CrownMountain
In 1910, it took Price Ellison almost two weeks of paddling, portaging, bushwhacking and clawing to reach the summit of Crown Mountain. But the view was worth it, and it convinced Ellison, then B.C.’s minister of lands, that the high mountains of central Vancouver Island should become the province’s first protected area. Strathcona Provincial Park was officially established in 1911, and there’s no better way to spend a day than to to bag Crown’s 6,057-foot summit. A centennial expedition battled bugs and the West Coast’s infamously dense bush to retrace Ellison’s footsteps from seashore to mountain top in 2010, but the rest of us can take an easier route, following logging roads on the north side. It’s still a tough, day-long slog to a tarn-side campsite perched on the north ridge, though. From there, a half-day scramble to the summit delivers a panorama that hasn’t changed in 100 years—a sea of peaks and forest blurring into the horizon in all directions.

For more info: BC Parks; Island Alpine, by Philip Stone.
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