Vancouver Island Bucket List - What to do on Vancouver Island
VANCOUVER ISLAND - Where to this weekend?
Niagara Falls Victoria

Goldstream Park

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Picnic Icon
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Activity:
Hike, Waterfall, Picnic
Difficulty:
Easy
Location:
Malahat
Time:
30min to 3hrs
Distance:
1-5km (0.6-3mi)

Activity:

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Picnic Icon
Waterfall icon

Accessibility:

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All ages elderly Icon
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Dogs on leash Icon

Highlights Include:

Info Map

150-foot waterfall & Giant Trees Near Victoria

Where to this weekend, Vancouver Island: Goldstream Park Walks and Hikes

Goldstream Park is the closest park to Victoria, where you can enjoy the true rainforest Island outdoor experience. Get out of the city for a day or for a stop on the way up the island; you won’t beat the beauty of Goldstream Provincial Park. Just 16 km from downtown Victoria on southern Vancouver Island, this stop is a must for anyone travelling through the area.

Visitor Center Trail:
The Visitor Center Trail is open to everyone. If you walk around the flat-paved region, you’ll cover 1.5 kilometres of simple trekking. You’ll walk through the picnic area, down wide gravelled pathways lined with huge old-growth trees over a bridge toward the Visitor Center. In the fall and early winter months, use the platforms provided on the riverside trails to watch for salmon in the river. And keep an eye out for Bald eagles who love the easy Salmon feasts.

Don’t miss the stump so large you can climb right in and take a photo.

Bottom of the Waterfall:
Parking is available on both sides of the highway. When heading south, you can access a smaller parking lot on the west side of the road to access Niagara Falls easily.

The main lot is accessible from both directions. You will have to do a bit more walking, but you will discover a tunnel under the highway for the creek. It’s large enough to walk through all year round except during extremely heavy rains.

You reach the river’s 150-foot waterfall and pool below after a short few hundred meters of hiking down a lovely creekside trail or, in summer, the dry creek bed. Keep an eye out for tiny caves, tall trees and giant slugs.

When the water levels are low during late summer, the waterfall may be nothing more than a trickle. If you don’t mind swimming in front of spectators, jump into the cool water formed at the bottom of the waterfall for a refreshing swim. In contrast to the winter months, the waterfall is in full flow and can create a tremendous amount of noise and spray.

Tips and Suggestions

Main Parking Lot: This can be reached from either direction from Malahat Drive and gives you access to the river, Gold Stream Nature House, trails and the picnic area.

Niagra Falls Parking Lot: this is a small lot along the highway and can only be accessed by southbound traffic.

Tunnel Access: Most of the year, you can use the large tunnel under the road to gain access to both sides of the park. Except during heavy rainfall and the tunnel becomes overflows for the river.

Goldstream Park Map

Helpful links:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is there to do in Goldstream?
150 food Niagara Waterfall, Hikes, Giant trees and picnic area.

Can you swim at Goldstream falls?
In the summer months, it’s not uncommon to see people in for a quick dip in the clear pool of water below the Niagara waterfall.

Are dogs allowed in Goldstream Park?
Yes, but they must be on a leash, and owners are responsible for their pets’ behaviour.

Can you fish at Goldstream Park?
Fishing is not allowed at Goldstream Park

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The Top of the Waterfall:
The trailhead to the top of Niagara Falls is also located on the western side of the highway. From the tunnel, follow the road north to the Gold Mine Trailhead. Climb up a half kilometre and 50m in elevation along this route. It will be dependent on the season’s weather when it comes to how much water is flowing.

Keep walking. As you reach the stairs, the slope gets steeper. A big abandoned train trestle is straight ahead, just beyond the chain-link fence. The bridge and railway tracks are privately owned, and the trestle is completely fenced off. However, there are still trail locations with spectacular views of the trestle.

Mount Finlayson:
If you’re up for a higher-intensity challenge, the Mount Finlayson Trail has a 3 km (2mi) trek with 400 metres in elevation. Staircases, narrow trails with steep slopes, including the final push, and scramble to one of the area’s highest points, providing spectacular views. Make sure you have sturdy shoes and are appropriately clothed. There is usually someone around if there is an emergency, as the trail is well-travelled and can be busy at times.

I've visited this place a lot this year. It is a wonderful trail with clearly built and marked trails. Great place to clear the head and walk or sit. They have a number of benches in the main area and fire pits for picnics and warmth during the winter.

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Seasonal Information

Winter Vs Summer:
Goldstream Park is a great stop any time of year. Here is some info on what to expect during different times of the year.

Summer: Busy – It’s a popular stop being on one of the busiest roads on Vancouver Island but if you can find a parking spot it’s worth the visit. Walking through the trees during the warmer summer months heading to the waterfall will be easier to get right to the foot and even swim at the pool at the bottom.

Fall: Great time to visit the weather will be wet but the temperature is still nice, just make sure you bring a rain jacket. The large leaves from the maple trees are yellow while the salmon are making their way up the river.

Winter: The waterfall is in full form the rivers will be higher and the weather is wet but no matter the time of year Goldstream Provincial Park is always worth visiting

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Camping

One of the best campgrounds on the island is accessible at the south end of the park through the Westshore Parkway. It’s open all season but not all services are available from October 31st-April14

Camping April 14 – Sept 4, reservations can be found at BC Parks – When reservations are not available, all campsites function as first-come, first-served.

Gear Tips For Vancouver Island

When you’re gearing up for an outdoor adventure on Vancouver Island, the key is to dress in layers, no matter the season. The island’s weather can throw curveballs, with conditions varying significantly from the sheltered forests to the breezy coastlines.

For those cool winter escapades, your go-to should include quality rain gear, topped off with a cozy beanie or toque, and a pair of light gloves to keep the chill at bay.

Summer explorers, don’t be fooled by the warmer temps; that same waterproof shell that kept you dry in the winter will be your best friend against the cool ocean breezes.

Remember, the right clothing and gear can make or break your outdoor experience on Vancouver Island, ensuring you enjoy every moment, come rain or shine.

THE NORTH FACE women's waterproof antora jacket sq
THE NORTH FACE Women's
Waterproof Antora Jacket
North face mens antora Rain Hoodie black sq
THE NORTH FACE Men's
Antora Rain Hoodie
Helly Hansen Mens seven J waterproof rain coat sq
Helly Hansen Men's
Breathable Rain Coat
Polygon 32 oz waterbottle sq
32oz Water Bottle
for Fitness and Outdoor
Osprey Sportlite 20 Hiking Backpack sq
Osprey Sportlite 20
Hiking Backpack
adventure first aid kit
Adventure Medical Kit
Ultralight and Watertight

Photo Gallery:

FAQ:

What is there to do in Goldstream?
150 food Niagara Waterfall, Hikes, Giant trees and picnic area.

Can you swim at Goldstream falls?
In the summer months, it’s not uncommon to see people in for a quick dip in the clear pool of water below the Niagara waterfall.

Are dogs allowed in Goldstream Park?
Yes, but they must be on a leash, and owners are responsible for their pets’ behaviour.

Can you fish at Goldstream Park?
Fishing is not allowed at Goldstream Park

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Original Author:

Modified: January 31, 2024
Last Visit: March 12, 2023

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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! Click here for the tides in your area. 

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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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