10 Best Hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park

Strathcona Provincial Park is one of British Columbia’s hidden gems – a vast wilderness in the heart of Vancouver Island, teeming with unusual wildlife and impressive mountain landscapes. This 250,000-hectare park is a hiker’s paradise, with plenty of beautiful trails over magnificent terrain, passing by wildflower meadows, craggy ridges, and serene lakes.

The hiking trails in Strathcona Provincial Park are concentrated around Buttle Lake and the Forbidden Plateau, and here you’ll find dozens of bucket list hikes. Outside these areas, the wilderness of the park beckons, making it the perfect destination for adventurous hikers. Strathcona Provincial Park is one of the best places to go get lost on Vancouver Island, and we’d highly recommend it as a hiking destination!

To give you a little inspiration, we’ve put together a list of the top ten best hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park. These epic trails are just waiting to be explored, so grab your hiking boots and get out on the trails today!

Flower Ridge Trail

This iconic Strathcona hike certainly lives up to its name, passing along a high ridge littered with delicate alpine flowers. The trail rises steeply before emerging out onto the ridge, where you’ll enjoy a fabulous panorama of Mounts Septimus and Rousseau, Cream Lake, and the picturesque Nine Peaks. In the right season you’ll find some glorious flora alongside the trail, including bright pink mountain heather. This is one of the best hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park, and will leave you with wonderful memories.

Mount Albert Edward

Perched at the edge of the Forbidden Plateau, Mount Albert Edward’s distinctive peak dominates the Mount Washington Ski Resort. This is a popular area of the park for both skiing and hiking, and this hike is one of the most satisfying and impressive routes in the region. The trail passes through dense, atmospheric forests, past the beautiful Whiskey Meadows, and finally emerges, after a steep climb, at the summit of Mount Albert Edward. The views here are incomparable, and a welcome reward after the efforts of the hike!

Lady Falls

Strathcona Provincial Park is known for its lovely waterfalls, and this route to Lady Falls showcases one of the finest. The falls lie deep in the enigmatic forests of the Cervus Creek Valley, and the trail to the viewing platform is simply magical. The cliff walls surrounding the falls are covered in fragrant moss, and the mists that rise from the waters sometimes create beautiful rainbows. This is one of the best family-friendly hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Bedwell Lake Hike

The hike up to Bedwell Lake will take you along one of the most accessible trails in Strathcona Provincial Park, with plenty of bridges, staircases and boardwalks to help you to navigate the park’s terrain. The views from the trail are simply spectacular, with a vista that includes Big Interior Mountain and its enormous glacier. Baby Bedwell, the small lagoon at the start of the lake, is an excellent spot for swimming, and you may well feel like a dip after the steep climb!

Elk River Trail

The Elk River trail traces the path of the river all the way to Landslide Lake, and is one of the most popular treks in Strathcona Provincial Park. The route passes through a beautiful landscape filled with tall trees, all the way up to Landslide Lake. The views from the top are incredible, with a fantastic view of Mount Colonel Forster and the southern side of Elkhorn Mountain.

Mount Becher

Looking for a fun half-day hike in Strathcona Provincial Park? The hike up Mount Becher offers incredible views over to the Comox Glacier and Mount Albert Edward, from the top of the easternmost peak in the park. The trail rises gently, passing tranquil ponds and meadows filled with flowers, until you ascend above the tree line to enjoy a fabulous panorama over the nearby mountains. This is one of the best hikes in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Mount Myra

One of the classic Vancouver Island hikes, Mount Myra is one of the most famous hiking peaks in Strathcona Provincial Park. Passing by tranquil lakes, flower-strewn alpine meadows and rocky gullies, this trail is deservedly popular among local residents of Vancouver Island, and makes for a very satisfying day out. The views from the summit of Mount Myra are spectacular, taking in the Golden Hinde, Mount Tom Taylor, and several impressive glaciers.

Mount Helen MacKenzie

This short hike out to Lake Helen MacKenzie is an excellent family-friendly trail in Strathcona Provincial Park. The trail is well maintained, passing along boardwalks and gravel walkways, through atmospheric old growth forest. The beautiful lake offers many wonderful photo opportunities, with the tranquil waters reflecting the snow-capped peaks that surround it.

Upper Myra Falls

The Upper Myra Falls tumble 23 meters down a lush cavern into a deep blue basin, making this one of the most magical sights in Strathcona Provincial Park. This easy, family-friendly route switchbacks through a gentle hillside, passing by old growth forest and mossy underbrush. Come in spring when then falls are at their finest, and admire the spectacular sight from the specially made viewing platform.

Augerpoint Beach

Augerpoint Beach sits on the bank of the magnificent Buttle Lake, at the point where the Phillips Creeks meets the water. The views over the lake itself are truly magnificent, with the towering peak of Mount Myra looming large over the beach. This is a great place for a family walk and a swim, and in summer there are plenty of watersports and activities available on the lake. This is one of the best easy hikes in Strathcona, and a wonderful way to enjoy the park’s wonderful scenery.

