Strathcona Park Lodge is located in central Vancouver Island on the shores of Upper Campbell Lake, just outside Strathcona Provincial Park. The 160 acre property is a multi-sport wilderness resort with facilities for rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, high ropes, hiking, zip lining, restaurants and accommodation. Sea kayaking, more rock climbing, mountaineering, backpacking, mountain hiking, whitewater paddling and mountain biking are nearby.
Strathcona Park Lodge
Strathcona Park Lodge is an eclectic collection of cottages, chalets and buildings spread on a hillside above mountain-rimmed Upper Campbell Lake. The property is an outdoor playground with hiking trails, rock climbing bluffs, old growth trees, high and low rope courses, zip lines and dozens of boats in all shapes and sizes. During the summer the lake is warm enough for swimming and on a hot day the sandy swimming bay is the busiest place on property. The wood fired sauna is always popular.
The sprawling property has plenty of quiet places and impressive viewpoints to discover and, facing west, one of the best sunset views on Vancouver Island. The golden rays light up Upper Campbell Lake and spray alpen glow across some of the highest peaks on Vancouver Island.
Strathcona Lodge is perfectly positioned for exploring further afield. Overnight and multi-day kayak and canoe trips leave right from our Waterfront Centre down Upper Campbell Lake, Buttle Lake or across to the Elk River Delta. The Brewster Lake Canoe Circuit is a short drive away. Trail heads to overnight and longer backpack trips into the Island Mountains are a 20 minute drive. Crest Creek Crags’ excellent and beginner friendly rock climbing cliffs are just down the road. Whitewater paddling programs take place in Campbell River and Gold River, 40 minutes away. Lastly, Nootka Sound, on the west coast of Vancouver Island is only two hours away for sea kayaking adventures.
Part of the adventure of a Strathcona Park Lodge vacation is getting here. All routes are very scenic and interesting in themselves.
How to get to Strathcona Park Lodge from Campbell River, Vancouver Island and Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.
The Lodge, as it’s affectionately known, is forty minutes by road southwest of Campbell River, close to the geographic centre of Vancouver Island. The Lodge sits just 10 km east of Strathcona Provincial Park on Upper Campbell Lake and is ideally situated for exploring this exciting and secluded area of Vancouver Island.
From the Campbell River airport and areas south: From Highway 19 (the Inland Island Highway) or 19A the Old Island or coastal Highway, follow the signs to Gold River taking Highway 28, also known as the Gold River Highway, west out of Campbell River.
From areas north of Campbell River: Take Highway 19 south, crossing the bridge to the intersection of Highways 19 and 28 (the Gold River Highway) at Campbell River. From here turn right on Highway 28 heading west. Strathcona Park Lodge is located on the right on the side of the highway about 40 minutes out of town just past the 40km marker sign.
Getting to Campbell River
Campbell River is easily accessible by road and air.
Air: Central Mountain Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines both have regularly scheduled flights from Vancouver to the Campbell River Airport. Further south, the Comox Airport, (40 minutes by car) is serviced by WestJet with regularly scheduled service from Calgary and Edmonton and connections across Canada. Both airports have rental cars.
Ground: If you are driving from Vancouver/the British Columbia mainland, getting to Vancouver Island is easy with BC Ferries from either Horseshoe Bay in north Vancouver to Departure Bay in Nanaimo or Tsawwassen in south Vancouver to Nanaimo’s Duke Point. From Nanaimo, follow the signs to Campbell River on Highway 19 heading north, for approximately 150 km or one and a half hours. From Campbell River, take Highway 28 (the Gold River Highway) west to Strathcona Lodge. If you are looking for a more scenic route, you can access the coastal highway from any of the communities along the route from Nanaimo to Campbell River, following directions to 19A.
BY BUS (groups) : It is recommended that you call a few companies to find the best value for your needs.
