Sooke Hills - Four Gems Hike (Oct. 3, 2021)

A group of 8 participants, of whom two were new members and one was a guest, started out from the parking area on Sooke Road (Veitch Creek lot) at about 9:20 AM on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021. It was a fine, crisp, clear fall day and we made good progress via Townsend Ridge to the summit of Sugarloat Mt. where we had a brief snack and enjoyed the view. Three of the participants had other commitments in the afternoon and left us to return to the parking lot, when we reached the junction on the backside of Sugarloaf to head to “The Gem”. One participant was familiar with the trail back so we were happy to send them off together and they reached the parking area by just around noon.

Onwards to The Gem for another lovely view and then we proceeded down and up again to Mike Peak, where the remaining 5 participants enjoyed a lovely lunch. We headed off Mike Peak down to a valley and proceeded up a bushwack route to Crowsnest Peak for another splendid view. We had thought of continuing on to Corner Hill, but instead deviated on a much bigger loop around the base of Dinosaur Ridge, and back to the parking lot via the Wonder and Secret (now called Shephard Creek) Trails. We arrived back at just before 5 PM having really enjoyed the company, exercise and lovely weather on this 19 km hike.

Thanks to all the participants for an excellent day - Roger (our navigator), Liz, Jennifer, Joanna and her son Raine, Scott, Diane (and myself - Peggy)

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Well done, @Peggyhiking ! So glad you enjoyed your day and thanks for posting this awesome report for others!