Exploration: Hiking 50-40 Peak near Port Alberni

Last weekend my partner and I decided to change things up and leave the forests and head to the mountains instead. Joining a couple good friends, we settled on climbing 50-40 Peak (elevation: 5039 ft / 1536 m) about 45 minutes beyond Port Alberni on southern Vancouver Island. It turned out to be a incredibly beautiful and wild place to explore, with stunning views of the nearby mountains like Triple Peak, Cats Ear, and Pogo Mountain. On day 1, with temps in the mid 30’s, we hiked the steep trail from the logging road up through young forest and into old-growth, before reaching the stunning Cobalt Lake after about 1.5hrs. There’s no better sight to see than those cool, crystal blue waters after a hot climb like that! We swam, cooked dinner, swatted mosquitoes, watched the sunset, and camped over night alongside the lake. The following morning we woke up early to see a beautiful sunrise washing the spires of Triple Peak in a pinkish-red colour while clouds flowed through the valley below. After asking a big black bear to please head the other direction as it wandered down the valley towards our camp, we ate breakfast and hiked the last 1.5 hours to the summit. The views from here were some of the most breathtaking panoramas I’ve ever seen on the island! If you’re looking for a highly rewarding day hike or over overnight camp, I’d definitely recommend this trail. Though it doesn't take too long, it does get quite steep in sections so hiking experience and a good level of fitness is recommended. A 4x4 vehicle with good clearance is also necessary to access the trailhead to Cobal Lake. For more detailed info on the the trails see: http://www.summitpost.org/50-40-peak/558245 Below are some photos from our journey!