At first glance, Mount Fromme doesn’t exactly sound like the most appealing hiking destination.
This peak on Vancouver’s North Shore bears the scars of heavy logging. It’s a mecca for local mountain bikers, and dozens of bike trails weave through its woods. And the hike itself involves some time on a gravel road.
In Don’t Waste Your Time in the B.C. Coast Mountains, guidebook authors Kathy and Craig Copeland even give Mount Fromme a “don’t do” rating.
Don’t be fooled. This hike is quite enjoyable.
Now, most Vancouverites wouldn’t be able to pick Fromme out of a lineup, but it’s the forested peak directly east of Grouse Mountain. Fromme’s relatively low elevation means it can be done earlier in the season than other North Shore summits.
One trailhead for this hike lies at the top of Prospect Road, which is reached via the north end of Lonsdale Avenue, in North Vancouver.
On foot, you turn right after the water towers, then immediately left at the sign pointing out the route to the old Grouse Mountain Highway. The marked trail will lead you up the wooded slope, ignoring paths heading left and right, to the highway.
Going left on the gravel road, you quickly find the start of the Per Gynt Trail at the next curve. When you emerge on the old highway again, you head left, continuing past a gravel pit and then looking for markers on the right indicating the upper section of the Per Gynt Trail.
The steep trail takes you past a waterfall before depositing you on Mount Fromme’s 1,171-metre south summit. There are views of Crown Mountain, Mount Burwell, Mount Seymour, and Lynn Peaks—and even Mount Garibaldi in the distance.
Fromme’s lower north summit, Senate Peak, lies across a steep-sided col, which has been too snowy to tackle on the two occasions I’ve done this hike.
A few options are available for the descent, but the easiest thing do is retrace your steps. All in all, Mount Fromme is a pleasant 5.5-hour hike.
You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.