Hikers admiring the view from Crest Mountain over the Elk River, Strathcona Park. Photo by Philip Stone

Hikers admiring the view from Crest Mountain over the Elk River, Strathcona Park. Photo by Philip Stone

Get away from it all at Strathcona Provincial Park

Discover freshwater lakes for paddlers and anglers, excellent hiking and camping

Vancouver Island’s Strathcona Provincial Park is renowned for its stunning scenery, but beyond the picture perfect vistas are a wide variety of outdoor pursuits, including excellent hiking, freshwater lakes for paddlers and anglers and camping opportunities.

… and a little history!

In fact, designated in 1911, Strathcona is British Columbia’s oldest provincial park, and encompasses 248,669 hectares.

Here’s a look at what you’ll find.

Located almost in the centre of Vancouver Island, this rugged mountain wilderness spans more than 250,000 hectares.

Strathcona summers are pleasantly warm, and winters fairly mild, with heavy snowfalls typical at higher elevations, where it can linger into late spring an summer.

The area in and around Buttle Lake, and Forbidden Plateau offer a variety of visitor-oriented developments, but the rest of the park is largely undeveloped and appeals primarily to people seeking wilderness escapes, hiking or backpacking into the alpine regions.

Buttle Lake and the many other lakes and waterways can provide good fishing in season for Cutthroat, Rainbow and Dolly Varden trout.

Find Della Falls, whose drop of 440 metres over three cascades makes it one of the highest waterfalls in Canada, in the southern remote section of the park with the trailhead only accessible by boat at the northwest end of Great Central Lake.

And the highest point on Vancouver Island, the Golden Hinde (elevation 2,200 metres), stands almost in the centre of Strathcona to the west of Buttle Lake.

Canoes beached at Buttle Lake marine campground in Strathcona Provincial Park. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

Canoes beached at Buttle Lake marine campground in Strathcona Provincial Park. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror

Strathcona Park benefits from excellent adjoining commercial facilities such as the Strathcona Park Lodge and Outdoor Education Centre, which offers outdoor education and wilderness skills training. The nearby communities of Campbell River, the Comox Valley, Gold River, Tofino and Port Alberni offer a full range of visitor services.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort, located adjacent to the park, offers extensive alpine and nordic skiing opportunities, as well as a variety of winter and summer recreation facilities.

Be sure to plan ahead before you go, be prepared for changeable weather – visit bcparks.ca for maps and information.

BC’s provincial parks are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, but to plan for future adventures here and throughout the West Coast, visit westcoasttraveller.com.

British ColumbiaCanadaHikingparkstravelvancouverisland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

CSWM is being asked to reconsider statutory holiday closures for solid waste delivery to the regional landfill. Record file photo
Cumberland also asks for landfill stat closure reconsideration

Council follows Comox’s lead in asking waste board to rethink decision

A youth has been arrested in response to yesterday’s threat directed at Lake Trail Middle School. File photo
Youth arrested in connection with threat directed at Courtenay school

A youth has been arrested after the Comox Valley RCMP and School… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read