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BC Coast :: Sea to Sky :: Mt. Harvey

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Classic View of Howe Sound Crest between Lions and Unnecessary Mountain from south end of Harvey Ridge

Trip Summary

October 8, 2012

Of all trails radiating from Lions Bay, Mt. Harvey is personal favorite. It is less busy than Binkert (Lions) Trail and offers longest time above treeline. Steep slog through forest is still unavoidable, but final hour is superb ridgewalk with some of best possible views of Howe Sound. Parties ascend Harvey in winter conditions; but steepness of final slope leading to summit might require an ice-axe and elevates the trip to mountaineering level. In most years by 2nd half of May the snow has melted enough to provide just an easy rock scramble.

From standard parking at Lions Bay follow logging road keeping right at marked Brunswick/Lions junction in about 40 minutes.  Harvey trail branches off on the left side just before crossing of Alberta creek ~15 min from there.  Ascend steep forested slopes passing Howe Sound viewpoint around 1000m elevation (great spot for the break).  At start of south ridge turn left and follow flags through sub-alpine and open ridge to the summit.


Howe Sound Viewpoint ~1000m elevation
South end of Harvey ridge ~1300m elevation
Approaching final summit block of Mt. Harvey
Most rugged part of Howe Sound Crest Trail (HSCT) between Lions to Harvey Pass from the summit
Howe SunsetHowe SunsetSunset over Howe Sound from viewpoint on Mt. Harvey trail Howe Sound Sunset on descent



Overall Difficulty D5 Steep trail that gains close to 1400 vertical in just over 6 km. Final summit block is an easy class 2 scramble in dry conditions
Snow Factor S4 Frequently done as snowshoe trip. Steep and exposed summit block. Check avalanche conditions.
Scenery Exceptional Howe Sound panorama. Surprise Lions viewpoint at start of Harvey Ridge is among the best in Lower Mainland
Trail/Marking Good Well defined and marked till upper ridge. Minor sections with roots and deadfall
Suggested Time 7-8 hr 3.5 - 4 hours one way, with faster descent. Allow at least 1 hour for breaks and scenery on upper ridge
Elevation Start: 220m     Max: 1640m     Total: ~1400m Round Trip: 13km
Gear Hiking Poles are essential. In late spring hard snow in steep parts might require traction (icers or crampons). In winter conditions ice-axe is essential for final part of the ridge before the summit..
Water Alberta Creek running parallel (south) to Harvey Trail. Access is difficult past split off Binkert Trail.  Carry 3 L minimum
Dog Friendly Yes No on-leash restrictions. Final part of the ridge might prove challenging