Next weekend, we're hoping to actually do the entire Harbor Mountain/Gavan Hill hike from start to finish - we would have done that this weekend, but it's not a loop so you need a vehicle at both ends of the trail and we hadn't planned for that. Soon!
The hike starts at the top of Harbor Mountain Road, at about 2000 feet of elevation. Most people drive to the top, which is fun experience in and of itself...gravel switchbacks with a deep ditch on one side and the mountainside on the other, and barely enough room for two cars to pass each other. If you survive the drive, though, there are some amazing views to be seen on the way up!
Once you get to the top of the road, you hike the trail about 2.5 miles out to the alpine hut, a small wooden shelter built in the early 1990's for hikers to use. It's a great place to stop and look at the views of the surrounding mountains and Mosquito Cove below (which happens to be right next to our house!).
From there, you can either hike back down the way you came or continue on to the Gavan Hill portion of the trail. Next time, we want to keep going on Gavan Hill all the way into town, but due to lack of time (and a vehicle at the other end), we chose to just go another quarter of a mile or so, just so we could hit the first part of the Gavan Hill summit and check out the surrounding views. It was beautiful! It was sort of a foggy/cloudy day and really made us feel like we were hiking straight up into the sky.
Thankfully, there were no bear sightings this trip - just a gigantic pile of scat (bear poo) smack dab in the middle of the trail that was at least a week or two old. I didn't take a picture of that - you're welcome. The only wildlife this time around was an eagle and a couple of ravens, and I was fine with that! Although, every time we go out hiking we hope to spot a mountain goat. They do exist around these parts, but we have yet to see one in person!
Stay tuned for a review of the day pack I'm using!