Bluenose Mountain: Nice hike in mid-Feburary
Nice hike in mid-Feburary
Navigating to the trailhead should be no problem. I did this in a FWD car in mid-February and the road was well graded and marked. The trailhead is located a couple hundred metres past the 4km road marker. You'll pass the road marker, take a left hand turn and there is a brown handmade wooden arrow/sign that says "Bluenose trail" on the left hand side of the road - this directs you into the parking area.
The trail is a loop which is well marked with orange reflective squares pinned to the trees along the route. When I did it, it was completely covered by snow but had been trafficked by a few parties before me, so the trail was obvious and easy to navigate. I used IceTrekkers traction devices on my hiking shoes, and they were fine on the walk up to the summit/viewpoint, but offered insufficient traction traversing the switchbacks on the way down. Others on the trail were wearing snowshoes, and although they were probably overkill for the conditions, they likely had better footing than myself. Either way - the hike is entirely through mature Cedar, Ponderosa pine and Douglas Fir forest, with an open understory. The first 30 minutes of walking from the trailhead (heading right) looks to have recently undergone fuels treatment to reduce wildfire risk. After about 15 minutes you start heading up hill and eventually you loop around to the viewpoint at the top. From here, you can return the way you came, or continue into the loop. I took the loop, which consisted mainly of steep switchbacks and offered a nice view of the mountains opposite of the road you drive in on. The trail continued to be well travelled and well marked.