Hiking in Vancouver Island, Strathcona Provincial Park
Scenery from the Flower Ridge trail hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park

Region in British Columbia, Canada
Strathcona trail map

Hiking In Strathcona Provincial Park

Strathcona Provincial Park is the jewel of Vancouver Island: 250,000 hectares of protected wilderness, teeming with unique flora and fauna, rare wildlife, and some of the best hiking trails in British Columbia. Indeed, this gorgeous park is a hiker’s paradise, but visitors to the area often overlook it, preferring to head for the better-known coastal areas. However, we think that Strathcona Provincial Park is a rare hidden gem, and the perfect destination for adventure travellers.

Visitors going hiking in Strathcona Provincial Park typically head to one of two areas: Buttle Lake, and the Forbidden Plateau, so-named as a result of an ancient Indian legend about the unexplained disappearance of visitors who strayed too far from their companions. The rest of the park is somewhat wild, filled with trails just waiting to be explored.

Vancouver Island’s isolation from the rest of the mainland has allowed the park’s wildlife to develop in unique ways, and Strathcona is home to many rare species including the Vancouver Island marmot, the gray jay, the Vancouver Island wolf and the white-tailed ptarmigan. However, the crowning glory of the park has to be its flowers – you’ll pass along trails filled with an immense variety of wild alpine flora, including rare cedar trees and delicate Columbine flowers. What are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring Strathcona Provincial Park today!

Types Of Hiking In Strathcona Provincial Park

Strathcona Provincial Park is perfectly located for an amazing holiday on Vancouver Island – you can find yourself scaling snow-capped peaks in the morning and taking a dip in the ocean in the afternoon! This makes it an ideal destination for a family break, where kids can enjoy interesting, moderate trails, with plenty of other activities to keep them occupied. There are many places for swimming, canoeing and biking throughout the park, meaning you’ll certainly never be bored during your stay.

Strathcona also contains some real lung-busting hikes for visitors looking for a challenge. Many of our favorite trails include steep, rapid ascents, meaning that you’ll get a good workout along with some incredible views. The trails are also full of interest and variety, from boardwalks through flower-filled meadows to dramatic ridge walks with mind-blowing views. In essence, there’s something for everyone in this gorgeous natural reserve.

Easy Hikes In Strathcona Provincial Park

Upper Myra Falls Hike: Strathcona Provincial Park is filled with beautiful waterfalls, and this hike out to the Upper Myra Falls is a wonderful way to experience everything the park has to offer. The trail passes through lush, old growth forest, and ascends up a mild slope to the viewpoint for the falls. This is one of the best easy hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park, and is best experienced in the spring when the falls are at their finest!

Family Hikes In Strathcona Provincial Park

Lady Falls Hike: The short hike to Lady Falls is a wonderful family hike in Strathcona Provincial Park. The trail follows a well-defined trail lined with benches, and with plenty of spots for kids to explore. The falls themselves thunder 30 meters into the green, mossy ravine, and the specially designed viewing platform offers a wonderful view of the water.

Day Hikes In Strathcona Provincial Park

Mount Albert Edward Hike: This challenging hike is one of the best day hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park. Mount Albert Edward is perched on the edge of the Forbidden Plateau, and is one of the most iconic peaks in the park, with steep, sloping sides and a distinctive pointed summit. It’s a long day hike, but it’s always possible to break it up by camping at Circlet Lake, and the views from the top of the mountain are simply remarkable.

Challenging Hikes In Strathcona Provincial Park

Mount Myra Hike: Deep in the heart of Strathcona Provincial Park, Mount Myra offers one of the best and most popular hikes in the region. The trail passes gorgeous lakes, and offers a stunning panorama over Strathcona Provincial Park, including the Golden Hinde, Mount Tom Taylor, and Mount Tellwood. Mount Myra is a long, challenging hike, but the incredible views along the way make it worth all the effort.

Best Hikes In Strathcona Provincial Park

Flower Ridge Hike: The Flower Ridge Hike is arguably the best hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, offering stellar views and full day of hiking along a flower-filled alpine ridge. The trail begins at Buttle Lake and climbs steeply through old growth forest before emerging out on to the ridge. You’ll be treated to an amazing view over the Nine Peaks, Cream Lake and Big Interior Mountain. What’s more, the ridge more than lives up to its name – you’ll encounter hundreds of rare species of alpine flowers, and walk across a carpet of vibrant, pink mountain heather.

Elk River Trail Hike: The Elk River Trail passes along the river all the way to Landslide Lake, providing one of the most enjoyable hikes in the park. The trail is surrounded by lush forests, coated in a carpet of fragrant moss, and eventually rises up onto a ridge offering magnificent views of Mount Colonel Foster.

