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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > The Islands  > Gold River

Gold River
Gold River is located 89 km (55.5 miles) west of Campbell River on Hwy 28. Situated on the edge of Strathcona Provincial Park, the largest provincial park on Vancouver Island, Gold River is an outdoor person's adventure paradise.

Unbelievable Chinook Salmon Fishing
Gold River's claim to fame is that for years it has been the most consistent area on Vancouver Island for fishing the prized Chinook salmon. Chinook, also referred to as Tyee or King salmon, range upwards to 27 kilos (60 lb.) and offer you a real fishing challenge.

Outdoor Person's Paradise
For other outdoor pursuits, the list includes hunting, caving, hiking, kayaking, windsailing and scuba diving that are all excellent. But the real recreational secret for you has to be the superb ocean fishing found in Nootka Sound and outside of Tahsis Inlet. Besides salmon, there are very abundant Halibut, Red Snapper, Ling and Rock Cod.

'Tree to Sea Drive'
To get to the fishing grounds by road you have to travel to on the 'Tree to Sea Drive.' In Gold River look for the 'Road to Adventure' sign by the Info Centre, then take this beautiful trip towards Tahsis. You'll travel across a gravel forest service road, officially called the Head Bay Forest Road, through a temperate rainforest down to the sea at Muchalat Inlet about 25 minutes away.

Early July to late August
The prime time to try and catch Chinook salmon is from early July to late August. If you don't have a boat don't worry, there are numerous guides who work out of Gold River offering various fishing charters for all budget types.

Cougar Creek Campground
If you're planning on staying near the fishing grounds near Nootka Sound make sure you stay at Cougar Creek Campground. This forestry campground is located off the Head Bay Forest Service Road (Tahsis Road). Well-situated in the centre of Nootka Sound, Cougar Creek offers you a great access point to launch your boat. Telephone (250) 283-7286.

Moutcha Bay Marina
Sometimes you might find that the Cougar Creek campsite is full, so please try Moutcha Bay Marina, RV Park & Campground. The facility is located at the head of Tlupana Inlet in Nootka Sound. Moutcha Bay Marina offers guiding, eco-tourism, windsurfing and a full-service RV Park, campground and marina.

Nootka Island Lodge
Operated by the Cyr family since 1983 Nootka Island Lodge offers accommodation and boat moorage along with your choice of salmon, halibut and bottom fishing trips.

Jewel
Gold River was fortunate in March of 2008 with the announcement of a new green energy producer helped financed by the pop singer Jewel. The Green Island Energy facility is housed in the old pulp mill site and will burn wood bio-waste to produce electricity. Jewel has been a leader in the promotion and production of clean energy in both Alaska and British Columbia.

'Caving Capital of Canada'
The north part of Vancouver Island, all around Gold River, is part of a geological creation called the Quatsino Formation. During transformation, the uppermost geology of the Quatsino Formation ended up being mostly made up of limestone. What was eventually created was a lot of caving opportunities throughout Gold River, making it the 'Caving Capital of Canada.'

Upana Caves
One set of caves that are close to Gold River are the Upana Caves. To get to Upana Caves travel 18 km (11 miles) northwest on the 'Sea to Tree' Drive (Head Bay Forest Road). Please carefully look for and turn at Branch Road H-27. The parking lot for the Upana Caves is located just as soon as you turn onto Branch Road H-27.

Western Forest Products (WFP)
If you are interested in the Upana Caves and other recreational areas, please go to the Western Forest Products office in Gold River. WFP produces a self-guided tour map of the Upana Caves as well as a very valuable map showing all the WFP forest service roads on Vancouver Island.

Crest Creek Crags
For rock climbing there are Crest Creek Crags that are only 10 km (6 miles) from Gold River in Strathcona Park. The crags found at Crest Creek are good for all levels of rock climbing with access to over 100 climbing routes.

Heber River Trail
Gold River also has a few good walks around the community. A favourite walk is beside the Heber River Canyon. This trail has always been well received for the nice viewpoints. Access to the trailhead for the Heber River Trail is off the Matchlee Drive Bridge, Maquinna Drive or the Ucona Road Bridge.

Tsuxwin Viewpoint & Waterfall
If you follow Hwy 28 past Gold River, the road travels along Gold River to the ocean at Muchalat Inlet. About halfway along is a stunning view of the Gold River Canyon and a large waterfall at the Tsuxwin Viewpoint. The Tsuxwin Viewpoint features a picnic site strategically placed near the side of river cascading down a 600-foot drop.

Strathcona Provincial Park
To access Strathcona Provincial Park from Gold River you have to turn towards White Ridge Provincial Park. From here you'll drive on a required 4x4 backroad past Kunlin Lake plus a short hike into Donner Lake. From here there are views of the 2,195 metre (7,201 feet) high Golden Hinde, the highest mountain on Vancouver Island.

White Ridge Provincial Park
In White Ridge Provincial Park you can find karst topography comprised of white limestone surface outcrops found throughout the area. The park is internationally known for its surface outcrops of brilliant stone features offering lots of caving and rock-hounding opportunities.

RV Campgrounds
For camping there are lots of places around Gold River for you to stay. You can try the Peppercorn Trail Motel & RV Park on Mill Road and the Lions Campground both on the Gold River. There are also the Tuta Marina and Campground. Telephone: (250) 283-7550 and the Yuquot Campground. Telephone: (250) 283-2015.

Muchalat Lake
One favourite is the rustic forestry campsite at Muchalat Lake north-west of Gold River on the forestry road to Woss. Here you can find a boat launch, small dock and gravel beach on Muchalat Lake. There is good swimming, waterskiing, windsurfing and fishing plus 20 large-size campsites suitable for trailers.

'Gold River Run'
Nicknamed the 'Gold River Run,' Hwy 28 goes from Campbell River to Gold River travelling through Strathcona Park. This highway is pure heaven with Vancouver Island's best section of curves, straight sections and beautiful mountain scenery along Upper Campbell Lake making an excellent trip, especially if you love motorcycle riding.

M.V. Uchuck III
To service the various coastal communities on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, the M.V. Uchuck III sails through Nootka and Kyoquot Sounds. The M.V. Uchuck III offers a weekly service from Gold River to Zeballos with stops along the way at Tahsis and Friendly Cove throughout the summer months and will give you a-close look at BC's West Coast.

Great Walk
Referred to as 'North America's Toughest Pledge Walk' the Great Walk brings out young and old from all over Canada and the USA to help raise money for various charities on Vancouver Island. Sponsored by the Tahsis Lions Club, the Great Walk is a pledged walk that goes from Gold River to Tahsis - a distance of around 63.5 km (40 miles).

Wildlife and Environment
Just a reminder, the countryside around Gold River is quite remote so be prepared for any hazard or possible dangerous situations. Please practice good wildlife and environmental habits, pack out what you pack in, plus be very bear and cougar aware.

Information on Gold River

Accommodation

Recreation

Nootka Sound

Provincial Parks

 

 

Map of Gold River, British Columbia
click image for larger map

 

Strathcona Lodge - Upper Campbell Lake
Strathcona Lodge - Upper Campbell Lake

 

'Tree to Sea Drive'
'Tree to Sea Drive'

 

Near Puzzle Mountain
Near Puzzle Mountain

 

Upper Campbell Lake
Upper Campbell Lake

 

Great Walk
Great Walk

 

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

 

Tsuxwin Viewpoint
Tsuxwin Viewpoint

 

M.V. Uchuck III
M.V. Uchuck III

 

Muchalat Lake
Muchalat Lake

 

Strathcona Provincial Park
Strathcona Provincial Park

 
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