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 Home > Discover BC > BC Rivers > Sooke Potholes

Sooke Potholes
Sooke Potholes is a set of naturally formed pools and unique rock formations carved into the natural bedrock along Sooke River. The water in the potholes has a beautiful aqua-green colour and cascades through sets of waterfalls into deep clear pools offering just an excellent array of swimming holes.

T'Sou'ke First Nation
This part of the Sooke River is considered very sacred by the T'Sou'ke First Nation - the area's native community.

5 km of Pools
The pools and swimming areas that are available for you span a length of 5 km (3 miles) or so. The potholes start at the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park located at the end of Sooke River Road and stop at Leechtown that is situated at the end of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail.

Getting here from Victoria
From downtown Victoria take Douglas Sreet and travel west on Trans-Canada Hwy 1 towards the West Shore Communities. You take the Colwood exit 10 and travel approximately for 30 minutes on Sooke Road-Hwy 14 to Sooke River Road. Watch for the Edward Milne Community School. Sooke River Road is just beyond the school on the right. Turn here and travel 5 km (3 miles) up to the end of Sooke River Road that eventually reaches a parking lot.

If You're Coming From Nanaimo
If you happen to be travelling south on the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 from Duncan or Nanaimo, you need to turn off at the Millstream Road exit 14. This is located just past the Shell Station at the Spencer Road traffic light on Hwy 1. After you turn off here, take the Veterans' Memorial Parkway through Langford then, just past the lights at Kelly Road, to Sooke Road-Hwy 14. Travel to Sooke River Road.

Sooke Potholes Provincial Park
The first section of potholes is located in Sooke Potholes Provincial Park right by the parking lot. The pools are smaller and not as deep but if you have small children or need to be close to the parking lot or pit toilets they are handy. Located here is a gravel beach plus some nice smooth rocks for you to lie on.

Deertrail Resort
The majority of the potholes are located outside of the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. These pools were, at one time, the property of Deertrail Resort - a development strategy that was in the making. For a long time the remains of timbers of the failed Deertrail Chateau were present, but they have all since been removed with two new parking lots added by the Capital Regional District (CRD).

TLC - The Land Conservancy of British Columbia
Since 2005 TLC, The Land Conservancy of British Columbia, took over the land holdings of Deertrail Resort. The TLC has since formed the Sooke Potholes Regional Park. Today this natural treasure, thanks to generous donations of various people, government and organizations, is available for everyone to enjoy.

1st Beach
Once you're at the parking lot, walk for around 15 minutes or so and you'll come to an area that was traditionally called '1st Beach.' This is an excellent place to get introduced to the potholes. There is a beach area plus some nice private areas along the rocks to relax on. If you enjoy diving there are a few areas that can be accessed. Please remember the rocks can be slippery so be cautious and always check for the depth and clearances in the water.

Cascading Waterfalls
The pools continue for a while past 1st Beach with access through the various trails branching off from the main access road. Eventually you'll come to the site of the failed Deertrail Chateau with the only evidence remaining some stone work. This part of the Sooke River flows through a gorge with a series of cascading waterfalls and pools throughout. Look for the trail heading off towards the river.

Sooke Potholes Campground
After these pools, more potholes continue either by access through the trails or by swimming up the river. There are fewer people around with a greater amount of privacy along secluded beaches. Eventually, you'll come to the campsite now operated by The Land Conservancy. There are some pools here along with a good beach area. If you enjoy camping, try this one especially during the weekdays when there are not so many people.

Leechtown
Leechtown is an area of past historical significance for gold mining and logging in the Sooke region. Once a thriving community larger than Victoria during the gold rush era, it is now all abandoned except for the odd piece of rusted machinery in the bush. The pools here have one small rock to jump off into a nice secluded swimming area. Expect to see few or no people here as it is quite some distance from the parking lot.

Vehicle Parking
Although vehicle parking has been add it is sometimes limited or nonexistent especially in the summer so walking is the only way into the potholes from the main parking lot at the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park.

Very popular with the locals
Just remember that during the summer days the Sooke Potholes is a very popular area with the local people. Sometimes the parking area is a somewhat full and quite busy representing slight mayhem. Remember because of this you might end up parking a little ways from the parking lot on Sooke River Road. Please obey the signs about parking on the pavement in order to avoid having your car towed.

Galloping Goose Trail
The Sooke Potholes Regional Park is along the corridor of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail. If you enjoy cycling or walking make a point during your visit to combine both visiting the Sooke Potholes and experiencing the Galloping Goose Trail.

Cycle From Victoria
You can cycle from Victoria along the 55 km (34 miles) trail right to the campsite located near the 51 km post. The Sooke Potholes campground has set aside a number of unique campsites high on the bluff overlooking the river for people biking or hiking the trail.

Westshore Town Centre
If you plan on coming to the Sooke Potholes and require some supplies, the Westshore Town Centre formerly the Can-West Mall shopping zone is conveniently located in Langford. If you are coming from Victoria, turn at Kelly Road just off Sooke Road-Hwy 14 pass Royal Roads University or travel down Veterans' Memorial Parkway off Trans-Canada Hwy 1 exit.

Starbucks
The Westshore Town Centre contains a Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, Superstore, Fairways, Shoppers Drug Mart and a Starbucks and Serious Coffee. If you're on the Galloping Goose Trail, it goes right past the shopping area as well
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Cascading Waterfalls
Cascading Waterfalls

 

Never-ending canyons
Never-ending canyons

 

So Inviting
So Inviting

 

Nice rocks to lay on
Nice rocks to lay

 

Deertrail Resort
Faided Deertrail Resort in 1990's

 

up the Sooke River from 1st Beach
Up the Sooke River

 

1st Beach
Beach Area

 

Near the campground
Near the campground

 

Near Leechtown
Near Leechtown

 

Sooke Potholes Campground
Sooke Potholes Campground

 

Hidden Pools
Hidden Pools

 

Hidden Pools
Hidden Pools

 
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