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Ucluelet's Mount Ozzard

“We will start hiking at daybreak!” she said. It is a little less impressive this time of year with the sun rising just before 8:00AM, but still, to do anything at daybreak on a Sunday is an admirable feat.

I have been watching it for years, peering down at me every single day. It stands across the bay, tall and green, watching over the peninsula and all who reside on it. The large white radar globe can be seen from Long Beach.

“What is that giant golf ball thing on the top of that mountain?” People ask. Sometimes they get the right answer.

Mount Ozzard

Mount Ozzard towers about 750 metres above the Ucluelet Harbour. The white globe thing on the top is a coast guard communications station and can detect approaching vessels. Over the years I’ve watched the mountain across and up wondering what our little world looks like from its peak. I heard it was more of a walk than a hike and that the steep gravel access road winds its way right to the radar station.

The day broke and we were at the parking area just off of Barkley Main. The forest was frosty and we could see our breath as we started up the wide gravel road. It switched back and forth along the hillside, showing the occasional view of the Ucluelet peninsula as we walked higher and higher.

Barkley Sound

After about an hour and a half we made it to the peak and to the giant golf ball radar station. The view was stunning! On my left I could see the waters of Barkley Sound speckled with the Broken Group Islands. The mountain range spread out far along the coastline and my eyes could follow it almost to the other side of the sound. Behind me it continued until the mountain peaks grew higher, rockier, and were covered with snow.

On the right was the panoramic view of Ucluelet. There was our home, dotted in the rocky outcrops and spread out on the high points of the peninsula. The Ucluelet Harbour is larger than I thought it was from this angle. I could see the details of our boat basin, the fish plants, and all the way out to Amphitrite Point as commercial boats continued to putter in and out of the harbour looking like floating ants from my vantage point.

Ucluelet Peninsula

Beyond that we could see Florencia Bay, Wickaninnish and Long Beach. People had told me that you can see Tofino and Clayoquot Sound from there, but that day it was all in the clouds. There was a strong westerly swell coming into Ucluelet. We watched the white lines come in from the endless Pacific Ocean under it was time to return to the car.

The descend back to the parking area took about an hour. When we were back in the car driving home we spotted a curious Black bear crossing the road. We got into Ucluelet before 11:00AM and had a late morning coffee. What a feeling it is to hike up a mountain and back all before lunch time!

By Amy Hancock

Tips: If you are going to walk up Mount Ozzard make sure you bring an extra layer of clothes (it is quite frosty and icy on the backside of the mountain), plenty of water, and some snacks. Be sure to let people know you are going and never go by yourself. There are bears in the area so make sure you keep children close and dogs on a leash.


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