Imagine yourself above a majestic fjord with stunning views of the Gowlland Range, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains.
Round Trip Hiking Distance: 6.5 km (3.8 miles).
Altitude Gain: About 200 meters (650 feet)
Required Equipment: Hiking boots or good hiking/running shoes (no sandals please). Jacket depending on weather.
Pick up at your hotel is 9:00 a.m. or 3 p.m. We think the 3 p.m. start time is better for 2 reasons. First, the afternoon/evening light on the scene up there is incredible. Second, there's rarely anyone else up there, so we have the whole place to ourselves - in our opinion, this is the best hike in the Victoria area as the views are so spectacular! We've had a 3 year old and a 78 year old hike it! About a 30 minute drive from downtown, we access a lesser known hiking trail that leads into Gowlland Tod Provincial Park.
After a climb of about 20 minutes, the hike levels off and we get our first tasty views of Finlayson Arm, the beautiful fjord that cuts deep into Vancouver Island near Victoria. From here the hike rises gradually as we walk among Grand Fir and Arbutus trees. If there's a little wind, we will often be joined by red tailed hawks, turkey vultures, and maybe bald eagles... we might even see whales or dall porpoises! We’ll add in a dash of Vancouver Island’s fascinating history as we go.
The views just get better along the way - we take a short hike down from the main trail onto a cool rock platform. This is where our photographer will "freeze" you in mid air - our "almost famous" jump shot (see the gallery)! Once we've hiked back up to the main trail, a final ascent takes us to the top! We'll be at 400 meters or about 1350 feet above sea level. Depending on weather, you will see stunning vistas of Finlayson Arm, the small mountains in the Gowlland Range, the Juan De Fuca Strait, and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. Remember to breath
Enhance Your Experience:
On Sundays we combine this hiking tour with a visit to the Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse (2 people minimum)! After your hike, relax in a pastoral setting of apple orchards, ocean, islands and mountains - the lunch is delicious (artisan lunch plate with a selection of local meats, cheeses, bread, crackers, jelly and dip, vegetarian option too), the cider is exceptional!