Happy #WaterfallWednesday everyone! While I may be here in England on a quest to find some European/British waterfalls, that doesn't mean I'm not still dreaming of the waterfalls I missed out on while living in BC. But never fear, I've got a treat for you today with my girl Clara on the blog sharing her top 5 waterfall adventures from Vancouver Island!
Clara is someone I had the pleasure of meeting as my time in Vancouver was coming to an end, however that being said that doesn't mean we didn't become good friends, the opposite actually. We "met" thanks to the lovely world of Instagram and were able to meet up before I moved away. She's got a killer sense of adventure which seems to resonate with her entire family & the trips she goes on are just wicked! So let her take you on a wild ride out to Van Isle for some of what she does best...
Clara here, I went to Sooke, located on Vancouver Island, last year, and I was simply blown away at how much it had to offer in terms of adventures that I just had to go back this year. Located an hour away from Victoria’s harbour, a two hour ferry ride from Vancouver, Sooke faces the Juan de Fuca Strait and is famous for it's beaches and waterfalls. The beaches here are not only sandy & beautiful but also so rugged making them some of the most stunning.
1. Sooke Potholes Provincial Park
Driving from Victoria: 1 hour
Hiking (one way): 10 minutes to half day
This beautiful park is situated near Sooke offering many hiking trails and features "potholes", unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The potholes are a series of deep, smooth rock pools in the Sooke River. This local hotspot features some of the best freshwater swimming around and is has many great picnic spots. The provincial park also features an abandoned and ruined Deertrail Resort. The resort was never completed and now stands above the river looking shockingly like an ancient ruin. However, the abandoned ruins are a fascinating contrast of urban vs nature. The ruins overlooks a beautiful waterfall!
2. Sandcut Beach Waterfall
Driving from Victoria: 90 minutes
Hiking (one way): 15 minutes
One of my favorite beaches! Sandcut Beach is roughly a half hour drive west of Sooke, and is situated on the Jordan River Regional Park. Access to the beach is only a short 15 minute hike from a small parking area right off the highway. The hike is a rugged forest trail that leads to a stone and pebble beach. In the Spring and Fall, the waterfall flows the best and is a short walk from the beach heading east.
3. Mystic Beach Waterfall
Driving from Victoria: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Hiking (one way): 1 hour
Mystic Beach is also one of my favorite (and memorable) hikes! It is about a 2 km hike from the parking lot to the beach through beautiful ancient forest and a well-maintained, well-travelled trail. You’ll come across a beautiful suspension bridge about half-way along the hike. There are small caves on the west side of the beach and a beautiful waterfall with a rope swing that swings over the water on the eastern side during low tide. Note that Mystic Beach and China Beach are part of the same entrance. This trail is very popular among locals and tourists so make sure you go there early to get a spot in the parking lot!
4. Sombrio Beach Hidden Waterfall
Driving from Victoria: 2 hours Hiking (one way): 45 minutes
Between Port Renfrew and Sooke, you’ll find Sombrio Beach where a hidden waterfall cascades into an emerald green canyon just steps away from the beach. If you didn’t know to look for it, you’d never expect to find such beauty in this secret place. To get to Sombrio beach, it is about a 2 hour drive from Victoria and a short 20 minute drive from the town of Port Renfrew. Sombrio Beach is known as a hidden gem for surfers and less crowded than Tofino. Once at the beach, the hidden waterfall is located 15 minutes east from the trail. The beach to the hidden waterfall offers a cave, followed by some scrambling up a creek. Trust me, it is worth it!!
5. Niagara Falls, Goldstream Provincial Park
Driving from Victoria: 25 minutes
Hiking (one way): Easy 15 minutes
Niagara Falls is located in Goldstream Provincial Park. Thousands of people drive right through this park not realizing the hidden waterfall!! I know I missed this gem last year and just had to go back!! It is as tall as the Niagara Falls in Ontario standing at 47.6 meters tall! This waterfall is easily missed because there aren’t any obvious signs around Goldstream Park at all announcing where this waterfall is. In order to find it, you have to go through a secret tunnel that is not easily accessible during the winter months as cold, rushing water runs right through it.