Mt. Wesley Traverse Hike and Directions (Port Alberni, BC)

Mount Wesley Hike and traverse

In late spring, a couple of my friends and I decided to hike the Mt Wesley traverse. We did a lot of research before doing this hike because there was not a lot of directions online, but we thought the views would be worth our time and effort. With a lot of sweat and wrong turns, we completed the whole traverse that ran along the backside of Cameron Lake. There were several beautiful lookouts along the trail and it was very rewarding because there were views over looking the lake at one side of the traverse and the ocean and coastal mountains on the other end. This guide encompasses three optional hikes you can do. The Radar tower at the south east end of Cameron lake, Mt Wesley, and the traverse. If you only want to do the Cameron Lake radar tower just follow this guide backwards and stop at the tower. 

Mount Wesley Ridge

On top of mt wesley ridge

Mt Wesley Traverse HIke Info

  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Elevation gain: 830m
  • Distance: 20km
  • Time: 6-8 hour


  • On the way up the ridge


Parking Directions

  • Park one car at the Cathedral Grove parking lot in MacMillan Provincial Park for the west end start of the hike.
  • Park the second car at Cameron Lake Resort alongside Chalet Rd. for the eastern side of the hike. (Note: the cabin trail near the Cathedral Grove parking lot is also called Chalet Rd. because it connects, so do not get this confused) If you just want to do the radar tower park here.

Mt Wesley Hiking Directions:

You will start at Cathedral Grove and walk 50m westward towards the yellow gate, which is the start of the cabin trail.

Cameron Lake Gate

After passing the gate you will walk for about 1km until you pass the second cabin on the trail. You will then turn left and hike up the steep trail which is marked by a blue spray painted trail sign as shown.

Super steep trail up to Mt Wesley

The trail is very well kept and very steep, so you will definitely get your exercise.

Steep Mt wesley trail

Once you hit the railroad tracks you will turn right until you see another marked trail sign that is nailed to the side of a tree. This will be about 250m in, and then you will turn left and continue the hike up.


Trail to Wesley Ridge
The trail is kind of hard to find, so keep your eyes open:)

While climbing up you will see another sign that is marked Mt. Horne and Mt. Wesley. For this hike, you want to follow the Mt Wesley sign on your right.

Trail fork to Mt Wesley & Mt Horne

There is only one more left turn after this and it is about 500m in. It is kind of hard to find because the trail keeps going straight to a dead end for another 100m if you miss the turn. There are a bunch of logs on the trail that direct you up the narrow path, so if you come to a dead end on the wider path just turn around until you find the small pathway that leads you up the mountain.

Follow the logs to Mt Wesley

On the way up to Mt. Wesley there are a few really steep sections, so there are areas where you will have to use ropes to get to the top.

Mt Weasley Hike TrailMt Weasley Hike Trail

When you are almost there you will also find a few beautiful viewpoints

Mt Weasley Hike Views

The top of Mt Wesley overlooks Cameron Lake, and it is a great spot to hang out and have lunch. From here you can either continue the ridge or head back down. Our group decided to keep going and complete the whole traverse.

Mt Wesley ViewMt Wesley Peak

Once you decide to continue on the path, you keep on heading east along the ridge. After walking a couple hundred meters you will reach the Mt Wesley summit where you can wright about your journey in the little capsule. If you just wanted to hike Mt Wesley congrats you have done it. you can head back the same way you came or continue on and do the traverse.

Mount Wesley Summit

After this point it is another 7-8kms of hiking through a semi-dense forest area. There are little pink flags along the trail to direct you, but it is not a well kept trail at all. It felt like bushwhacking at points, and it was difficult to find the way sometimes. You definitely can not walk too far with out seeing a flag because there sometimes is not a distinct trail, so make sure to follow the route markers, I can’t stress this enough. You will find yourself bypassing quad trails at times, but again, do not veer off the pink flagged trail.

After a couple of kilometers in the forest, you will get to another view point of Cameron Lake that is very pretty.

Mt Weasley Hike ViewsRidge Views of Mt Wesley

We did not see anyone else on the trail (only snakes ugh), so we thought it was a good opportunity to do a girls only picture.

Mt Wesley Views

Once the bushwhacking was complete you will walk directly towards the radio tower that is located at the eastern portion of the Cameron Lake ridge.

Mount Weasley Lookout

The radio tower location has incredible views of the coastal mountains, Denman and Hornby Island, and the Pacific Ocean.

Mt Weasley Lookout Views

Radar Tower Views Mt Wesley
Denman and Hornby Island on the left

At this point, all you have to do is hike down! You will see the Cameron Lake Resort campsite docks about half way down the trail, and when you reach the tracks you will turn right until you come to the campsite. Once you get to the campsite cross the bridge and head to your car.

Cameron Lake Ridge

It was a super hot day when we hiked, so we decided to go for a swim. It was the best reward after a long day.

Cameron Lake

Hiking Options and Notes for Mt. Wesley and the Traverse

  • We did this hike by parking 2 cars at either end of Cameron Lake, but you can easily do a full loop if you do not have 2 cars (it just adds another 5kms or so of flat walking along the tracks). Just walking the tracks is a great day as well if your not up for an ascent.
  • There is no water on this hike so make sure to bring enough for the whole day!
  • I would definitely recommend parking 2 cars if you have the option, because this extra walk adds another 5km after a long 19km hike.
  • We hiked the whole traverse that overlooks Cameron Lake by first climbing up to Mt. Wesley from Cathedral Grove. We then hiked through the forest all the way to the other end of Cameron Lake to the Radio Tower Lookout.
  • The hike through the forest between the lookout was kind of stressful at times because the markers were not very clear. We followed a succession of pink flags that someone kindly put up, but it was at times hard to find the flags. This slowed us down a lot because we did not want to take a wrong turn. This being said, we did not get lost, but it was a big effort to find all of the flags. The trail was not well kept at all, it felt like we were bushwhacking at times.
  • Additionally, you can just walk along the trail that runs alongside Cameron Lake. This trail is right along the shore line and you pass by cute little cabins along the way and it leads to a train trestle. I have another blog post about this trail called the Cameron Lake Trestle.
  • Otherwise, you can just climb up Mt Wesley or just up to the radio tower on the opposite end. This avoids the “bushwhacking ” forest hike that was a bit difficult to navigate. Both options have amazing but very different views.

Discover more from

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.

Discover more from

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading