Summer 2016 Expectations

The Mountain Bike Park will reopen at Mount Washington Alpine Resort this summer, and that’s good news to the Resort and the mountain biking community alike.

Strathcona Provincial Park is located next to Mount Washington's Alpine Village. Photo: Neil Havers
Strathcona Provincial Park is located next to Mount Washington's Alpine Village.

“Our new ownership played a part in encouraging us to look at all the things we should be doing up here,” Resort Director of Business Operations Don Sharpe said. “Biking was on their list of things we should be doing, and we’re happy to be doing that. There’s a lot of people up here excited that it’s back.”

After a heavy snow winter, work didn’t begin on the trails until early June, but Sharpe said opening day would be sometime in mid-July. Chairlift access will be available on the Hawk for trail access. “It’s going to be up to Mother Nature and how much work needs to be done.” Sharpe said 2016 is year one of a three-year bike trail development plan.

The Bike Park will be open full time from mid-July until Labour Day, then weekends until the third week in September.

The other major change visitors to Mount Washington Alpine Resort will see this summer is a swap between Fresh and Altitude in the Alpine Lodge. Fresh will be moving across the foyer to where the Altitude Retail Store is right now, and a new food and beverage facility will open in the fall of 2016. A new retail shop will open before winter in the space where Fresh has been, Sharpe said.

The chairlift will open for scenic mile-high rides, including special Ride and Dine and Sunset Ride and Dine features this summer. 

Other activities available at the Resort include disc golf, mini-golf, the bungee trampoline and swing sets. There will be a bike shop and retail shop open, and Ted’s will be open for post-activity food and libations.

Popular events like Tapped (beer, food and music,  July 15) and the Alpine Wine Festival (Aug. 12) are also returning, and families will want to check out Canada Day, the Family Scavenger Hunt and the Inukshuk Building Contest.  

The Resort continues to be a popular spot for weddings when the weather warms up, with 27 booked for the summer season, Sharpe said. Raven Lodge is used exclusively for weddings in the summer, and the Resort has created several spots around the Alpine Lodge that are suitable for ceremonies and photos too.

The Vancouver Island Mountain Centre is open for groups, and is often a choice for wedding parties. It has become a popular place for quilting, yoga and other retreats at well. It features stunning views of Strathcona Provincial Park and the mountains beyond, as well as an indoor gymnasium.

There are a number of rental options surrounding Mount Washington for people looking for a summer getaway to the Comox Valley and Campbell River. “Rent is cheaper here than in the Comox Valley so we’re a good hub spot for people to stay and do other activities,” Sharpe said.