Vancouver Island’s Scenic Malahat Drive

Sight Seeing

Guest Blog:

The Malahat Highway on Vancouver Island Offers the Ultimate Route for a Memorable Weekend Road Trip

The Malahat Drive is widely considered as one of the scenic roadways in Canada.If you want enjoy a leisurely weekend drive and simply soak in the breathtaking view of the southern part of Vancouver Island, Malahat lives to deliver its promise of a wonderful trip.

All Geared Up for a Pleasant Drive

With the pressures and demands of daily life, it has been quite awhile since I had a chance to enjoy a trip, all without the worry of arriving on time.When I finally got a chance to schedule one last weekend, I naturally brought along by camera to capture a few landscape shots.For those who have not tried this route, the pictures will easily tell you what you have been missing.

The Malahat Drive starts at the Goldstream Park, which is located on the northern part of Victoria on Highway #1. To tackle the Malahat, you need to travel up towards the eastern coast of Vancouver Island.The reason why this particular route is able to afford a scenic view is the fact that the road is constructed hugging the seaside mountains, and gradually carves through the thick forests of Arbutus, Douglas Fir, Red Cedar and Maple.

Enjoy Some of the Most Breathtaking Views of the Island

There are a number of lookouts and rest stops along Malahat, not to mention a string of wonderful accommodations for people planning a weekend getaway.The Malahat Drive provides an overlooking view over the Saanich Peninsula, and the San Juan Islands, which I can easily say is one of the most spectacular views you can find anywhere on the island.If you have scheduled a full day of adventure, it’s a good idea to check out the Goldstream Park before you head out.It features a nature center, which you might want to check out as well.

If you are wondering about the interesting name Malahat, it is actually named after the Malahat First Nation.This is a beautiful rugged region made up of steep cliffs and heavy forests on the northern regions of Victoria. The Malahat Drive climbs towards a summit of approximately 356 metres (1, 156 feet), which ends up just south of Mill Bay.

Popular Viewpoints

To fully appreciate the views, make sure to check out the strategic rest areas and stopping points along the Malahat Drive, which offers magnificent views of the Saanich Peninsula, the Saanich Inlet, Saltspring Island, Victoria International Airport, BC Gulf Islands and the Mount Baker in Washington State from a distance.

  • Goldstream Provincial Park – this is known as the camper’s paradise, which is especially busy during the month of November for the annual salmon spawning run. You can enjoy nature walks and trails and a leisurely lunch at the picnic grounds. If you are feeling up to it, hike up Mount Finlayson, which is about 413 metres (1, 375 feet), which offers a beautiful view of the Finlayson Arm along with the surrounding Victoria area.
  • Spectacle Lake Provincial Park – if you fancy a few hours of fishing and canoeing, enjoy a few hours roaming around the park. The lake is teeming with rainbow trout, which you can easily see from its crystal clear waters.
  • Bamberton Provincial Park – if you prefer to enjoy lunch on the terraced slopes situated above the beach, then this is the perfect rest stop for a picnic. The place presents a quiet retreat, with the warm waters ideal for a quick dip.

Tips for Enjoying the Malahat Drive

  • Make sure to schedule the trip on a fine weather, when it’s not raining. Fog will most likely cover the views during cold weather conditions.
  • Make sure your vehicle is equipped with all-season tires when traveling during winder since the road conditions are expected to be slippery.
  • Expect traffic delays during the summer season since there are a number of tourists who also want to enjoy and share the roadway.
  • The best time to fully enjoy the spectacular views is on a clear evening, especially when the full moon rises above the mainland.
  • The ideal way to travel back to Victoria is the Niagara Creek Hike.

Republished under Creative Commons License from West Coast Aquatic Safaris, an acclaimed Bear Watching, Whale Watching, Hot Springs Cove Tour Co & Marine Charter Co in Tofino, BC on the famed west coast of Vancouver Island. Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.

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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