-By guest writer Lukas Saville

If you are planning a hiking trip to Vancouver Island be sure to check out our fully equipped rental properties! Book online, or contact us to reserve!


The Beaches of Pender Island

 Getting ready for your Pender Island getaway?  Well, here’s a list of beaches – rocky and sandy – to dip your toes into! There’s nothing like a warm summer’s day spent by the water.


  • Mortimer Spit:

    Accessible sandy beach, north of the bridge that connects North & South Island. This is the best location for swimming and sunbathing.  Most of Pender Island shoreline is rocky, so make the most of this sandy bay.

  • Medicine Beach:

    On North Pender Island, at the far end of Bedwell Harbour, you will find Medicine Beach & Nature Sanctuary.  As well as the beach which is perfect for taking walks, there is also a salt water marsh behind (one of the few left in the area) which is a nature sanctuary.

  • Stanley Point:

    Small but sweet, the beach at Stanley Point has great rock formations and brilliant views of the Swanson Channel.

  • Gowlland Point:

    For an exceptionally good viewpoint, head over to Gowlland Point on South Pender Island. There is a pebble beach here as well as lovely walks around the grassy headlands.  Expect to see beautiful views of Mt. Baker and the San Juan Islands!

  • Beaumont Marine Park:

    Beaumont Marine Park is fantastic for hiking and boating. There are many trails to choose from, and you will be rewarded with a sandy beach at the end.  Since this is a marine park, it is the ideal place to sit a while and watch for seals, otters and other animals.


Do you have a favourite Pender Island beach that’s not on this list?  Let us know, and we’ll be sure to check it out!

Haven’t booked your accommodation yet?  Take a look at our magical Pender Island vacation homes and reserve your dates today!


Written by Hannah Poaros


10 Things to do on Pender Island this Summer

Are you going to Pender Island?  We’ve rounded up the best 10 activities for you to take part in – have a look!


Hike the short trail to the panoramic lookout from the top of Mt. Norman – the highest point of Pender Island.  Located on South Pender Island, this short ascent will offer you gorgeous views across the Southern Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island.


Take a walk around Roe Lake – a beautiful freshwater lake that sits in the middle of a forest on North Pender Island.  Why not bring a picnic, sit back and enjoy the tranquility of your surroundings?

Disc Golf

For something a little different, try your hand at Disc Golf.  Pender Island Disc Golf Park comprises of 27 holes which take you through the trees and across to Magic Lake. Be competitive and let the games begin!


Though you cannot cycle on any of the trails on Pender Island, it is still worthwhile to hire some bikes and take a tour of the Island. Most of the roads are not that busy but be prepared, they are steep! Burn some calories and explore this golden countryside.


No holiday to Pender Island would be complete without getting onto the water.  The best way to explore the local gems is by kayak.  There are many routes, starting from Hope Bay, you can take that make for interesting day trips!  Watch out for orcas – there are regular sightings all through summer!  If you’re new to kayaking, Pender Island Kayak Adventures offers a range of exciting trips – there’s sure to be one that takes your fancy.


There are numerous private marinas and public wharfs available on Pender Island – no excuse not to take your boat on holiday with you.  Because Pender Island is situated admist the Gulf Islands National Park, you’re going to want to take advantage of your location at sea.  Days on the boat will certainly get you discovering all the local islands.


Discover Roesland park on North Pender Island.  Back in the 1920s, Roesland was a resort and so today, the park is littered with old cottages.  Look inside and make up stories about what would have happened here in the past.  This is also a lovely spot to watch for wildlife.

Scuba Diving

Anyone into diving?  We are and we’ve heard that the Pender Islands have some of the best diving in North America. While most dive companies run out of Victoria on Vancouver Island and so it may be difficult to organize a dive trip, there is always the option to charter your own boat. If you’re a seasoned diver then bring your own equipment (and your buddy!) – some locations, such as Tilly Point Caves, are shore dives so are easy access.  Bear in mind that Pender Island’s dive sites are more suited to experienced divers.

Watching Sunsets

Do you love sunsets? Well we’ve got the perfect way for you to watch one on Pender Island. Take a Sunset Stand Up Paddleboard Tour with Pender Island Kayak Adventures.  We guarantee this will be a magical experience even if you’re not into SUP!

Wine Tasting

Finish off your vacation with a wine tasting at Sea Star Vineyard.  The tasting room is open Wednesdays through to Sundays so make sure you pop in and try one of their vintage wines.  This vineyard is in a picturesque location overlooking the ocean, what could be more romantic?


Check out our Pender Island Accomodation and make sure to contact us on 1.877.778.6466 or 604.872.5466 to book your next vacation.