Hiking in East Sooke Park - Mt. Maguire

Difficulty: This is a strenuous hiking trail. The ascent is a tough cardio workout. The descent is hard on the knees.

Mount Maguire Summit, East Sooke Park
A quiet afternoon on the summit of Mt. Maguire on Vancouver Island.

Major trail junction near Coppermine Road, Anderson Cove and Mt. Maguire.
Trails are well marked in East Sooke Park. At the major trail junction, keep right towards Mt. Maguire.

Mt. Maguire is the highest point on the East Sooke peninsula and has expansive views of East Sooke Park and the Olympic peninsula across the Juan de Fuca Strait. The summit trail takes you to the top of the mountain (268m/879ft) where you can sit and look down upon the thick, coastal rainforest. Many resident birds create nests in the towering trees including herons, owls or eagles. During the spring, the calls of the birds can be deafening.

The trailhead starts at the trail junction at the foot of the mountain. Park at the end of Coppermine Road, follow the trail head for about 300 meters and take the right-hand trail at the fork (it's the one heading uphill). Alternatively, you can start off at the Anderson Cove parking lot to get to the same junction, but this will add another 30 minutes to the hike.

Trails are well marked in the park. At first, the Mt. Maguire trail is wide and well groomed as it skirts the mountain. However, as you near the summit, you'll encounter a steep ascent up a dried up creek-bed. You'll have to traverse loose rocks and tall steps as the path winds through the trees. From April to November, the pathway is dry and passable but hiking boots are still recommended. During the rainy season, this slippery slope should not be attempted.

Mount Maguire is one one of the most strenuous hiking trails in East Sooke Park, and only those with good fitness levels may want to attempt it. Leave yourself enough time to rest along the trail, catch your breath, and rest tired knees.

How to Get to the Coppermine and Mt. Maguire Trailhead (from Madrona Cottage)

Park at the top of Coppermine Road, along the side of the dirt road. The trailhead is less than 5 minutes from the cottage.

  1. Turn left onto East Sooke Road (towards town).
  2. Shortly after, turn right on Coppermine Road and drive to the end. The asphalt will end and the road will become a bumpy, dirt road. Continue up the hill.
  3. Park at the side of the road and look for the trailhead on the right-hand side.

Notes

  • The creekbed is wet from November to March and the loose rocks are slippery. This trail should be avoided during this time.

  • Thunderstorms are rare on the coast but avoid hiking up Mt Maguire when there is lightning in the area.

  • Plan your hike so that you have plenty of time to return to the car before sunset. Bring a flashlight if you're heading out later in the day. The lush forests get very dark, very quickly, when the sun starts to set.

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