ourBC.com British Columbia Travel and Discovery

  Home | | BC Maps | | Site Map | Disclaimer | Contact Us  
Navigation Bar

 BC Government

 Provincial Parks

 Rivers

 Recreation

 Web Album

 Home > Discover BC > Provincial Parks > Strathcona

Strathcona Provincial Park
Strathcona Provincial Park is located on Vancouver Island, approximately 48 km (30 miles) west of Campbell River and 40 km (25 miles) east of Gold River on Hwy 28.

BC's Oldest Provincial Park
Strathcona Provincial Park was formed in 1911 and is British Columbia's oldest provincial park, as well as the largest on Vancouver Island, consisting of around 250,000 hectares (617,763 acres). The park is made up of vast snowfields, glaciers, and rugged wilderness areas with some of Vancouver Island's largest mountains, including the highest one - the Golden Hinde, at 2,200 meters (7,218 feet). Strathcona Provincial Park definitely makes for a good destination point if you are visiting Vancouver Island and love the outdoors.

Outdoor Recreation
There is an endless amount of outdoor recreation available at the park, including canoeing, kayaking, hiking, back country skiing, and, with the appropriate license, fishing for Rainbow and Cutthroat trout in Buttle Lake. Strathcona Provincial Park can be accessed from Campbell River, Central Lake near Port Alberni, Courtenay and Gold River. For wildlife viewing, the park has a large number of diverse animal species, including Black bears, Bald eagles, deer, cougars, Trumpeter swans, ptarmigan, frogs, Whiskey Jacks and tree squirrels.

Mount Washington Alpine Resort
There are so many access points and wilderness trails in Strathcona Provincial Park that one can't ever seem to cover them all. One local favourite is through Mount Washington Ski Resort near Courtenay which sits adjacent to the park near Forbidden Plateau. From Mount Washington, you can use the private facilities at the Raven Lodge and either hike into the park during the summer or cross-country ski or snow shoe around Paradise Meadows and beyond in the winter.

Buttle Lake Campground
Strathcona Provincial Park has two vehicle-accessible campgrounds: one called Buttle Lake, the other, Ralph River. Both campsites are set in areas of large trees, mainly Douglas fir, and are quite private. Buttle Lake is near the spot where the larger Buttle Lake joins Upper Campbell Lake and is closer to Hwy 28; Ralph River is towards the south end of Buttle Lake on the Westmin Road (Buttle Lake Road). Reservations are accepted at a limited number of campsites at both Buttle Lake and Ralph River, with the remainder of the campsites operating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wilderness Camping
There are some back-country campsites located throughout the park, especially along the wilderness trails. There are also a number of marine sites situated on the north-west side of Buttle Lake. Strathcona Provincial Park also features some day-use areas, complete with picnic tables and pit-toilets generally situated on the west side of Buttle Lake on the Westmin Road.

Della Falls
Canada's tallest waterfall, Della Falls at 440 metres (1443 feet) high, is located at the south-east corner of Strathcona Provincial Park. Getting to the falls requires a number of factors, including a few days travel by foot, being well fit, and camping out in wilderness campgrounds. To get to the falls trailhead, you have to first cross Great Central Lake, located near Port Alberni, from the Ark Resort (to the west by about 35 km - 21 miles), by boat or water taxi. You then follow Drinkwater Creek and an old logging railway right-of-way for approximately 15 km (9 miles). The Della Falls Trail usually takes at least 7 hours one way and therefore camping is required in the wilderness campgrounds found along the trail.

Snowmobiling and Quading
Due to the Strathcona Provincial Park Master Plan, snowmobiling and quading are not allowed; this is mainly due to noise pollution, possible impacts on wildlife, potential oil/fuel leaks, and the sharing with other stakeholders. Unfortunately, for these reasons, all motorized vehicles (unless authorized with a permit) have been banned completely from within the boundaries of Strathcona Provincial Park. If you do snowmobile, the closest place to the park is at Mount Washington Ski Resort.

Strathcona-Westmin Provincial Park
Strathcona Provincial Park surrounds another smaller provincial park on the south-west side of Buttle Lake called Strathcona-Westmin Provincial Park. Within this park, there are many hiking opportunities, including great viewing platforms of Lower and Upper Myra Falls - a very scenic, cascading waterfall flowing into Buttle Lake. Strathcona-Westmin Provincial Park is a very unique park in its own right, different from other BC Parks in that, within its boundary, there is a working underground mine.

Nyrstar Myra Falls Mine
The mine operating since 1966, was once owned by Westmin Mines and known as the Boliden Mine and now goes by the name of Nyrstar Myra Falls Mine. Operated by Nyrstar, an international mining conglomerate, the Nyrstar Myra Falls Mine produces zinc, copper, gold, and silver concentrates, and, depending on ore prices, expects to be operating at least until 2030. The road into Strathcona-Westmin Provincial Park goes right beside the mine operation.

Gold River Run
The area of Hwy 28 that runs through Strathcona Provincial Park is generally rated as one of British Columbia's best motorcycle rides. This motorcycle ride, nicknamed "the Gold River Run", is complete heaven and will take you through some unbelievable curves and straight sections, through trees and wilderness areas of Hwy 28 on your way to the small community of Gold River. Just remember, there is the potential for a wildlife or vehicle collision, so please be cautious - especially at night.

Adventure Motorcycle Riders
For adventure motorcycle riders, there is a circle route that continues north from Gold River to the small community of Woss. From Gold River, take the road over the Gold River then towards Muchalat Lake and the Nimpkish Main Forest Service Road. Along the way, the gravel road takes you past Muchalat Lake Recreation Site. The road will eventually take you to the small community of Woss and Hwy 19; from here, you can return to Campbell River on Hwy 19.

Bear Country
Just remember if you are enjoying the provincial parks and the countryside around British Columbia, please remember this is bear country. Try to avoid the rivers during heavy salmon spawning times unless you feel comfortable with bears around and take the usual precautions. There is also the possibilities of encounters with wolves or cougars so please play it safe.

BC Parks

 

Strathcona Provincial Park
Strathcona Provincial Park

 

Upper Campbell Lake
Upper Campbell Lake

 

Buttle Lake
Buttle Lake

 

Myra Falls - Strathcona-Westmin Park
Myra Falls - Strathcona-Westmin Park

 

Buttle Lake Campground
Buttle Lake Campground

 

Beach at Buttle Lake Campground
Beach at Buttle Lake Campground

 

Gold River Run
Yatman Gold River Run

 

South End Buttle Lake
South End Buttle Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   Privacy Policy | About Our BC | Copyright BC Curios Ltd., All Rights Reserved