Most people don't realize this, but the mountain behind Nanaimo is actually three mountains joined together. The peak closest to the city is called Mt Benson; then there is Blackjack Ridge, almost as tall as Mt Benson and positioned farther in the backcountry near the Nanaimo Lakes. Wolf Mountain is the lowest of the three and doesn't have a dramatic peak, but it has phenomenal views and trails on its steep eastern slope.

Wolf Mountain context with Mt Benson

Mountain bikers have carved some really fun trails interconnecting the various logging roads. Imagine a sparse strip of trees between clearcuts, with the trail snaking through it before it emerges into an open area with huge views!

There are also some older trails and roads - exploring the higher points of this mountain can be quite rewarding. There are places where the conglomerate bedrock is exposed, close to mossy clearings with stunted sub-alpine trees.

Nanaimo's last working coal mine was up on Wolf Mountain, in the 1980s. Today there is a concrete pad remaining. If you find the mine adit, I do NOT recommend you enter; coal mines are dangerous when they are new, and much worse as they age (cave-ins, gases).

There are lots of access points along Nanaimo Lakes Rd. Be careful and do your research, as many areas are off-limits for various reasons.

Wolf Mountain, Nanaimo

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