Hike to Landslide Lake

Rate this Adventure Canada Elk River Trailhead

  • Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    16.2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    1968.5 Feet


If you only have time for one hike on Vancouver Island, let this be it.

The Elk River Trail is one of the most popular destinations in Strathcona Provincial Park and for good reason.  Not only is this one of the only trails in the Park that doesn't go 'straight up' a mountain, but it also takes you to one of the most beautiful spots on all of Vancouver Island.  The Elk River Trail is approximately 13kms (one way) and climbs gradually up 600m to reach the spectacular (and increasingly well known) Landslide Lake.  Teal in colour, perfectly circular and nestled at the base of the majestic peaks of Mount Colonel Foster, this Lake is a tiny piece of paradise that will leave you wondering if you are truly on Vancouver Island at all.  

This is pristine and fragile wilderness and care must be taken to leave no trace, minimize impact and protect this special place from heavy use.  There is no camping allowed at the lake itself for this reason.  There are two campsites at km 6 and km 9 on the trail, which sit alongside the lovely Elk River.  If you are making a multi-day trip of the trail, drop your gear and set up camp at one of these sites and enjoy a light load on your day trip to Landslide Lake...and beyond.  Those who are feeling extra adventurous can bush bash their way through the slide alder and make it around to the back side of Landslide Lake (follow the trail around the left side of the Lake) then follow the waterfalls up to Berg Lake above.  This is another, tinier lake that will dazzle you with its creamy teal colours and fantastic vantage point. 

The journey to this amazing lake is just as rewarding as the destination however.  The trail travels through lush coastal forest, past sparkling waterfalls and over clear mountain streams.  Thick moss carpets the forest floor, wild flowers and tasty wild berries dangle on the sides of the trail where ever the light is able to sneak in.  If you are lucky you might even spot a giant Elk (or two, as I did on my most recent run out to the Lake!)

There are plenty of amazing views to keep you busy and leave you with that lovely sense of wonder in the presence of such a magical wild space.  Take care and be sure to spread the good word about how to 'Leave No Trace' in this special place.  

  • Plan for 4-6 hours each way as a hike or 2-2.5hours each way as an adventure run
  • Camping is only allowed in the two designated camp areas.
  • Fires are not permitted in Strathcona Provincial Park at any time of year.
  • Take only pictures, leave only footprints!  https://www.theoutbound.com/sa...

Pack List

  • Dayhiking or Camping gear depending on your trip.
  • Satellite communication device such as a Delorme inReach- as there is no cell reception in the Park.
  • Camera!  
Read More


Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Leave a Review

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!

Sarah Seads

I love to play in the woods and climb to the top of things! Living wild on #vanisle. Let's go on an adventure!

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Bonnell Creek Falls

Canada / Bonnell Creek Falls Trail

This trail isn't much to look at but it's all about the destination here as you will stumble upon scenic waterfalls nestled in the quiet Nanoose Bay area.

13 Saves

Hike to Singhampton Caves in Ontario

Canada / Singhampton Caves

Singhampton Caves Trail is a 1.

25 Saves

Photograph Old Woman Bay

Canada / Old Woman Bay

This 3km pebble beach in Agawa Bay boast of a spectacular view and a good afternoon. Simply park your car and enjoy! Close in the area is a trail (if you wish to hike) to explore the area as well.  

4 Saves