by Sheila Molloy –
Lone Tree Hill 1450 Millstream Rd, Victoria
Stunning, 360-degree views of the Highlands, Victoria, the Malahat, and Olympic Mountains.
Starting from the parking lot there is an information board with park history. The hike starts to the left of the information board and is an obvious path all the way to top.
The trail is quite wide at the start which eases you into the uphill journey. Right before the first set of switchbacks, there is a rockier section to navigate which is fine when dry but can be slippery when wet, so just go around the larger rocks.
The next section of the trail is a series of switchbacks that takes you up the hillside rather quickly; it is steep in sections, but is wide and not too rocky.
This area is also less foliage-dense, so you can see much of the exposed hill, many birds, squirrels and the wildflowers in spring are easier to spot; nature’s payback for taking a slower pace here.
You will then navigate the roots and rocks of a path thickly surrounded by trees and other vegetation that also passes by rocky outcrops full of lush moss.
The final ascent returns to meandering switchbacks, dotted with Arbutus trees, and broken up with a few straight and sometimes steep sections until a final wide turn brings you to the path to the summit.
Getting to the top from here is simple and the skinny track to the top is evident. The actual summit marker will require a scramble down a section of rock that may not be for everyone and is not necessary to fully enjoy this hike.
Just pause and take in the spectacular view!
Things to Note
• This short hike is approachable for most fitness levels, however there are some steep areas, so it leans toward an intermediate hike. Suitable for kids.
• The original lone tree that gave the park its name is now just a weather-beaten 200-year-old Douglas fir stump. There is another lone Arbutus tree at the summit now though.
• Trail length is about 1.7 km from the trailhead to summit.
• Summit elevation is 1,193 ft / 364 m.
• The parking lot has about seven spaces but parking on the road is an option.
• There is one toilet at the beginning of the trail and no water sources, so come prepared.
Photos by Sheila Molloy