Lake Helen MacKenzie Hike: The hike out to Lake Helen MacKenzie passes through some of the most beautiful territory in Strathcona Provincial Park. You’ll hike on boardwalks that pass through lush meadows, filled with some of the park’s rarest flowers, and surrounded by butterflies and dragonflies. The lake sits against a backdrop of stunning, tall mountains and is surrounded by sub-alpine glades and ponds. This is one of the best family hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Bedwell Lake Hike: If you’re looking for a moderate day hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, this hike to Bedwell Lake is ideal. The route passes along well-maintained, boarded trails, with stunning views of Big Interior Peak and Mount Tom Taylor. Baby Bedwell Lake, just before the main lake opens up, is a wonderful place for a refreshing swim on hot days!

Mount Becher Hike: Located in the east of Strathcona Provincial Park, this trail begins at the Forbidden Plateau and extends all the way to the dome-shaped Mount Becher. The route passes through some of the famous flower-filled meadows that Strathcona is known for, offering the opportunity to see some beautiful, rare species. From the top of the mountain the views are stunning, with a vista that includes the Comox Glacier and Mount Albert Edward.

Augerpoint Beach Hike: The route out to Augerpoint Beach is a wonderful, easy walk suitable for the whole family. Augerpoint Beach lines the side of Buttle Lake, offering wonderful views across the lake and to the peaks on the opposite side. Mount Myra towers over the water and provides fantastic photo opportunities. Don’t forget your swimming gear – the lake is perfect for a dip on warm days!

When Is The Best Time To Hike In Strathcona Provincial Park?

Summer is the best time to hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, when you’ll find dry, sunny days and perfect conditions out on the trails. Vancouver Island is known for its rain, but summer in Strathcona is usually warm and dry (notwithstanding the odd shower!). Higher altitude trails may see snow as early as September, and spring snowfall can cling to the peaks until late June, but the lower trails are usually clear from early April to the start of October. Winter and early spring are usually wet, cloudy and cold, with plenty of snow in the hills, limiting the possibilities for hiking.

Other Outdoor Activities in Strathcona Provincial Park

Strathcona Provincial Park is best known as a hiking destination, but there are many other activities on offer in this beautiful part of BC! Canoeing is a very popular activity throughout the park, especially on Buttle Lake, and there are many opportunities for fishing, horseback riding, cycling, and climbing all through the summer. In winter, visitors can enjoy backcountry skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, and this can be a wonderful time to see the park, when it’s covered in a fresh, glistening coat of snow.

How To Plan A Trip To Strathcona Provincial Park

If you’re looking for tips on how to plan a trip to Strathcona Provincial Park, look no further! We’ve put together the ultimate guide to visiting the park, complete with accommodation tips, advice on getting there and away, and everything you’ll need to know about the activities on offer. Check out our guide to planning a trip in Strathcona Provincial Park, and start dreaming of your next adventure!

Read More

The best hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park

Scenery from the Flower Ridge trail hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

01. Flower Ridge
Difficulty

24.7km 1,460m 7-10h

The Flower Ridge hike starts with an arduous climb up the first half of the… Read More

User Rating

9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from the Bedwell Lake hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

02. Bedwell Lake
Difficulty

11.4km 929m 3-5h

The hike to Bedwell Lake is one of the best maintained trails in Strathcona Provincial… Read More

User Rating

9.2Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Mt Albert Edward hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

03. Mt Albert Edward
Difficulty

30.9km 1,635m 9-12h

The Mt Albert Edward hike is commonly seen from the Mt Washington ski hill. The… Read More

User Rating

9.3Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery of the Lady Falls hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

04. Lady Falls
Difficulty

1.0km 33m 1h

The hike to Lady Falls is a nice family-friendly hike for families camping in Strathcona… Read More

User Rating

8.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from the Elk River Trail hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

05. Elk River Trail
Difficulty

24.6km 666m 6-8h

The hike along the Elk River Trail to Landslide Lake is a classic Strathcona Provincial… Read More

User Rating

9.2Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Mt Myra hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

06. Mt Myra
Difficulty

22.5km 1,678m 8-12h

Hiking up Mt Myra is a Vancouver Island Classic Hike. Mt Myra is the second… Read More

User Rating

No ratings yet
Scenery of the Mt Becher hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

07. Mt Becher
Difficulty

11.7km 648m 3-4.5h

The hike to Mt Becher is a fantastic half-day in Strathcona Provincial Park. This hike… Read More

User Rating

9.3Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Lake Helen MacKenzie hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

08. Lake Helen MacKenzie
Difficulty

8.9km 249m 2-3h

The hike to Lake Helen MacKenzie is a quintessential Vancouver Island hike. The well-maintained hiking… Read More

User Rating

8.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Upper Myra Falls hike in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

09. Upper Myra Falls
Difficulty

7.9km 152m 2-3h

The hike to Upper Myra Falls is a stunning, family-friendly hike in Strathcona Provincial Park.… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Trail of the Augerpoint Beach hike in Strathcona, Vancouver Island

10. Augerpoint Beach
Difficulty

0.6km 20m 0.5-1h

The family-friendly walk along Augerpoint Beach is an easy walk in Strathcona Provincial Park. While… Read More

User Rating

9.3Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

Are we missing your favourite hike?

Tell us! If you've got photos, a GPS track and know the hike, we'd love to share your favourite hike with the rest of the 10Adventures community.