5040 Peak Hike, Guide and Directions (Port Alberni-Clayoquot, BC)

5040 Peak Hike

5040 Peak Summit

5040 Peak is a mountain in the Clayoquot region in between the towns of Tofino and Port Alberni. The mountain is called 5040 because the summit lies at 5,040 feet. It has amazing 360 degree views of the surrounding area with the rugged Triple Peak and Cats Ear Peak in direct view. 5040 Peak has some of the  most incredible cloud inversions I have ever seen. It truly is spectacular up here and very much worth the drive.5040 Peak Hike

Hike Information

  • Difficulty Level: Moderate- Difficult
  • Elevation: 1350m
  • Elevation gain: 900m
    Distance: 8km round trip
    Time: 4-7 hours

5040 Peak Hut

It is great to do mid summer to early fall because there is a lot of snowfall in this area. You can do this hike in a day, or you can make it an overnight by camping near Cobalt Lake or staying in the backcountry hut that was recently built by the Alpine Club of Canada. The hut is very nice and reminiscent of the higher end lodge you find in the alps. It has a big warm sitting area with a pellet stove, gas cook tops and a well stocked kitchen. When we were last there the bed were dorm style split between three rooms. You can book it here. If you have the motivation to hike your gear up there are some great camp spots at cobalt lake half way up.  

5040 Peak Hike Hut
Alpine Club of Canada hut

5040 is claimed to have better views than the Golden Hinde, which is the highest summit on the island and takes a couple days of overnight hiking to reach! Great bang for buck view wise here!

5040 Peak Lookout

I have done this hike twice and the first time we went up it was completely clouded over. The second time we went up we stayed in the backcountry hut. It was completely cloudy and fogged over all day and night, but around sunset we got extremely lucky when there was a break in the clouds. The whole area totally cleared, so we decided to take advantage and rush to the top. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the summit from the hut.

5040 Peak Hike
Summit Capsule
5040 Peak Summit

Trail Directions

The cobalt lake route up to the summit of 5040 starts at the 9.6km mark on Marion Rd. Marion Rd is not always open and can also be rough depending on the time of the year. I would recommend checking All Trails and see if there are recent posts about road condition if you don’t have a 4×4. The road is usually rough with a couple washouts and some steep sections. Despite this if it has recently been graded it should be okay for small SUVS.

To Start!

9.6km in there is a fairly obvious pull in on your left with a small marked trail behind the parking lot. 

Hiking up 5040
Trail from the parking lot

5040 Trail
The trail is pretty grown over and steep, but it is easy to follow up the mountain. The first part is through old growth forest with views of old logging areas. The trail will eventually come to a river and the trail will pretty much follow the river all the way to Cobalt Lake. The route is pretty much straight up until you reach the lake so plan for a bit of a grind. If you are hiking in shoulder season bring crampons for your boots

5040 Hike
View from the start of the trail

There are a couple small waterfalls you pass by on this route and rock bluffs to relax on.

5040 waterfalls5040 waterfalls

The trail is pretty straight forward but there are rock cairns and flags along the way.
Once you get to Cobalt Lake you hike to the left of the lake which will bring you up through a forested slope. It is about 45 minutes from here where you will reach the backcountry hut.

Cobalt Lake 5040
Cobalt Lake
5040 Trail
trail at the back side of the lake

At the hut, you hike towards the peak cascading above and follow the rock cairns to the summit. There is a summit capsule at the top where you will find amazing views of the area. I have hiked several mountains on Vancouver Island and I found this to be one of the most rewarding hikes on the island.

5040 Peak View5040 Peak Cloud Inversion5040 Peak Hike View5040 Peak Hike View5040 Peak Summit Views

5040 Peak Hike Views

Driving Directions

To get to 5040 you have to drive on Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino. There are no signs on the road for 5040, so you really have to pay attention for the turn off. Once you see the Summit Pass sign, reset your odometer and after 5km you will see a logging road on the left. The road is called Marion Main. Drive 9.6km down Marion Rd, where you will see a small clearing on the side of the road for parking. The trail is flagged on the left just before the parking area. These directions are for the Cobalt Lake route. You will need a 4WD or a high clearance car for the drive on the logging road you can see below. This is a great section.

5040 Peak Hike Trailhead


Parking & Trailhead Location

If you still have energy this is a great hike to pair with a trip Tofino. You are 3/4 of the way to the coast so might as well. Check out some of our other hike guides on that side!

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