Mount Prevost is located just north of Duncan
on the west side of the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 in North
Cowichan. It's hard to miss it from the highway with its 794
metres (2,605 feet) high rock face standing out very clearly overlooking
the Cowichan Valley.
Mount Prevost has a vast history in the settlement of the Cowichan
Valley starting with the First Nations folklore and, later, with
Europeans logging on it and settling at its base.
War I Memorial
1929, Mount Prevost was chosen as a memorial site to commemorate
the fallen soldiers from World War I with the building of a 10-metre
(33-feet) granite cairn overlooking Cowichan Valley. Later, after
World War II, another plaque was added to remember those soldiers
who died in battle.
To get to the view from Mount Prevost you have to take the Hwy
18 turnoff from Hwy 1 and travel towards Lake Cowichan. After
going a short distance past the railroad tracks, take Somenos
Road to the north and look for Mount Prevost Road. Take this road
and keep going past the BC Hydro electrical substation to the
end of the pavement then through a gate onto Prevost Main Line
gravel logging road.
The Prevost Main Line gravel road is in fairly good shape and,
with the exception of RV's, most vehicles should be fine as long
as they take their time through the rough sections. Keep on the
Prevost Main Line and avoid taking posted logging roads that branch
out. Watch out for active logging and heavy equipment. Look for
the signs directing you to the cairn and keep following these
Eventually you will come to a T-junction where there is no directional
sign to the cairn. If you take the way to the right, the road
travels up a steep section for about .5km to a roundabout with
a small parking lot. This is the area on Mount Prevost where the
hang-gliders take off from and the start of a downhill mountain
From here, there is a short walk up a gravel trail and a rock
face where you'll find the take-off point for soaring into the
Cowichan Valley and the landing site for the hang-gliders and
paragliders. The views from here are spectacular and, if you are
a birdwatcher, the view towards the east of some ravens soaring
and cackling from off the rock face is very interesting.
to World War I Cairn
Back at the T-junction on the road, if you take the left direction,
you'll come to a larger parking lot. There are no signs here except
for a District of North Cowichan at a closed gate. This is the
start of the trail to the First World I cairn. The at 'your own
risk' trail follows a section of steep rock and gravel for about
15 minutes of brisk walking. The trail can be quite slippery,
especially in the rain, so beware.
From the cairn, the south-east view is again quite spectacular
especially towards Somenos Lake, Quamichan Lake, Saltspring Island
and Cowichan Bay. There are also very good views for you to the
west towards Cowichan Valley and the from the bluff where the
paragliders and hang-gliders take off.
If you would prefer longer walks, there are some trails near the
start of start of Prevost Main Line near the BC Hydro electrical
substation. The unmarked trail is around 8 km (5 miles) to the
top joining other roads and trails along the way making it somewhat
difficult to follow at times.