Location: Bowen Island (map)
Description: Mount Gardner is a great medium difficulty, day hike on Bowen Island. The peak of Mount Gardner has two helicopter pads, which make excellent spots to sunbathe, eat, and enjoy the spectacular views of Vancouver to the east and the Sunshine Coast to the west. After the hike, it is nice enjoy the slower pace of island life in one of the restaurants or cafes in Snug Cove while waiting for the next ferry.
There are several trails criss-crossing Mount Gardner. We took Skid Trail to the peak and returned down the north trail. Skid Trail is a really nice hike, with lots of tree cover. The descent on the north side of the mountain followed a good hiking trail for the top half, but then joined an old, rocky access road which wasn’t nearly as fun to descend. Detailed trail descriptions are available here and here.
Hiking Time: 5 hours 30 minutes (return trip including breaks)
Ferry Terminal to Trail Head: 30 minutes
Trail Head to Peak (via Skid Trail): 2 hours
Peak to Trail Head (via north trail and the access road): 1 hour 30 minutes
We took the 257 express bus to Horseshoe Bay and then caught the 10:05 am ferry to Bowen Island, and the 4:15 pm sailing back (ferry schedule). There is also a direct water taxi from Granville Island – English Bay Launch – but I’m not sure how reliable the service is. The express bus lines up well with the BC Ferry and it is much cheaper then the private water taxis.
Cost: $13.35 per person ($4.10 for zone bus tickets + 9.35 for the ferry)
Pictures: Mount Gardner 2010
More pictures from hiking Mount Gardner on May 31, 2008: