I was planning on doing Mount Arrowsmith last weekend, but I had heard access was closed due to the fire season so I decided to venture out Nanaimo Lakes area instead. My destination was Green Mountain, which is out past the lakes, but when I got there, the road was closed past Second Lake so that was a bust. I backtracked until I found a decent looking mountain with a logging road at the base, parked at the bottom, and began my trek up what I thought was Mount Hooker. About an hour or two into the hike, I was met by a forestry worker doing some pesticide spraying along the roadsides to clear up alder trees and broom. We ended up chatting for quite some time, and he showed me on his map where I actually was and gave me an overview of the area. Turned out I was actually on my way up Mount De Cosmos, and Mount Hooker was on the opposite side of the lake, along with Black Jack Ridge and many others that I've now added to my hiking list! Even though it wasn't where I meant to be, De Cosmos rewarded me with some great mountainous views of the area surrounding the lake.
About 15 minutes into the hike I had a great view of First Lake.
Looking backwards you can see some more mountain ranges. There was a tiny little plane flying around in the valley, doing loops and turns and soaring through the sky.
After about 2 hours I had a great view of Black Jack Ridge. The worker who I met on the road said that the view from the top of Black Jack is fantastic, and that it gives you a new perspective on Mount Benson. I'm looking forward to heading up there!
The only downside of this hike is the heavy logging in the area, which scars the hillsides quite a bit, but it's still a beautiful area regardless - and the logging roads are also what gives us access to a lot of these areas, so it's a blessing and a curse. A big thank you to Bill, the worker who I met on my hike, for taking the time to introduce me to the area and adding several new hiking spots to my list!