- Ambassador Shuttle Service www.ambassadorshuttleservice.ca or 250-339-5252 Toll Free 877-339-5252
- 287-TAXI: up to 20 passengers 250-287-8294
- Comox Coach & Shuttle Ltd. www.comoxcoach.ca or 250-898-8533 or 1-844-898-8533
- Destiny River Adventures: school bus charter 1-877-923-7238 or www.destinyriver.com
- Forest Coach Tours 1-888-248-4525
- Garden City Transportation: school bus charter 250-385-0699 or www.gardencitytransportation.com
- Smith Transportation 1-877-756-2544
- Wilson’s Transportation: 1-800-567-3288
Strathcona Provincial Park
The Lodge is named after Strathcona Provincial Park, British Columbia’s oldest park, established in 1911. The park protects Buttle Lake, vast tracts of wilderness and the highest peaks on Vancouver Island.
As the only accommodation in the area, the Lodge is perfectly positioned for exploring the park from Buttle Lake. There are several short interpretive trails within the park along the Buttle Lake corridor south of the Lodge including Lupin Falls and Upper and Lower Myra Falls. Several longer hikes lead to the summit of mountains and ridges that are jumping off points to challenging but excellent overnight routes, climbs and trails deeper into the park. The best day hike is Bedwell Lake, a couple of tarns in an amphitheatre of glaciated peaks. More experienced hikers can try the difficult hike to the summit of Kings Peak.
Paddling trips along Upper Campbell Lake and Buttle Lake are fairly easy, with amazing views looking up to the snow capped peaks. There are several provincial park campgrounds comfortably spread along Buttle Lake. The fishing here for cutthroat and rainbow trout can be excellent.
Click here for more information on Strathcona Provincial Park.
Highway 28 (Gold River Highway)
Highway 28, that crosses Vancouver Island from Campbell River in the east to access Strathcona Park Lodge and the villages of Gold River and Tahsis, is an artery to incredible wilderness and adventure.
Campbell River is a bustling city during the summer. Long known as the Salmon Capital of Canada, this small coastal city boasts excellent ocean and river fishing as well as phenomenal whale watching. There is an excellent regional human history museum (the Museum at Campbell River) that traces First Nations history of the area as well as pioneer, logging and fishing history. The extensive grounds feature native plant gardens with interpretive signage.
Just five kilometres west of Campbell River, Elk Falls, a thundering cascade that feeds the Campbell River and is surrounded by enormous first growth trees, is easily viewed by taking a well groomed trail to an excellent suspension bridge. A few kilometres north of the falls is the Snowden Demonstration Forest, a maze of hiking and mountain biking trails. In this same area you can access the Brewster Lake Canoe Circuit, a four day paddling that rivals routes in Ontario’s Algonquin Park but with the added spectacle of stunning mountains in the background. Dozens of other fish-filled lakes are just off the highway between Campbell River and the Lodge.
Beyond Strathcona Park Lodge heading west towards the village of Gold River are the western access points to Strathcona Provincial Park, including the hike to Landslide Lake via the Elk River trail and exceptional rock climbing at Crest Creek Crags. The village of Gold River features a river of the same name that offers good white water paddling, and salmon and steelhead fishing. The villages is also an access point to the rugged west coast. From the Gold River dock, jump aboard a float plane, water taxi or the supply ship, the MV Uchuck III, to access Nootka Sound, an excellent fishing and sea kayaking destination and an exceptional location in which to view whales, sea otters and other wildlife. Nootka Island is the home of the Nootka Island Trail, a world class coastal backpacking route.
Highway 28 heads north and west past Gold River and becomes a mainly gravel road. The road continues to its end at the coastal village of Tahsis. Along the way you’ll pass the renowned Upana Caves, a collection of caverns and disappearing streams. Both private and public marinas are also accessed from this road and there are plenty of good fishing spots.
From the trails of Snowden to the beaches of Nootka Island, no one knows this exciting wilderness as well as Strathcona Park Lodge. For more than 50 years we’ve been guiding trips to just about every trail, put-in, campsite, beach and peak.
Further afield, Vancouver Island has more to offer in a smaller area than almost anywhere else. There’s the English-style charm of Victoria in the south, the surfing beaches of Tofino, the wilderness of the north island where you can go rafting on the Nimpkish River with Destiny River Adventures or whale watching from Telegraph Cove with one of many operators. Don’t miss the eclectic charms of the small island communities in the Discovery Passage and Georgia Strait. Art lovers will enjoy a self-guided artist studio tour on Quadra Island, a short ferry ride from Campbell River.
We’ve got lots of other ideas too and are happy to help you plan and book your adventures.