Vancouver Island’s rainforests are some of the most beautiful in the world and luckily for us, are usually only a twenty minute drive away at the most. Here are four of the best hiking spots around Victoria with short but sweet approaches.
- Mt. Finlayson Located just off of Goldstream Provincial Park, Mt. Finayson is a prominent little mountain with a whole lot to offer. While the trail leans towards the steep side, its strenuousness is countered by the amazing views along the way. The rugged trail takes around fifty minutes to summit and winds through a gorgeous rain forest that the west coast of BC is typically known for. Once you pass the treeline at around the half-way point, you are left with gorgeous views of Bear Mountain and Greater Victoria to take in. The remaining trail to the summit is well marked with reflective orange markers and some interesting rock features along the way, nothing that should require any hand work though. Expect to spend around an hour and forty-five minutes on this hike to allow time at the summit to take in the views that you worked so hard for!
- Thetis Lake Located just outside of View Royal, this gem could be considered to be a bit of hot spot during the summer for anyone wanting to get some relief from the heat! If swimming is your thing, then this is the place to be! While the main appeal to the lake is in the swimming and cliff diving, the lake also offers a short but sweet loop that takes you around the lake on a well groomed trail with lots of cool scenery to take in. In addition to the basic loop there is a network of hiking and mountain biking trails in the area that beckon to be explored. Expect around forty-five minutes to complete this little loop. Bring a towel and some change for parking, Thetis Lake has a way of tempting you in to take a dip!
- Mt. Douglas Located in Gordon Head, Mt. Douglas has all of the features in a park that you could ever want! A quiet little beach is a quick five minute walk from the parking lot that is outfitted with well maintained public washrooms, this could be a great place to spend your day on a hot summer afternoon. After you check out the beach, a network of trails allows for more exploring to be done, with the prominent feature being the main summit trail. Even if you’re not in the mood for a longer hike, there is a short road that takes you up to a parking lot close to the summit. Hop out of you car and take a five minute stroll up to the summit to take in the wonderful panoramic views of southern Vancouver Island.
- Mt. Wells Located just off of Humpback road, on the way to Sooke, Mt. Wells is around a forty-five minute drive from Victoria. This great little mountain is one that won’t bite and is very friendly! Almost like a dialed back version of Mt. Finlayson, Mt. Wells has gorgeous views, and is not as physically demanding as some of the other mountains on Vancouver Island. Equipped with chain hand rails on any bits that might make you feel uneasy, Mt. Wells makes for a great day outing for the entire family. Mt. Wells also features some of the best sport climbing on the island on it’s lower bluffs that can be accesses via a trail located further down Humpback road.