5 beautiful locations for a day hike on Vancouver Island

Jan 30 2020, 1:13 am

One of the best ways to truly appreciate the sprawling natural beauty of Vancouver Island is to immerse yourself in it entirely.

Take a minute to appreciate the clean, fresh air while admiring the diverse landscapes of the area before you embark on a day hike to some of Vancouver Island’s most enchanting viewpoints.

Lace-up your shoes, assemble your packs, and make sure to bring plenty of water, because we’ve got five of the most beautiful destinations for a day hike on Vancouver Island.

Goldstream Park/Mount Finlayson


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Standing at 1,375 feet high, the top of Mount Finlayson in Goldstream Provincial Park
provides gorgeous views during every season of the year.

Towering trees, a salmon spawning stream, and an abandoned gold mine ready to be explored are just a few examples of the activities presented at this location.

On your hike, you can take in extensive views of Victoria while venturing through fir trees that are hundreds of years old.

The hike itself takes roughly two hours (one to get up and one to trek down) and is relatively unchallenging.

If you’re travelling in the fall, you are likely to witness quite a few eagles in the area, as it is salmon spawning season.

Thetis Lake


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Located near View Royal, Thetis Lake Regional Park has an abundance of trails to hike for all skill levels.

However, the left side of the lake requires a bit more energy than the right as it possesses more of an incline, but if you are relatively fit, you should be fine.

The Upper Lake Trail is roughly 5 km, and the challenge level is moderate.

Thetis Lake is also an excellent hiking destination during the summer as it has a lovely sandy beach, so pack your swimsuit!

It gets quite busy during the day with people looking to cool off on a hot day, though, so be sure to get there early.

Mount Tzouhalem


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Located near Duncan in North Cowichan, Mount Tzouhalem is a 7.4 km loop trail where hikers can see beautiful wildflowers and gorgeous ocean views.

The challenge level is moderate and is considered to be not only a desirable hiking destination but a highly frequented mountain biking spot.

The trail to the most popular lookout point is the Cross Summit, which takes about an hour and a half from the parking lot if you keep a healthy pace.

A word to the wise, stay on the main path, as there are many smaller trails and mountain biking routes that can be distracting. Since there is limited signage on this hike, you need to pay close attention.

Mount Arrowsmith


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According to Discover Vancouver Island, Mount Arrowsmith is “the best-known mountain to hike on Vancouver Island.”

Situated near Port Alberni, the mountain stands at 5,961 feet tall and is the highest and most visible mountain in the southern Island.

In terms of challenge level, it is rated medium to difficult as the trails get steep in some sections.

Depending on the route you choose, the time of year, and your overall capability, the hike can take around one to two hours one-way.

Summer is the most popular time to go. However, many locals enjoy the challenge of hiking it in the winter.

The scenery once you reach the top is spectacular, presenting breathtaking views of Vancouver Island mountains in every direction.

Mount Prevost


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Mount Prevost spouts magical, sprawling views of the Cowichan Valley and southern Vancouver Island.

The trek from Drinkwater Road is around 11 km and presents ample opportunity to view wildlife.

It is easy to assume that the hike won’t be all that challenging due to its proximity to Duncan, but don’t be fooled. The hike itself is challenging, with a total elevation gain of 2,388 feet.

The last quarter of the hike is potentially the most difficult, but your hard work will pay off when you catch a glimpse of the magnificent views.

Emily RumballEmily Rumball

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