The Unnecessary Mountain Hike & Trail Guide

The unnecessary mountain offers a 360-degree view of the howe sound, the lions’ peak, and other nearby peaks from the top. There are a total of two unnecessary mountain peaks situated at a distance of around 400 meters apart at the same altitude. The second peak offers a better view including the lions’ peak as well.

The Unnecessary Mountain Hike Summary

  • Rating: Hard
  • Round trip distance: 16.5 km
  • Elevation Gain: 3580 feet
  • Time Needed: 7-8 hours
  • Type: Out & back
  • Season: July to October

The Unnecessary Mountain Hike Trail Guide


St. Marks Summit

The hike follows the following peaks in order

  • St. Marks Summit
    • 5.2 Kms from the trailhead
    • 1420 feet of elevation gain
    • 2 hours from the trailhead
  • Unnecessary mountain first peak
    • 7.8 kms from the trailhead
    • 1600 feet of elevation gain
    • Although the first peak is just around 650 feet taller than the St. marks summit but because the trail descend again, you have to cover the elevation gain again.
    • 3.5 to 4 hours from the trailhead
  • Unnecessary mountain second peak
    • 8.2 Kms from the trail head
    • 250 feet of elevation gain
    • 4 to 4.5 hours from the trailhead

We started the hike from the Cypress provincial park. You have to follow the lions’ peak hiking trail as the Lions peak is situated at the end of the trail. The route looks like this: Cypress provincial park to St. Marks Summit tp Unnecessary mountain first peak to Unnecessary mountain second peak to the lions’ peak.

The first 3 KM of the hike is pretty easy. As you reach closer to St. Mark’s Summit, the trail gets muddy and rooty as well. The last 1.2 km to St. Mark’s Summit is the steeper part of the hike. Towards the June end, we also encountered some snow patches mostly near the peak. But the trail is well-marked. Also, they have added some new routes as well possibly for forest regrowth.

St. Mark’s Summit to Unnecessary mountain

Although the unnecessary mountain peaks are just 3 km from the St. Marks’s summit, the hike gets tougher because you first descend for almost 1.1 Km losing an elevation of around 500 feet. And, then there is a steep ascend until the unnecessary mountain peak in which you gain an elevation of around 1800 feet.

In the early summer, Until Mid-July, there could be patches of snow in the following major areas or areas at higher elevations such as

  • Just before St. Marks Summit
  • After St. Marks Summit as you desend
  • Near Unnecessary mountains from before the first peak until the second peak

Also, finding the trail because of the patches of snow could become a bit of a tricky job Although the trail is well-marked at most of the places. Once the patch of 1.1-1.2 KM of descending gets over, the trail becomes steep for the next 1.6 KM till the Unnecessary mountain’s first peak. It is steep, full of roots and a bit of scrambling is also there. This steep part lasts for around one hour.

Unnecessary Mountain Peaks

Once you reach the first peak, you start a very nice and panoramic view of the Howe Sound, Lions, and nearby peaks. There could be snow as late as early August so I would recommend carrying crampons as they are very helpful. On a sunny day, the snow becomes slippery so carrying crampons is surely a good idea.

The second peak is situated at a distance of around 400 meters from the first peak. The trail is a little steep towards the end of the second peak. But it worths it as the view is even better from the second peak.

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