— Submitted by Matthew Lettington — Read the full report on his blog

Queen Peak (Sutton Range) sits well off the highway, easily accessed via the Seward Junction. The name of the peak often creates confusion with another Vancouver Island feature commonly referred to as Queen’s Face, part of the King’s Peak hike in Strathcona Park. Queen Peak offers a steep approach through logging slash and first-growth forest to reach a long low alpine ridge that leads to its summit, which provides one of the best views of Victoria and Warden Peaks.

Queen Peak Vancouver Island, Hiking Lettington
The view of the valley below

Anticipating a long drive from Nanaimo, our plan of attack included camping at the trailhead to give an early morning start. We left Nanaimo well after dark as I needed to tuck Hemingway into bed first. The four of us rendezvoused at Phil’s house before hitting the long road to Seward Junction. Our beta provided good directions to the trailhead. Though the road is in reasonable condition, we encountered several cross-ditches at the upper elevations. Twice the passengers vacated the car to give enough clearance to get through the ditches and up the steep sections of hill. Once, they even pushed so I could get enough power to get up the hill; damned standards! All told, the drive took about four hours, including the long (more than 40 kilometres) logging road. It may have been faster had we travelled in daylight; the drive includes multiple turns on logging roads, and a few times we nearly took incorrect spurs.

Queen Peak Vancouver Island, Hiking Lettington
A late setup by car-lamp and an evening beverage before bed.
Queen Peak, Vancouver Island Map and GPS Route
Queen Peak GPS Route and Map with photographs

Total Horizontal Distance: 6 km
Starting Elevation: 700 m
Maximum Elevation: 1639 m
Elevation Gain: 972 m
Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

 High up on the logging road, at the start of our hiking route at 720 metres, we set up camp under clear skies. The stars shone bright, outlining the black silhouettes of the distant peaks. We shared a few beers before heading to bed. Though I slept well, I would be remiss in my friend-duties if I left out one detail: we camped near a trickling stream that created a significant amount of noise all night long. Though I didn’t have an issue, several of the hikers found sleep difficult, and made several trips to … water the forest.

–Read the full report on Matthew’s blog: Boring Art, Boring Life