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TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2010

Explore Mount Washington on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Vancouver Island is home to many beautiful and wondrous places to explore and also to the Island's only ski and snowboarding resort, Mount Washington. Famous for its bountiful and spectacular powder, Mount Washington is a year round destination with sightseeing, hiking, mountain biking and camping in the warmer months as well as easy access to nearby Strathcona Provincial Park (the oldest in the British Columbia). The small village resort and its surrounding area is also home to the Vancouver Island Marmot - one of the most endangered species on the planet.

Views from Mount Washington on Vancouver Island south toward Victoria during the winter months.Vancouver Island is home to waterways, flora and fauna and mountains. One of its tallest is Mount Washington which is also the Island's only ski and snowboard resort with rustic cabins and views across the Island. Whiskey Jack atop Mount Washington on Vancouver Island.

Both a summer and winter destination, there are plenty of exciting activities to try from snowboarding and alpine skiing to cross country skiing in the winter and hiking, mountain biking and exploring during the summer in the valley and adjoining Strathcona Provincial Park. Mount Washington's claim to fame is its deep snow - most times deeper than anywhere else in the world - and it offers some of the most amazing powder available in the province which attracts thousands of skiers annually.

The Vancouver Island Marmot - one of the most endangered animals in the world - live around Mount Washington.Keep a lookout throughout the seasons for animals ranging from rodents to large mammals. Bears, Bald Eagles, and deer are common - especially after the snow melt. At the higher elevations look for Whiskey Jacks - large grey and white birds which often land on peoples hands looking for foodstuffs. Mount Washington is best known as the home of the Vancouver Island marmot which is one of the most endangered animals in the world which hibernates from early Fall to mid-Spring. Lucky visitors can spot one of these elusive creatures while they're looking for food or exploring outside their underground dens. Black Bears have been spotted in the Mount Washington Area as well as throughout Vancouver Island.

Mount Washington is not very developed, however there are few hotels and resorts. Most local accommodations are private cabin or condo rentals. In the summer, camping is available in nearby Strathcona Provincial Park (British Columbia's oldest Park) and accommodations outside of the village in nearby communities.

Explore this amazing stretch of Vancouver Island and marvel at the stunning views, its proximity to Strathcona Provincial Park, its unique creatures such as the Vancouver Island Marmots and enjoy its small town atmosphere with meandering hikes along its rustic cabins. Whether in the Winter or Summer (or somewhere in between) there is something for all ages and interests at Mount Washington!






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