Canada // Vancouver and Vancouver Island //

Hiking in Strathcona Provincial Park


Hiking is superb in Strathcona, with a jaw-dropping scenic combination of jagged mountains – including Golden Hinde (2220m) – lakes, rivers, waterfalls and all the trees you could possibly want. There are several shorter, marked trails accessible from the highway. All the longer trails can be tramped in a day, though the most popular, the Elk River Trail (10km), which starts from Drum Lake on Hwy-28, lends itself to an overnight stop; popular with backpackers because of its gentle grade, the path ends up at Landslide Lake, an idyllic camping spot. The other highly regarded trail is the Flower Ridge walk, a steep 14km round-trip (extendable by 10km) that starts at the southern end of Buttle Lake and involves a very stiff 1250m elevation gain. The same lung-busting ascent is called for on the Crest Mountain Trail (10km round-trip), a trail into high mountain country accessed from Hwy-28 at the park’s western edge. The backpacking is great once you’ve hauled up onto the summit ridges above the tree-line.

In the Forbidden Plateau area, named after an aboriginal legend that claimed evil spirits lay in wait to devour women and children who entered its precincts, the most popular trip is the Forbidden Plateau Skyride to the summit of Wood Mountain where there’s a 2km trail to a viewpoint over Boston Canyon.

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