Elk Falls is a fantastic family opportunity to experience the beautiful outdoors. Easy well-marked trails welcome you and feature many spectacular views along the way! Bring your camera to capture three waterfalls and majestic old-growth forests. There is a route for all skill and mobility levels within the Elk Falls Provincial Park.
You will find a fairly easy 1km hike from the parking lot along a wide wheelchair-accessible gravel trail. Passing one opening, you will have the opportunity to peek through the trees at the raging Elk Falls. Continue on just a little further to reach the stairs they will take you down to a viewing platform and the Elk Falls suspension bridge hanging high over Campbel River and Elk Falls.
The Elk Falls suspension bridge spans 60 meters across the canon to the second viewing platform, where the trail abruptly ends, offering spectacular views of the deep rock canyons and majestic waterfall below.
Hanging 64 metres above the canyon floor, the Elk Falls suspension bridge was supported by the Rotary Club of Campbell River and showcases the beauty of the canyon. One of Canada’s highest pedestrian suspension bridges.
Bring a Lunch and Stay While – Elk Falls has so much to offer with canyon views, old-growth forests, a suspension bridge and, of course, Moose and Elk Falls.
No Running Water – the facilities are kept clean, but they are pit toilets, and there is no potable water.
Scared of Heights? – There is no need to go over the suspension bridge to enjoy the trail system. The bridge is for viewing and has another platform on the other side, and that’s it, so feel comfortable staying on solid ground.
The views from the suspension bridge are breathtaking, but Elk Falls Provincial Park has more to give. Backtrack a bit and head towards Old Growth loop trail and Riverside Loop Trail.
It’s hard to believe that this one section of the park has so much to see! Hiking the Tow loops can add up to 4km to your trip, depending on how adventurous you want to be, but it’s well worth the trek.
Not far down the accessible trail, you will find a picnic area with washrooms and another viewpoint of Elk Waterfalls and the suspension bridge hanging above. After taking a snack break and a few more photos, continue for about 300m, and you will have to decide. Continue on straight on the regular trail, turn Right to make head along the river on the Riverside Loop or head left for the Old Growth Loop Trail. You can’t make a wrong decision here all trail options have something to offer, and it’s a loop, so you will catch most of what you missed on the way back.
Riverside Loop – This trail is more narrow and has some elevation gain, so can be a little more challenging, but if you are capable, you won’t want to miss out on this trail. Sites include a lookout platform for Elk Falls. Set down lower and closer to the action. Access to the river above the falls (use caution if exploring on the rocks.) And at the end of the trail, you will find Dolphin Pool replenished by Moose Falls, another gorgeous waterfall.
The Millennium Trail offers a 2.5 km path connecting the Elk Falls use area to the Canyon Loop. It runs along the Campbell river and allows amazing views of the falls, canyon and surrounding mature forest, including old-growth Douglas Fir.
If you need more hiking in your day, you have more options! The Canyon View Loop is a 4 km trail adjacent to the Quinsam Campground and features a stunning view of the lower canyon.
Beavers and marsh birds can be spotted along the Kingfisher Trail. This one km trail walks alongside wetlands and connects the campground to the Campbell River.
Whichever way you choose, be sure to take your time and absorb your surroundings. Beauty abounds in this provincial park – it’s sure to be a fantastic addition to your bucket list!
If you love waterfalls, Vancouver Island’s selection is abundant and breathtaking, especially during the wither months. We have compiled an interactive map and a complete list of the best waterfalls on Vancouver Island.
And if hiking or walking is your thing, we have a page for that at Vancouver Island Hikes.
Are you looking to set up camp? Elk Falls Provincial Park has a beautiful campground with large private sites along the Quinsam River. 122 vehicle-accessible sites. This is a popular campground, and booking ahead of time is recommended. However, there are 51 sites set aside for first come, first serve campers. More info here on the Elk Falls Quinsam Campground.
How long is Elk Falls Suspension Bridge?
Completed in 205 Elk Falls Suspension Bridge spans 6o meters (196feet) and is 64 meters (209feet) above the bottom of the canyon.
How far is Elk Falls From the Parking Lot?
An easy one-kilometer walk from the parking lot gets you to the viewing platform and suspension bridge.
Can you Swim at Elk Falls?
There is no swimming at Elk Falls, but just down the trail, you can find a beautiful spot at Dolphin Pool at the foot of Moose falls.
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Tide and Seasonal Safety:
Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey!
When visiting the beach, it’s essential to pay attention and stay safe! Please be cautious walking on the shore during high tide. At this time, some areas may not be accessible. Click here for the tides in your area. Be aware of ocean currents before swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking.
We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .
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