About Elk Falls
Elk Falls, on central Vancouver Island, is a great destination. The main attractions are camping, salmon fishing, and an incredible 25-meter (89-foot) waterfall.
Located near the town of Campbell River, Elk Falls is a great hike for families. The powerful waterfall and suspension bridge make for a fun outing, and the old-growth forest makes for a serene setting.
In 2015, an impressive suspension bridge was added to the park, just above Elk Falls. The suspension bridge opened on Elk Falls Provincial Park’s 75th anniversary.
If you only want to see Elk Falls and the bridge, you can complete the hike in about 30 minutes. But, it’s worth checking out the different viewing platforms and extending the hike to Deer Falls. This allows you to hike the trail in a loop and is the route we will describe below.
Because the river is diverted for hydroelectric generation, the flow of Elk Falls remains fairly constant throughout the year. However, it may be flowing slightly stronger in the springtime and after strong rains.
From the parking lot, you’ll see an information centre and a sign marked Millennium Trail Junction (400 m) / Viewing Area (1.2 km). Follow the trail that leads from the sign.
The trail is flat, wide, and well-groomed doubletrack. After a few hundred meters, you’ll cross a road, and then a metal bridge over a wood stave water pipeline. The unique pipeline was built in 1946 to carry water from the John Hart Dam to the generating station nearby.
Once you cross the bridge, you will go down a few more meters and take a left onto the Millennium Trail. After you make a left, the trail begins to drop down. There is a wooden railing on your right, and the trail remains wide. Walk down into the forest filled with towering Douglas Firs and Western Red Cedars.
At the bottom of the hill, you will come to a junction. Go right, towards Elk Falls. On your left, there’s an overlook of the impressive falls.