GO HIKING Vancouver Island – Campbell River Lookout Trail

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Map:  Campbell River Lookout Hiking Trail

Campbell River Lookout Hiking Trail
Click on the image to enlarge

 
Access:  21 km north of Campbell River on Highway 19,  (17 minutes)
 
Distance/Time: 7-8 kilometres – 3 to 4 hours return
 
Difficulty:  Strenuous, 500 meters elevation gain
 
Condition: Compromised, this is an unsanctioned hiking trail which means there is no management plan in place, there are numerous spots where caution needs to be exercised because of unstable rocks embedded in banks, as well as rotting logs and hidden obstacles.
 

Video: Campbell River Lookout Trail
 

 

Access details: Campbell River Lookout Hiking Trail:

From Campbell River north, take the Tamarac Street intersection, at the north entrance to Campbell River, drive towards the Village of Sayward on Highway 19 for 21 kilometres.  The turn off for the trail head is immediately after the GRN net sign on the right hand side of the road.
 

Travel through low lands to start, crossing a year round small creek, expect alder and some swampy areas.  From there you cross a rather nasty little ditch and climb a bank that is made of rock and dirt, be careful here, the rocks are not secure and can be dislodged easily.  Someone has fixed a rope here to help.
 
The Bridge at the Campbell River Lookout Hiking Trail, Vancouver Island Central
 
More low lands then you begin to climb, some switch-backing and a few fixed chains secured on side hills where you may experience some difficulty in navigating the steep cliffs.  Be careful of your footing as when wet these rocks can be slippery.
 

There is a short transition to a great viewpoint that faces Strathcona Provincial Park, see if you know any of the names of the peaks from here.
 

Uphill from there you go, gaining a total of 500 metres overall. It looks like there is an old logging road close to the viewpoint with small alders and an easy walking surface, it is not quite as steep here and the viewpoint comes up on you pretty quickly to the right. 
 

The ditch at the Campbell River Lookout Hiking Trail, Vancouver Island Central
 

When you come around the corner, you are faced with one of the most panoramic views of the central island, you can see as far as Powell River on the coast, Cape Lazo in the Valley and Campbell River in its entirety.  

 
Tor at the Campbell River Lookout Hiking Trail, Vancouver Island Central
 

A great day hike, close to town and easily accessible.
 

Notes:
 

  • Ensure you have good footwear, when the terrain is this unstable, protect your ankles from injury and wear shoes or boots that give you good ankle support.
  • Be aware of the weather, if it is wet the rocks can be quite slippery and muddy at the same time.
  • Also take note to bring extra clothing it was a nice day when we went up and it was extremely cold at the lookout due to the north wind.