Chinese Mountains Trail
Chinese Mountains, south peak, is the most popular trail on Quadra for hikers to climb for a good view of Quadra’s south end, Rebecca Spit, Campbell River, and the islands to the east and south of Quadra.
To hike the Chinese Mountains Trail and the Beeches Mountain Trail you drive north from Heriot Bay for about five Kilometers. Go past the Walcan Road on the left then past the fish hatchery on your right, and about 100 meters past the fish hatchery you turn left at the trails signpost and drive up the small dirt road for about .5km to the car-park at the start of the Chinese and Beeches Mountains trails.
Turn off the main road at this signpost to access Beeches and Chinese Mountains trails.
The Chinese Mountains Trail begins at the car-park as does the Beeches Mountain Trail. It is handy to Heriot Bay and although it is a steep climb up to the south summit, it is over quickly, it takes about 40 minutes for the average hiker to hike up onto the south summit plateau.
After climbing for 10-15 minutes you will come to this signpost on the trail. Take the left fork to the south Chinese Mountain, for the best view. The north peak view is good too, but not quite as good as the south peak, which is slightly higher than the north peak.
Once you have climbed up onto the plateau on the south peak trail, you follow the trail along the plateau right to its end. Enjoy this great view. Its GPS fix is: N 50° 8.516′, W 125°15.769′ Its elevation is 1074 ft.
On top of South Chinese Mountain, looking out over Hyacinth Bay, Rebecca Spit, the neighbouring islands, and Quadra’s south end.
As you return from the South Chinese Mountain Viewpoint you will pass the signpost shown in the photo below.
This signpost points the way down to the Beeches Mountain Trail, and back to the car-park and your car via a loop. Note the three generations of trails signs on the posts. The top signs are small and were placed there about 25 years ago. The brown signs went up about 20 years ago, and the new post in the foreground has recently been placed there to hold a new set of signs.
From this signpost down to the Beeches Mountain trail takes about 15 minutes, and from there it’s another 25 minutes back down to your car.
A minute or so northwest from this signpost, along the Beeches Mountain Trail option, you will come to an open knob where you will have a view of Morte Lake, Seymour Narrows, and Vancouver Island. This viewpoint is at: N 50 º 8.553′ W 125º 15.884′
Below: The view south from Chinese Mountains North peak, at: N 50° 8.715′, W 125° 15.645′, elevation 1050 ft.
Beeches Mountain Trail
This trail takes you from the car-park up a short trail to an old logging track, then up that for a short distance to where the trail becomes a hiking trail. It now curves around the mountainside and climbs steeply up for about 30 minutes to a signpost where a side-trail links you onto the Chinese Mountains Trail via the south peak of Chinese Mountains.
This signpost is at: N50º 08.641′, W 125º 16.038′
Continue up past the signpost and you will climb through a series of open plateaus, one after another. After 30 minutes you will come to an open plateau giving superb views, where a huge rock sits alone on the open basalt knob which is the first summit of Beeches, also called the ‘false’ summit. The huge boulder was left there by the receding ice sheet about 11,000 years ago, when the west coast of BC was under a one-kilometer-deep sheet of ice. If you look carefully along such exposed areas of basalt you can see groves about six inches to a foot wide, where the ice sheet dragged a rock under much pressure underneath it, so that the rock wore a deep grove into the bedrock. These smooth rounded groves are known as ‘striations’.
Here above is the big rock on the first summit of Beeches Mountain, at: 50º 8.961′, W 125º 16.438′ elevation: 1500 feet.
Above is looking northeast from Beeches Mountain’s first summit, at 1500 feet.
From the first summit there is a trail sign indicating the direction to go to the true summit of Beeches Mountain. Below is the trail sign at the first summit of Beeches Mountain
Follow the trail for about eight minutes across an easy plateau and through a tiny saddle and you will come to Beeches Mountain’s True summit, at: N 50º 8.996′ W 125º 16. 562’; elevation 1550 feet. The view here is good of the Campbell River area and Vancouver Island’s mountains.