Over Thanksgiving Break, I spent two days and one night in Victoria, British Columbia roaming the streets with a loaded pack and a camera; the embodiment of the American tourist (minus the visor and fanny pack). I had a great time, and talked a lot about my time there in my last post. However, in that post I did not discuss the time I spent in the out-of-doors, just outside of Victoria proper, in a space that the locals (most notably: the Irish man behind the counter at the hostel) call ‘Mount Doug’.
On my second day in Canada, I knew I needed to do something, ANYTHING, in the outdoors. I loved the city itself, but I could see the mountains in the distance, the Strait, the trees… I had to get out.
So I did.
I took a couple city buses out to Mount Douglas Park in the hopes that I could breathe some fresh air and climb a few hundred feet before I had to get back for my ferry. From the parking lot, I started off on a steeper, more direct path up the mountainside (which was more like a hillside considering Mount Doug is under 1,000 feet in elevation). I was up in no time, and was greeted by sweeping views of residential areas, the Strait, some islands out to the east, and a rather abrasive wind coming up the south side of the peak.
I spent around half an hour on the peak snapping pictures and taking in the view. It’s clearly a very popular spot considering that I saw something like 30 people there from the time I got up top to the time I left. It makes sense seeing as how the park is so close to downtown, and the hike up is incredibly simple. There’s even a road that travels up Mount Doug from the parking lot to the peak so cars can make the journey.
I eventually descended down to my bus stop via the road and made my way back to downtown from there. Overall, Mount Doug was a great way for me to get away from all the people in downtown Victoria for a few hours, and to get a few cool pictures. After checking it out, I can see why it’s a favorite of the locals. I would relate Mount Doug to Point Defiance Park in Tacoma based on its size, distance from downtown, and what it offers to visitors.
In short, if you go to British Columbia for the outdoors, don’t go to Mount Doug. It is by no means a challenge, or all that exciting. But, if you go to Victoria to check out the city, go to Mount Doug to get a tiny taste of that fresh air that lives above building level. It’s always nice to regain perspective after a solid day of sidewalking.