Brown Ridge, Saturna Island BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member arby101ca
N 48° 46.394 W 123° 10.208
10U E 487499 N 5402261
Quick Description: One of the best scenic hikes in the Gulf Islands is the Brown Ridge of Mt Warburton Pike on Saturna Island. The views along the ridge over the San Juan and Gulf Islands are spectacular. Most of the ridge trail is in the Gulf Islands National Park.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 5/28/2010 5:27:07 PM
Waymark Code: WM8XVC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member condor1
Views: 16

Long Description:
This scenic hike starts with a ferry trip from Vancouver Island, Swartz Bay terminal. The 9:00 am ferry is direct and arrives at 10:10. The ferry passes Moresby, Portland, Pender and Mayne Island to arrive at Saturna, Lyall Harbour.

You can take a vehicle and drive to the parking lot at the summit of Mt Warburton Pike. This gives you a hike of about 5 km round trip alone the top of the scenic ridge. After leaving the ferry turminal, turn left on Harris Road at the General Store and then left onto Staples road for the rough ride up to the summit. After the hike you will have time to visit the Saturna Island Vinyard or drive out to East Point before catching the ferry at 4:20 pm.

We prefer to hike from the ferry terminal at N 48°47.874, W 123°12.077. Sometimes we take our bikes to get to the base of the climb. The total distance is 15 Km, (9 miles) with an elevation gain of 400 meters (1315 ft). This generally allows enough time to enjoy the pub at the ferry terminal.

Walk along the road from the ferry and turn right onto Harris Road. You can visit the Gulf Islands National Park office just off Harris Road to pick up information (N 48°47.549, W 123°10.905). You can hike up Staples Rd but it is a long walk through the woods. We prefer to continue up Harris road, past Money Lake to the crest of the hill and stone gate of Saturna Island Vineyard. Look for a trail on the left just before the gate ((N 48°46.698, W 123°10.879). This trail across private property is an an old community trail, logging road, and power line access. It climbs fairly steeply up the nose of the mountain. Watch for flags and cairns as the hiking route is not always obvious. At one point the power line access road swings to the left. You continue straight perhaps 20 m before swinging left. If you miss this turn, be prepared for bushwacking as the other trails peter out. Finally you come out onto a dirt road leading down from the summit to a cottage. Cross the road and follow the open areas to the ridge where you can take a break and enjoy the view. Continue up the goat trails along the ridge enjoying the views as you climb towards the summit. We generally stay just below the summit as the communication towers and parking lot are unattractive.

The Brown Ridge trail extends along the rim of the ridge for about 3 km (2 miles) with scenic gnarled trees and rocky bluffs in the forground. Orcas and San Juan Island are see in front, Pender island and Boundary Passage to the side and Saltspring island is behind. Feral goats originally made the trail. You can usually see them on the ridge or the steep slopes below. The Ridge Trail is in the National Park except for the area about half way along around a red roofed cabin. The owners have agreed with Parks Canada to permit hikers to cross their property and continue along the ridge as it gradually descends. Turn back and return by the same route when ever you wish. The trail ultimately descends swings inland and offers return options on the road or along the coastal trail. Why bother when you can enjoy the views the other way as you return.

The ferry back at 4:20 takes a little more time as you have to transfer at Mayne Island. This ferry is often late so plan on arriving in Swartz Bay later than the scheduled 6:10. We have see a pod of Orcas on this return trip. The ferry is 5:55 on Friays and 4:15 on Saturdays. BC seniors travel free Monday to Thursday.

A Google earth KMZ file of this hike is available on request.
Picture location1: N 48° 46.131 W 123° 10.274

Picture Location 2: N 48° 46.203 W 123° 08.716

Picture Location 3: N 48° 46.202 W 123° 08.441

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skramble visited Brown Ridge, Saturna Island BC 6/7/2016 skramble visited it
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