On Tuesday, 9th November 2021, the weather forecast was good, so I decided to make an easy day hike. I took the back roads from Penguin via Natone towards the Kara Mine. And just before the entrance of the mine site, you turn left onto a fire trail, and park the car at the end. That’s the start to hike Saint Valentines Peak. It’s a very prominent peak, which always can be see while driving along the West Coast highway. For the first few metres you follow the track down to the Old Park River, and in an old shelter there’s even a walkers registration book. To cross the small river without getting wet feet, you need to balance over some logs.
Shortly afterwards you reach a bit of buttongrass. As usual it gets a bit muddy, but not for too long. There’s even a bit of boardwalk, and some stairs before you reach a fire trail. Again, a few minutes later then track to the summit veers off to the left. It’s a nice track through some forest, not too muddy. First you arrive at the pre-summit, which already offers fantastic views to the North Coast from the Nut to the Dial Range, Mount Duncan and even Mount Roland.
From there it’s another 800m to the actual summit along the ridge line. Mainly it’s an easy walk. I think there was only a very short section which was slightly exposed. The summit offers a 360° view, including Talbots Lagoon where the gate was locked on the forestry road, and we wouldn’t continue driving further with Paul. It has a wooden platform (for helicopter landings, so maybe it’s not a good idea to pitch up your tent there). And some communication infrastructure, but nothing to shelter. Everything is locked.
It took me about 1.5h to the summit, and then I spent maybe 45min there enjoying the view, while the forestry trucks were driving out the logs from the plantation underneath me. To the south you could clearly see Talbot Lagoon and the peaks from the West Coast. While Black Bluff (not shrouded in clouds today) was much closer, with the forest plantation and the locked gate to the forest plantation from the east. I returned on the same way, and was maybe even a bit quicker on the way down.