The rugged and mountainous southern end of Salt Spring Island is dominated by Mount Tuam, also known as the Sacred Mountain, and Mount Bruce, separated from the equally mountainous mid-island region by the Fulford Valley.

Mount Tuam Ecological Reserve preserves fragile meadows, Garry oak ecosystems, maturing Douglas Firs and Western Red Cedar forests located on the southeastern end of Salt Spring Island, 4 km south of Fulford Harbour.

The most challenging hiking in the Gulf Islands is found on the rough trails that lead to the tops of both Bruce Peak (2,326 feet/709 m) and Mount Tuam (1,975 feet/602 m), the tallest points of land on the Southern Gulf Islands.

Take Musgrave Road west from Fulford Harbour to reach both trailheads, though eventually by different routes. One leads north off Musgrave to Bruce, while another leads south to Tuam. You’ll find great views from both down onto the Saanich Inlet and Saanich Peninsula, and across Satellite Channel to Cowichan Bay. If you make this hike in summer, take plenty of drinking water with you as these open slopes are baked by the sun.