Spectacular Elk Falls Near Campbell River BC on Vancouver Island

Outdoor Adventures Parks & Gardens

Elk Falls is a mangificent waterfall is just outside of Campbell River, BC on Vancouver Island. The day I was at the Falls, there was extra water released upstream on the Cambell Riverwhich resulted in a roaring falls that just pounded the canyon below.  It reminded me of the power of Niagara Falls which I visited a number of years ago.

Thundering Elk Falls

The river water drops about 50 meters (165 feet) into Elk Falls canyon. For the day that I was there the water was crashing into in the canyon and almost bouncing back up. The spray up from the canyon probably some 100 meters (330 feet).  The view from the lookout on the south side was quite good.

Trail to Elk Falls

There are two trails – one that goes left which is difficult but doable. There is a path, then a flight of stairs down to the lookout point. The stairs are a bit of workout but okay for most ages.
There is another trail that almost goes straight down a steep mountain side – only recommended for mountain goats.

Getting to Elk Falls

It took me a bit of time to find the falls – there are good road signs for Elk Falls Provincial Park but not for the Falls themselves. Here is how I did it:

  • Take Highway 19 north to Campbell River, exit on Highway 28.
  • Go west on the Gold River Highway 28
  • Right on Snowden Camp Rd – stay on the right fork
  • Just before the Snowden Camp Rd turns left go straight to a small parking lot, then walk down to the falls.

Activities Nearby to Elk Falls

  • Excellent year-round salmon fishing in the “Salmon Capital of the World”
  • An extensive network of forest trails
  • Quinsam salmon hatchery
  • Spawning salmon in the Quinsam and Campbell Rivers in the fall
  • Quiet riverside camping
  • Variety of fishing including Rainbow, Cutthroat and Dolly Varden trout,  Chinook and Coho salmon
  • Picnic areas
  • Swimming holes
  • Old-growth Douglas fir
  • And did we mention beautiful scenery
  • A mere 2 kilometres from downtown Campbell River

Trails near Elk Falls

  • Beaver Pond  and Kingfisher Trails  – leads back toward the Campbell River
  • Canyon View Trail – walks amogst the magistic Douglas Firs
  • Quinsam River Trail – follows the Quinsam River upstream to the Quinsam River Hatchery
  • Millennium Trail – great views of Elk Falls
  • Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.


Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.

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