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Crystal-clear waters of Grass Lake surrounded by verdant forest under a blue sky with fluffy white clouds, embodying tranquility in nature. Photo taken by VIBL.ca

Grass Lake and Monument Mountain

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Sooke

Forested Hike up to Grass Lake & The Views From Monument Mountain

Activity:
Hike
Difficulty:
Moderate
Location:
Sooke
Time:
4hrs
Distance:
13km (8mi)

Activity:

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Accessibility:

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Where to this weekend, Vancouver Island: Grass Lake & Monument Mountain Hiking Trail

A picturesque view of Grass Lake, edged by conifers and shrubs with reflections of blue sky and clouds on the water surface, invoking a sense of peacefulness.

This fantastic moderate hiking trail spans 13 kilometres and has an elevation gain of 546 metres. The trail follows Charters River and leads to Grass Lake, with unique stops and sights along the hike.

On your way back, taking the Monument Mountain trail down adds to the difficulty level but will reward you with breathtaking views of Juan de Fuca and the Sooke Hills.

Grass Lake Trail

An informative trail map for 'Grass Lake & Monument Mountain' with a marked hiking route, elevation profile, and key points including a salmon hatchery and parking area.

Trail Head:

Gravel driveway leading to the Sooke Salmon Hatchery facility, nestled within a serene forest setting, with parked cars of volunteers. Photo taken by VIBL.caPark along Carters Creek just before the gates to the Salmon Hatchery on Sooke River Road. Walk through the gates past the hatchery buildings.

If you’re planning to hit the trail, your initial instinct might be to leave your car and start hiking immediately. However, it’s worth taking a moment to observe your surroundings. Even the parking lot has some interesting spots for you to explore.

There are tranquil forest benches along the creek with viewing points over small river pools. During the fall, Charters Creek becomes an excellent spot for watching salmon.

Amenities:

This hike has no amenities; it is backcountry hiking, so please come prepared with water, proper clothing, maps and gear. AllTrails GPS Map

Lush green foliage frames an old steel Charters Creek trestle bridge overgrown with moss, showcasing a mix of industrial history and nature reclaiming its space

The first 1.5km of the trail is an old road that passes under the Charters Creek Train Trestle Bridge, which is now part of the Galloping Goose.

The trail is wide and well-marked, so it is easy to stay on course. After walking under the bridge, you start to gain elevation almost immediately. Here, the terrain is pretty easygoing, shaded as you hear the background sounds of water mingling with the rustle of the leaves and the chirping of the birds.

The path will become narrower after you pass the Charters Weir and a concrete utility building. Depending on the season, you may need to cross a few small streams, but they are usually shallow enough to cross without getting wet. Keep your eyes open for the abandoned truck and a cabin foundation with a chimney tucked away in the trees.

Rustic scene of an abandoned, rusty orange pickup truck beside a trail in a dense forest with writing indicating the direction to a 'Cabin'. Nature is reclaiming the vehicle as it blends into the serene woodland surroundings

As you get closer to reaching Grass Lake, you will encounter a section that gets steeper, and you have to watch your footing a little more through a rocky wash. In winter, you may have to pick your path up, avoiding running water down the trail.

Hiker resting on the rocks at Grass Lake in a brown hat and gray shirt seated on a rocky outcrop by the edge of a tranquil lake surrounded by lush greenery and tall trees under a partly cloudy skyUpon reaching the top, you’ll notice signage pointing towards a side trail leading to the Lake. There, you’ll find a perfect spot for lunch or even a swim on a rocky outcrop.

Your hike doesn’t need to end here; you can continue to Shields Lake, or, for the more energetic hikers, the Sea to Sea Reginal Park backcountry trails are almost endless, linking up to Peden Lake and Mount Empress.

When you are ready to head to the parking lot, you can take the Grass Lake trail back down, or for a fantastic view, I recommend taking the Monument Mountain Trail.

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Monument Mountain Trail

Backtrack down the Grass Lake Trail just a couple hundred metres, and you will see a sign for the Monument Mountain trail. The first 2.5km of the narrow forested trail has minimal elevation gain, and when you reach the peak, the views are worth it.

A hiker in reflective gear gazes across the vast landscape from Monument Mountain, with a sweeping view of the Sooke Basin and dense forests under a dramatic sky.

Looking south, you see the Sooke Harbour and Juan de Fuca Strait. Just off the trail is a ridge to the East with a view of far-off waterfalls and a lush mountain valley that looks straight out of a movie.

From this viewpoint, the elevation drops rapidly as you descend the open face of the mountain. It is more challenging than the hike up and hard on the knees, but it is worth the view and still doable for most.

This is a fantastic hiking trail that offers a little bit of everything: glimpses of history, a serene river, a mountain lake, and breathtaking views, all just a short drive from Sooke. With easy access and well-marked trails, this is a hike you should add to this summer’s Vancouver Island Bucket List.

Panoramic vista from Monument Mountain featuring rolling hills, dense forests, and the sweeping Sooke Mountain Provincial Park under a dynamic, cloud-filled sky.

Gear Tips For Vancouver Island

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THE NORTH FACE Women's
Waterproof Antora Jacket
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THE NORTH FACE Men's
Antora Rain Hoodie
Helly Hansen Mens seven J waterproof rain coat sq
Helly Hansen Men's
Breathable Rain Coat
Polygon 32 oz waterbottle sq
32oz Water Bottle
for Fitness and Outdoor
Osprey Sportlite 20 Hiking Backpack sq
Osprey Sportlite 20
Hiking Backpack
adventure first aid kit
Adventure Medical Kit
Ultralight and Watertight

When you’re gearing up for an outdoor adventure on Vancouver Island, the key is to dress in layers, no matter the season. The island’s weather can throw curveballs, with conditions varying significantly from the sheltered forests to the breezy coastlines.

For those cool winter escapades, your go-to should include quality rain gear, topped off with a cozy beanie or toque, and a pair of light gloves to keep the chill at bay.

Summer explorers, don’t be fooled by the warmer temps; that same waterproof shell that kept you dry in the winter will be your best friend against the cool ocean breezes.

Remember, the right clothing and gear can make or break your outdoor experience on Vancouver Island, ensuring you enjoy every moment, come rain or shine.

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Crystal-clear waters of Grass Lake surrounded by verdant forest under a blue sky with fluffy white clouds, embodying tranquility in nature. Photo taken by VIBL.ca
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Grass Lake and M...

The trail follows Charters River and leads to Grass Lake, with unique stops along the hike.

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Original Author:

Modified: April 9, 2024
Last Visit: March 3, 2024

Thank you for visiting – I hope you found the information you were looking for at VIBL (Vancouver Island Bucket List) please continue to discover all of the great places that makes Vancouver Island so great! 

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Vancouver Island is a land of natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Please be aware of your surroundings and take the usual precautions for personal and wildlife safety.
Black bears, cougars and even wolves are common on Vancouver Island for more on Wildlife Safety Click Here 

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Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey! Click here for the tides in your area. 

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Land Acknowledgement:
We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .

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