Sugar is an uninteresting mountain compared to neighboring summits in the Monashees. However, it is unique for having an in-tact abandoned fire lookout station.

There is a trail up the mountain but it is better classified as an ATV trail. It is moderately popular with the offroad community and therefore it is usually clear of treefall. Since it is technically possible to drive up with an ATV, it is not as popular with hikers.

Sugar Mountain on the way up

Since a summer hike would be pretty boring compared to surrounding trails the option of a winter ascent can be an option. There is only one issue with this – access. Kate Creek FSR is generally not plowed in the winter unless there is logging in the area. However, there are a couple windows per year where road access at is possible and there is still snow on the trail (late fall, early summer).

Typical trail half way up

We chose to attempt the trail as an alpine tour and managed to time the approach perfectly. In mid-November, there ample snow for a good ski but not enough at lower elevations to block trailhead access.

Sugar Fire Lookout Video

Inside Sugar Fire Lookout

Directions to Trailhead

In Cherryville, BC, turn north at Frank’s General Store onto Sugar Lake Road. This road is in good condition all year round and accessible via 2WD vehicle. Just before reaching Sugar Lake, turn right on Kate Creek forestry service road. There are limited signs past this point so a good map/GPS is required. 2.6km later, turn left to stay on Kate Creek FSR (not straight onto Kate Creek Sitkum FSR). Park at 17.6km from Sugar Lake road at the obviously logged road that stretches up the mountain. As of 2022 the road to the trailhead is very good and 2WD vehicle accessible. From the trailhead, it is roughly 10km to the top.

Sugar Mountain itself is not noteworthy but the views from the top of the surrounding Monashee Mountains are fantastic. The pinnacles and Mount Severide are clearly visible to the south as are the peaks of Goat, Initiative, Fosthall, Odin, Thor, Niflheim, and Kelly to the west.

Monashees as seen from the west (Goat at far right, Fosthall left of centre)