parks.
Mount Washington Travel Guide: Final Thoughts
Mount Washington on Vancouver Island, BC, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities all year round. From skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and mountain biking in the summer, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The area is also home to several rare and endangered species, such as the Vancouver Island marmot, which can be observed in their natural habitat.
Visitors to Mount Washington can take advantage of a variety of accommodations, dining options, and transportation services in the nearby towns and villages. Gold River, Tahsis, Port Hardy, Alert Bay, and Sointula are all worth exploring for their unique cultural and natural attractions.
Overall, a trip to Mount Washington offers the opportunity to experience the beauty and adventure of Vancouver Island, BC, and create unforgettable memories in the great outdoors.
In the heart of Vancouver Island, There’s a mountain that stands tall, With its snowy peaks and lush forests, It’s a wonder to behold.
Mount Washington is its name, A haven for the adventurer’s soul, With skiing, snowboarding, and hiking, There’s never a dull moment to behold.
In winter, the mountain is alive, With snowflakes dancing in the air, And skiers carving down the slopes, Their laughter ringing everywhere.
But when summer comes to call, The mountain takes on a different hue, With mountain biking, hiking, and more, There’s so much to see and do.
And amidst the beauty of the mountain, Lies a sanctuary of rare delight, The Vancouver Island marmot’s home, A treasure worth preserving with all our might.
So come, travelers, to Mount Washington, Let your spirit soar and your heart sing, For in this majestic mountain, You’ll find adventure, wonder, and everything.