Mount Manuel Quimper is one of the highest (at 1800 ft) summits in the greater Victoria area. The uphill portion of the hike begins at the parking lot and ends once you are on the summit. This hike is considered to be challenging. Hiking boot are recommended. The trail is 4.3 km one way. So give yourselves ample time to get to the top, enjoy the view and then make your way back down the mountain. We did this hike on an unusually warm day in January of 2018. It had snowed at elevation a few days before and now that snow as pouring of the mountain in torrents of water down every crack, gully and hiking trail. A lot of the trail has lots of rock and can be wet. There is a nice rest spot about half way to the summit where you can sip some water and catch your breath. If you're only out for a short day then this makes a fine place for a sit down snack before you head back down the mountain. If you have walking sticks bring them along and you'll be glad that you did. This trail was surprising busy however we only encountered people on the trail infrequently.
This is a beautiful hike so of course getting there early; as always, is your best course of action. There are washrooms in the parking area. The trail starts at the end of the parking lot by the gate. The uphill portion begins pretty much right after you get out of your vehicle. The route we're talking about here is a loop. You follow the logging road straight ahead from the gate. You'll see a sign post that says Mt.Quimper Trail 4.3 Km. Follow the road uphill for twenty minutes or so and you'll see a trail sign and another trail heading up and off to the left. Take this trail. The trail sign identifies this as the Quimper Trail. After a few minutes you'll pass under some power transmission lines. The trail heads around the corner and starts to gain some elevation. It's a little steep for the next twenty minutes until you come to another trail intersection. Take the Quimper trail to the right. Twenty minutes up this trail and you'll see the viewpoint area I mentioned. There are no signs. You'll see it on the right. There is a small trail leading to a mossy bluff area with great views. If your goal is to get to the summit and check out the old fire tower then get back onto the trail and go right following the trail uphill. You're 2.5 kilometers from getting there! If you decide to turn around at the viewpoint and head back down the mountain then, when you get back onto the trail go left and follow the trail down to Sooke Mountain Rd. Go left at the old road for 1.1 km and you'll be back at the parking lot.