Lovely multi day trip through the Sooke hills backcountry. Camp at Peden lake (there's a small cabin) the first night and Shields lake (tenting only) the next night. GPS route includes summiting Empress mountain, the tallest mountain in the CRD, and Mount Manuel Quimper, with a decommissioned forest service fire lookout at the top. The area is generally very dry in the summer, but in the fall, boy is it ever wet. The trail looked like a creek for some parts of the hike (sometimes because it was!). Gaiters and extra socks are highly recommended. Parking isn't the best because you come out in a different place than you started. Probably best to get a ride there. Not recommended for beginner hikers.
From Downtown Victoria Head west on Yates St toward Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 N Use the right 2 lanes to turn right at the 1st cross street onto Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 N Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 14 toward Langford/Sooke Merge onto Millstream Rd/Veterans Memorial Pkwy/BC-14 W (signs for Peatt Road) Turn right onto Juan De Fuca Hwy/Sooke Rd/BC-14 W Turn right onto Sooke River Rd
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