5040 Peak Hut

Explore the Coastal Mountains of Vancouver Island

From alpine lakes to open ridges that connect with other summits, there is a vast amount of beautiful terrain to explore from the hut. The Island’s mountains are known for being rugged, wet, bushy and adventurous. While this environment is not particularly family friendly, if you do choose to make the effort then you may experience moments that can fill your soul. A 4x4 or AWD is required to drive the steep gravel road that leads to the trailhead. More access information is available on the Section’s website: https://www.huts.accvi.ca/ You will be visiting the traditional territory of Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations. First Nations were the first people to summit many of the peaks in this area including 5040 Peak. They have been on Vancouver Island for thousands of years and have developed a rich culture and history. It is a privilege to share this land with them. When visiting this area please keep in mind the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation saying “His-shuk-nish-tsa-waak” which means “We Are All One”.

Modern Backcountry Accommodation

The hut runs on solar, wood pellets and propane. Solar energy is stored in a bank of batteries that power the lighting, fans and auger in the wood pellet stove. There are several power outlets for charging personal devices. This is the only ACC backcountry hut that uses a high efficiency wood pellet stove for heating. This system is clean and straightforward to operate: guests simply ensure there are pellets in the stove’s hopper and then adjust the control dials to the desired temperature. The wood pellet stove helps ensure that visitors do not cut down the area’s old krummholz trees for firewood. The hut has four propane cooktop burners. It is expensive to fly in propane so we ask guests to conserve propane through measures such as preheating water in a large pot on top of the wood pellet stove. The outhouse uses an innovative urine/solid separating system. This is the first time this technology has been used in the ACC’s hut network. In the absence of urine, solid human waste can be decomposed without any bulking agents such as wood chips. Urine diversion is the critical component in creating a low-hazard and low-odor waterless toilet.

An Area of Extremes

The hut is 12km away from the wettest place in North America: Henderson Lake (or Hucuktlis Lake, meaning 'place way inside’). On average this lake receives almost 7m of precipitation a year. It can be torrentially wet in the coastal mountains. In winter all of this precipitation makes for huge snowfalls and a deep snow pack. The average peak snowpack at the hut is 4m deep. The immense amount of snow makes for great skiing and a long ski season that often extends into early summer. IMPORTANT: the ski terrain is steep and complex. If you’re coming in winter then you should be an advanced skier who is well trained in avalanche safety. Appropriate knowledge, fitness, experience, equipment and safety precautions are required. The hut is located near Port Alberni which is the hottest spot on Vancouver Island. Summer temperatures at the hut exceed 35°. Because of the coastal influence winter temperatures usually do not drop below -10° (without the wind chill). 5040 Peak is situated above Barkley Sound. Strong marine winds funnel up the Sound and then accelerate as they are squeezed into valleys that head up to the peak. Hurricane force winds occur at the hut. In January 2018, Category 2 hurricane winds of over 160km/hr were recorded at the coast. Winds may have been considerably higher at the hut. Keep on top of weather forecasts and be prepared for extreme conditions in the coastal mountains.

At A Glance

General: On the west coast of Vancouver Island, above Pacific Rim National Park BC.
Map and Grid Reference:
Hut Elevation: 1320 meters (4330 feet)
Lat / Long: 49°11’21” N / 125°17’15” W
Open: Open all year
Rates: $20 members, $25 others
Contact: For any bookings, please contact 403-678-3200 ext. 0

Quick Description: Summer: A 2.4km hike up the Cobalt Lake Trail. Winter: Up to 12km ski. Distance depends on the snow line on the Marion Creek Forest Service Road.
Elevation Gain to Hut: Summer: 700 m (2300 ft). Winter: up to 1175 m (3850 ft).
Approach Time: Summer: 2-3 hours. Winter: 4-8 hours.
How To Book Check Availability

Hut Bookings

  • Reservations are required at all ACC huts.
  • ACC membership is not required to book huts. ACC members can book 12 months in advance. Non-members can book 30 days in advance
  • Call 403-678-3200 ext 0 to make a booking. We are open 8:30 am to 9:30 pm daily.
  • Please read our cancellation policies and consider cancellation and/or appropriate emergency medical insurance for your trip (link below).


Per Night Adult Member $20
Per Night Adult Non-Member $25
Per Night Child Member $10
Per Night Child Non-Member $12.50

About rates


Mattress pads provided, bring your own sleeping bag
Propane stove (propane supplied)
Solar LED lighting
Wood pellet stove - fuel provided
Snow melt, creek

Recreational Opportunities

  • Hiking
  • Scrambling
  • Ski Touring
  • Snowshoeing


Summer: hike 2.4km up the Cobalt Lake Trail.

Winter: Approach distance varies depending on where the snow line is on the Marion Creek Forest Service Road. If you are not able to drive any distance up the road then the maximum approach is 12km.

Detailed access info, GPS tracks and maps will be available on the Vancouver Island webpage.

References and Links

The Hut Experience

Staying in a backcountry hut is a shared, rustic experience. Sleeping, kitchen and living areas are communal, and foam mattresses, cooking and eating utensils are provided. Guests are expected to bring their own sleeping bags, food and personal items.

All of our huts are user-maintained, meaning that the custodial work of keeping the hut clean, chopping firewood and shovelling snow is done by the guests. The ACC provides major service and renovations to all of our huts each year to ensure they are in good repair.