Vancouver Island's Top 5 Hikes

Vancouver Island has one of the world's most diverse ecosystems. Rainforests, beaches, rivers and mountains all in one place make it an ideal place for great hikes. Here are our picks for the Top 5 hikes on Vancouver Island! (in no particular order of course)

Ripple Rock - Campbell River: 8km (approx. 3 hrs there and back), moderate and can be done year 'round! Site of the largest non-nuclear explosion in the world, described by the explorer George Vancouver as "one of vilest stretches of water in the world". Ripple Rock can be accessed 15 minutes north of Campbell River, well marked off the Island Highway.

Wild Pacific Trail - Ucluelet
: This 2.5km (approx. 45) hikes allows hikers to view the intensity and fury of the Pacific Ocean, while enjoying a protected trail there is much eye-candy with the twisted tree trunks, limbs and roots. You will often see seals, sea lions, mink and sea otters amongst the shoreline.

Cape Scott - Port Hardy: This is the very northern tip of Vancouver Island and probably the most beautiful and natural place here. Depending on your time, you can access San Josef bay in about 45 minutes (2.5km) from the parking lot. Cape Scott can only be accessed via 70km of logging road from Port Hardy. It is worth it.

The West Coast Trail - Bamfield or Port Renfrew: This is a lengthy 75 km hike that takes the average hiker approximately 7 days to complete. You can start at the Bamfield start area (Pachena Bay Campground) or the Port Renfrew (near Victoria) start area. Considered one of the best hikes in the WORLD!

East Sooke Park: There are over 50 km of trails, it has 3 different access points and an abundance of wildlife to see, including (if you're lucky) The Kermode bear. The Kermode bear is a black bear with a genetic mutation that makes its coat white. It has been spotted in this park.

What are your favourites?


Anonymous said…
What a great passion you have for Vancouver Island!!!Keep on keepin on. Vancouver Island is the best place in the world to live. Look at the photos in the City of Nanaimo website that residents have contributed. They are absolutely stunning. Island life rocks!!!(excuse the pun)
Those are all great choices. With so many breathtaking hikes on the Island, you would literally need to do a top 20 or top 50 hikes to have a comprehensive list! I'm also a big fan of Mt. Arrowsmith, short and long versions of the Strathcona Park trails begun at the Raven Lodge at Mt. Washington, Marble Meadows, oh where to stop?
Islandvibesmom said…
You've got 3 of my faves :)
Islandvibesmom said…
You've got 3 of my fave from sooke to tofino but i agree that strathcona should be on there.
Tracey said…
Great list! I'll keep it for future trips to the Island. Do you still have to reserve space on the West Coast Trail in advance?
Anonymous said…
I like Cobble Hill Mountain.
s. said…
haha Island life does "rock"! I must admit I have not visited Strathcona (although it is on my list) so I couldn't add it to the list...

As far as I know Tracey, you still have to book in advance for the West Coast Trail.

Where is Cobble Hill Mountain?
Goody Niosi said…
I'd say Wild Pacific Trail is a walk - not a hike. Maple Mountain is sensational but as others said, you'd really need at least a top 20 list and then half of those would be in Strathcona Park - and all the hikes on Arrowsmith are fabulous!
Anonymous said…
The WildSide Trail in Ahousaht territories should definitely be on this list!
Unknown said…
I moved away from Vancouver Is. years ago however I still consider it home. I like to think I have hiked every trail their, from the old Manuel Quimper fire lookout in the Sooke Hills, Sombrio and Mystic Beaches, Forbidden Palteua to name a few. I have hiked the West Coast Trail 3 times with the last time being in the late 1970's, long before the luxury of bridges, ladders and river boat crossings. If you wanted to cross a river you rafted your pack and swam next to it. I completed the Cape Scott Trail to Guise Bay and the Sand Neck in the mid 1980's and to this day consider it one of the most enjoyable of all hikes. One hike that should not be overlooked on Vancouver Island, and I have not been on this trail in 45 it may have changed somewhat, is from the top end of Great Central Lk. to Della Falls. while there, you can also take the trail from the valley and ascend to the top of the falls and Della Lake. Since you are in the Strathcona Pk. area, you can also enter from the Buttle lake end and do the magnificent hike up and into Marble Meadows or across the valley to the Golden Hind, considered to be the tallest mountain on Vancouver Island and in the heart of Strathcona, a breathtaking view in every direction.

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