Ideally situated to explore Vancouver Island
Located minutes outside of Strathcona Provincial Park, we often act as a base camp and resource for adventurers. Whether it’s a day trip or multi-day expedition you’re looking for, our backyard is full of possibilities. From ocean kayaking to white water paddling, waterfall viewing to mountaineering, or simply enjoying a day at the beach with your loved ones, there’s a little something for everyone. We have guided in this area for over 50 years and have extensive knowledge of the area. We love helping our visitors plan their next adventures, whether by providing guides, resources, equipment or just a few ideas.
From the Lodge
In addition to the extensive activity-based infrastructure and small network of trails on our own property, there are a number of self-propelled trips that can be undertaken directly from the Lodge, or with very little effort.
Overnight and multi-day paddling trips leave right from our Waterfront Centre, providing excellent access to hikes like Marble Meadows.
- Upper Campbell Lake and Buttle Lake – Straightforward and family-friendly, you can enjoy 25-km of uninterrupted paddling to the end of Buttle Lake. With several park campgrounds along the shores, this can be broken up into several days. The fishing for cutthroat and rainbow trout can be excellent here.
- Brewster Lake Canoe Circuit – This four-day paddling trip rivals routes in Ontario’s Algonquin Park. As Vancouver Island’s longest lake chain, the Brewster Lake Circuit, is just a short drive away from our operations.
Strathcona Provincial Park
Established in 1911, Strathcona Provincial Park is B.C.’s oldest park and is only 10 km away. The Park protects vast tracts of wilderness, including Buttle Lake and the highest peaks on Vancouver Island.
Hiking & Mountaineering
Some of the Island’s best day, overnight and multi-day trips are all within a 20-minute drive of our property. Extensive guidebooks and maps exist and should be consulted before entering these wilderness areas, or guides (LINK) can be hired. Notable options include:
- Bedwell Lake– This well-maintained, moderately trafficked hike leads up to stunning tarns in an amphitheatre of glaciated peaks. Well worth the effort.
- Kings Peak– This is a challenging hike and requires some experience. Those who brave the elevation, technical terrain and moderate route finding are rewarded with stunning views of some of the Island’s tallest peaks.
- Landslide Lake via the Elk River Trail – Cradled in the lap of Mount Colonel Foster, Landslide Lake is the result of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the area in 1946. The 21 km lightly trafficked out and back starts out moderate, shifting to difficult terrain in the final push towards the lake.
The park offers plenty of accessible hikes for young-families, or those looking for a quiet stroll in nature.
- Lupin Falls – a forest trail that winds towards an elegant waterfall. It also boasts a beautiful picnic spot with stunning views down Buttle Lake.
- Upper Myra Falls – A 4 km hike through a beautiful old-growth forest.
- Lower Myra Falls – A short walk to marble and limestone terraced pools. Great view of the lake. Striking!
From alpine routes to top rope friendly pitches, there is a little something for everyone. Guidebooks that cover these areas are available in our store, or you can hire a guide for a day at the crag.
- Crest Creek Crags – An excellent beginner-friendly crag just down the road. Stunning views of the surrounding peaks.
Known as the Salmon Capital of Canada, this small coastal city features excellent ocean and river fishing, phenomenal marine tours and a rich history. Campbell River also boasts easy access to winding interpretive trails, mountain bike networks, and white-water paddling.
Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails
There are several easy to moderate trail networks nearby. These areas are excellent for young families, or those looking for a quiet stroll or ride.
- Elk Falls– Just minutes from Campbell River along Highway 28, Elk Falls is a thundering cascade that feeds the Campbell River. Surrounded by first growth trees, it is easily accessed by a well-groomed trail, and can be viewed from the suspension bridge.
- Snowden Demonstration Forest– A few kilometres north of Elk Falls is a maze of hiking and mountain biking trails. Quiet, with a mix of rolling trails through lush forest.
Human History Museum
Great for a rainy day, or the avid history buff, the Museum at Campbell River (Link) traces the history of Indigenous Peoples in the area, as well as pioneer, logging and fishing history. The extensive grounds feature native plant gardens with interpretive signage.
White Water Paddling
Like Gold River, the city features a river of the same name. A great place to spend a day on the river, with easy to moderate sections. We run programs on both rivers and many options to hire guiding outfits are available.
Remote passages, wildlife (whales!) and active tidal zones. Outfits like Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours provide exciting whale watching, grizzly and kayak tours nearby.
The village of Gold River often acts as an access point to Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast. The area boasts excellent fishing and is a beloved sea kayaking destination.
White Water Paddling
The village features a river of the same name. A great place to spend a day on the river, with easy to moderate sections.
Both private and public marinas can be accessed from Gold River, with plenty of good fishing spots. The Gold River itself is also known for its salmon and steelhead fishing.
Steeped in rich First Nations history, Nootka Sound is a stunning coastal area and well worth a visit. There are many options for exploring this area, including:
- MV Uchuck III – Accommodating up to 100 guests and 70 tons of freight, the Uchuck is an excellent way to see Nootka Sound at a leisurely pace. Check out our Uckuck Special or visit the Get West website to learn more.
- Air Nootka – This scheduled and chartered seaplane provides tours and as well as access to some of the island’s most remote locations. Visit their website for details.
- Sea Kayaking – For such a lightly trafficked area, Nootka Sound has some of the best sea kayaking to be found. Stunning, remote beaches and waters that are teeming with wildlife. We offer rentals and guides.
- Hiking Nootka Island Trail– a rugged and remote coastal backpacking route that runs along the west side of Nootka Island. Hikers usually start at Louie Bay, ending at Friendly Cove. Access by boat or plane!