More officially called “hill 409”, Roberts Roost is a single eyrie just south of the Westwood Ridges. It's dozens of meters higher than the ridges, and offers spectacular views in all directions.
This photo shows the view FROM the Roost, looking north-northwest over nearby Westwood Ridge, across North Nanaimo to the Winchelsea Islands and Lasqueti/Texada Islands.
Really - if you're going to go to all the effort to find a way to the top of this lookout - you have to plan ahead, and spend some time up there. It's the kind of spot you don't want to leave until you've filled yourself with it.
On the side of the Roost closest to Mt Benson, check out the glacial striations in the bedrock! This is evidence of the km-thick layer of ice that "recently" scraped along here, destroying absolutely everything.
Roberts Roost Location
All of the land north and east of the Roost's summit belongs to the Department of National Defense, and entry to those areas is forbidden because of safety issues (they do live exercises and their firing range is active - increasingly so!). The only authorized route to the peak is from the south, or from due west. There is a road marked on the Google Map below (east of the pin) but it must be noted that that is a military road and is NOT open to the public.
There is a 5.5km route from Westwood Lake to the Roost which does NOT cross DND land - I hiked it last night and it was quite a bit easier than the "old" route crossing DND land (but it's longer).
Back to the list of Nanaimo hiking spots