Revised VI Trail route – Tsable Mtn. to Mt. Clifton – Beauforts

The route of the Vancouver Island Trail northwards from Tsable Mtn. has been revised in order to avoid a challenging and potentially dangerous section of trail on the westerly flank on Mt. Chief Frank.  Although reasonably safe under favorable (dry) mid-late summer conditions, it is hazardous when snow-covered in late spring and early summer, and again in the Fall when icy and with early snowfall (Take a look at for details).  We have found that through-hikers often reach this area in mid-late June when a patchy snowpack lingers in most years, hence the routing change.

The revised route leaves the height- of-land/ the Beauforts crest about 150 metres north of the summit, initially drops down to the west thence onto the NW ridge and on down into the upper Katlum Creek valley.  The upper part of the ridge is steep with one short ‘notch’ through a band of rock that requires a couple of hand-holds.  Downslope, the steepness mellows out and the route leaves the ridgeline and bears northeast, crosses a couple of creeks, and links up with a logging road spur. 

Follow the spur to the main Katlum valley logging road, turn right for only 125 m and then turn left onto another spur road to near its end.  From there, a trail leads (initially in old cutblock, then in forest) up to the height-of-land west of Mt. Clifton where a broad plateau-like area contains Three-heather Lake: so-named because all 3 of Vancouver Island’s heather species (red, white and yellow) grow in this area.  This is a beautiful area for camping, but be sure to keep your impact to a minimum in the fragile heath plant communities.

The revised trail route is shown above in dark green.


The Mt. Clifton summit is no longer on the VIT route – it’s now a 400-500 metre side trip that affords great views over the Comox Valley.

The route northwards (yellow green on map) is unchanged, following the ridge across 4 summits around to the Twin Lakes valley and on down to Tsable Lake.