Hiking on Vancouver Island

Every season on Vancouver Island gives you chances to pack your backpack and start an adventure. Discover them all while hiking through real nature with fantastic scenery. Vancouver Island offers hundreds of hiking trails with various elevations and lengths in alpine areas, mountains, the coastline, glaciers, and many other natural attractions.
The hiking opportunities on Vancouver Island range from hours to multi-day hikes. Hiking trails come in various difficulty levels, from easy, moderate, to hard. Whether a beginner or professional, you can customize a hiking trip according to your expectations. If you are planning a hiking trip with your family, several options make your hiking adventure on Vancouver Island memorable. The trails may be dog-friendly, kid-friendly, wheelchair and stroller-friendly, also including facilities and camping areas.
Some parks like Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Cape Scott Provincial Park, Strathcona Provincial Park, East Sooke Regional Park, and Goldstream Provincial Park are great locations to explore on foot. Among the best hikes on Vancouver Island are Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, West Coast Trail, Cathedral Grove, East Sooke Coast Trail, and Wild Pacific Trail.
Most hiking trails in coastal areas lead to beaches, but generally, hiking on Vancouver Island can suit anyone's taste by featuring beaches, rivers, lakes, forests, caves, the ocean, parks, waterfalls, hot springs, and bridges. A hiking path on Vancouver Island may also be suitable for running, cycling, bird watching and wildlife viewing.

Different Types of Hiking on Vancouver Island

  • Day hiking
  • Summit Hiking
  • Long-distance Hiking

Different Types of Trail Routes on Vancouver Island

  • Out and back
  • Loop
  • Point to point
Hiking the Elk Falls via Millenium Trail

Hiking the Elk Falls via Millenium Trail

The Elk Falls via Millenium Trail is a family-friendly loop. This excellent hike with spectacular views includes waterfalls, Suspension Bridge, sitting areas and the Campbell River. Hiking this trail certainly tests your nerves. It is well maintained with several facilities. Get in touch with beautiful scenery along the river, and enjoy the stunning park with all family members while you are just a few kilometres away from downtown.

Hiking the Elk Falls Viewing Platform Trail

Hiking the Elk Falls Viewing Platform Trail

With a five-kilometre distance from the city, hiking the Elk Falls Viewing Platform is an opportunity. It is among several hiking trails you can follow and explore in Elk Falls Provincial Park. This easy trail forest walk is age-friendly and features a waterfall and Suspension Bridge with a great view from the point.

Hiking the Campbell River Canyon View Trail

Hiking the Campbell River Canyon View Trail

Just outside Campbell River, step into an exciting hiking trail in the middle of a provincial park. It is where the stunning view of Douglas-fir forests comes with a wide variety of wildlife to watch. Find your way alongside the river in a loop which in some parts would be a challenge. It would be great if you plan to be there in the afternoon with a view of the sun when you cross the river.

Hiking Common Questions and Answers

Hiking is a long-distance walk, which you can do on trails in the countryside or a specific area in nature. This outdoor activity is a challenge that may take hours or days.
There are three types of hiking you can experience on Vancouver Island; day hiking, summit hiking, and long-distance hiking.
There are hundreds of trails on Vancouver Island, and most of them are suitable for hiking.
There are some trails less than one kilometre for those who prefer short and easy hiking trails on Vancouver Island. Radar Hill, Walk In The Forest Trail, Ancient Cedars Loop, Big Beach Trail, and Shorepine Bog Trail are among them.
Vancouver Island Trail, or Vancouver Island Spine Trail, with almost 800 kilometres in length, is the longest trail on Vancouver Island.
Marble Mountain and West Coast Trail are two of the best hiking trails on Vancouver Island with a hard difficulty level. Galloping Goose Regional Trail and Upper Thetis Lake, Bellamy, and Seaborn Trail Loop are popular moderate-level hiking trails. Wild Pacific Trail: Lighthouse Loop and Westwood Lake Trail are two of the best trails on Vancouver Island that are easy to hike.
Golden Hinde via Western Mine Road is a difficult hiking trail on Vancouver Island. It is 50.5 kilometres (31.3 miles) in length and has an elevation gain of 3,848 m (12624.6 ft).
If you are a beginner hiker, a hike suitable for you is a well-marked trail that is not so challenging. The terrain you choose shouldn't need lots of navigation skills and a lot of hiking equipment. As for now, you don't have all the necessary hiking skills, that would be best to find experienced hikers.
Yes. Vancouver Island Trail stretches from the north to the south of the island. The starting point and the ending point are Anderson Hill and Cape Scott Provincial Park.
Vancouver Island has about 3400 km (2112.5 miles) of coastline.
It depends on your ability, climate changes, and the terrain you choose and its wildlife. If you are interested in solo hiking, try marked trails suitable for your skill level. It is a must to learn hiking safety tips. Always inform others about your plan. Using navigation tools like GPS would be helpful. Get enough information about the elevation and the area you choose to hike.
Rainy or cold weather layers, T-shirt (long-sleeve shirt for sun and bugs), quick-drying pants and shorts, boots or hiking shoes, socks, extra clothes, gloves, warm hat
Backpack, proper clothing and extra clothes, food and snacks, water, sunscreen and sunglass, first-aid kit, navigation tools, knife or multi-tool, lamp and extra batteries