Visitors - Important Notice!
as of June 9, 2008:
- The trail system in the Lower Carmanah Valley is open but in rough shape. The trails are passable but some portions are re-routes.
- Boardwalk and trail repairs throughout the summer.
- Road access (Rosander Main) to the lower Carmanah Valley (feature zone) is open but very rough.
following trails are closed:
is active logging in the area. Visitors should carry
a full-sized spare tire and be aware that they are driving
in an active hauling area.
bear aware, as bear sightings are frequent in the park.
More information on bear
Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park is a luxuriously forested
sanctuary that is without a doubt one of the most remarkable
wild places on Vancouver Island. The lower Carmanah Valley
was declared a provincial park in 1990, and the Walbran
and upper Carmanah Valleys were added in 1995. The park
offers protection to diverse forest ecosystems, including
a large Sitka spruce ecosystem that represents 2% of BC's
remaining old-growth forest.
Carmanah Walbran is home to some of the world's largest
spruce trees, some reaching heights in excess of 95 meters
and living for 800 years or more. The park is also home
to ancient, gnarled cedars - estimated to be well over
1,000 years old - clinging to the side hills. Nestled
beneath these awe-inspiring trees are millions of mosses and ferns and other varieties
of flora and fauna, possibly only in an ecosystem that
has remained undisturbed for hundreds of years.
The recent addition of the Walbran and upper Carmanah
Valleys completes the protection of the Carmanah Creek
watershed and the southern portion of the Walbran Creek
watershed. The park provides unique opportunities for
forest research and education in the areas of biodiversity,
wildlife and fisheries habitat. It is a majestic forest
capable of inspiring all visitors who come here, and offers
unforgettable recreational opportunities for hikers and
This coastal fringe of mainly Sitka spruce, with its
associated plants and animals, is truly a special place
to discover. Sitka spruce forests are typically coast-hugging
- they are rarely found more than 80 kilometers inland
and at elevations greater than 300 meters. The park's
extensive groves of spruce attain a biomass (weight of
plants per hectare) that is nearly twice that of a tropical
forest. This dynamic system has developed over thousands
of years and functions perfectly if left undisturbed.
Several hiking trails in the Carmanah Valley provide
access to many of the park’s notable natural features,
including some of the area’s largest trees. Many
sections of the trail are extremely muddy and difficult.
Be equipped with appropriate clothing (including adequate
rain gear) and good hiking boots.
to Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park are reminded that
park is a wilderness area. Trails
are primitive and very muddy. Carmanah Walbran has no gas,
food, roofed lodging, telephone or medical services. Gas,
food and telephone service are available at the Didtidaht
Nation Centre located in Nitinat, approximately 20 km from
the park. The primary destination point of visitors to
the park is the Park Facility Operator’s station,
located at the lower Carmanah Valley Trailhead. This area
offers parking, pit toilets and walk-in camping above the
- A long-term management strategy for the Walbran Valley
is currently under development. Until the Walbran's recreation
values and conservation and safety issues have been fully
inventoried, hiking in the Walbran is strongly discouraged.
Topographic Series map number 92, sheets C/10 and C/15
cover the Carmanah Valley area. These maps are
available from Government Agents and most map retailers
in British Columbia.
Management Planning Information
Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park is located 20 km northwest
of Port Renfrew on the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island.
There are three different routes leading to the Caycuse River
Bridge, which is the only way to access the park.
traveling from Port Alberni should follow the Bamfield
Road for approximately 40 km to the Franklin River Junction.
At the junction, turn left onto South Main and proceed
past the logging camp buildings and toward Nitinat Lake.
Continue on South Main for approximately 23 km to the Nitinat
River Bridge. Stay on South Main until reaching the Caycuse
from Port Renfrew should follow
the Lake Cowichan Connector Road north to Honeymoon Bay.
At Honeymoon Bay,
turn left and proceed along South Shore Road, which becomes
Nitinat Main, continuing to the junction of Nitinat Main
and South Main. Turn left onto South Main and proceed
to the Caycuse River Bridge.
Those accessing the park via
Lake Cowichan should follow South Shore Road past Gordon
Bay Provincial Park to the
Nitinat Main, or follow the North Shore Road through
Youbou to the
Nitinat Main. Continue along Nitinat Main till it connects
with Junction South. Turn left onto South Main and
proceed to the Caycuse River Bridge.
Once you have crossed
the Caycuse River Bridge, turn right immediately and proceed
on Rosander Main for
approximately 29 km to the park.
Communities near the park include:Port Renfrew, Port Alberni,
Cowichan Lake, Duncan, Victoria
Any maps listed are for
information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be
used for navigation.
Nature & Culture:
Walbran is remote and rugged. Access to the park is via
private logging roads. Great care must be
exercised while traveling these roads as they are at times
narrow, bumpy, and used frequently by industrial logging
trucks. Always drive with your headlights on as visibility
may be limited due to dust and adverse weather. Logging
trucks have the right of way at all times; other
users are expected to pull off onto the nearest shoulders
a truck. Visitors should make the trip in an appropriate
vehicle with adequate clearance for bumpy terrain; at least
one spare tire should be carried. Park visitors should carry
a first aid kit at all times. The closest emergency telephone
is located at the Didtidaht Reserve. In the case of an emergency
you should contact either Enquiry BC at (250) 387-6121, the
RCMP in Port Alberni or Lake Cowichan, or dial 911. The closest
hospitals are located in Port Alberni and Duncan.
Safety Information (park
safety, hazards, wildlife safety information, health risks)
parks that accept reservations,
all vehicle accessible campsites (with the exception of
group sites) must be reserved through Discover
are not accepted at this park; all wilderness campsites are
on a first-come, first-served basis. For parks that accept
reservations or information on the reservation service, click
Parks: Fees, park listings, what
you should know before you go and other useful links.
R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd.
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (250) 474-1336
Click here to view a non-government
web link, for additional information.
There are no vehicle-accessible camping facilities
at this park.
camping is allowed at several locations upstream
from The Three Sisters in the Carmanah Valley, with
walk-in camping available above the Valley where
the Carmanah Valley Trailhead is located. This is
the only area in the park where campfires are permitted.
is also permitted during the summer months in the
Valley on the Carmanah Creek’s exposed gravel
bars. Campfires are prohibited here, and campers
are expected to adhere to Leave
No Trace camping practices.
with tent pads, picnic tables and fire rings are
provided beyond the parking area on the service
road. Short-term vehicle camping is permitted in
the parking lot.
backcountry camping fee is charged at Carmanah Walbran;
self registration vaults are located in the parking
lot at the Carmanah Valley Trailhead.
Camping Fee: $5.00 per person / night, for all persons 13 years of age or older
are no group campsites available at this park.
are day-use/picnicking areas in the park.
are no wheelchair facilities available at this park.
taps are located at the parking area near the Park
Facility Operator’s Station and at the
Trailhead. Taps are shut off during the off season.
It is recommended that you boil, filter or treat this
water prior to consumption.
are 6 pit toilets located at convenient points throughout the park.
are no shower facilities at this park.
are no sani-station/dump facilities at this park.
are only allowed in the steel fire rings located
in the campsites along the service road and in the
area near the Carmanah Valley Trailhead. Campfire
time restrictions are in effect: Cooking fires are
allowed from 7:00 am - 9:00 am; 11:00 am - 1:00
pm; and 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm; small campfires after
7:00 pm. These restrictions will improve air quality
and firewood conservation while still permitting
fires. Campfire rings are provided.
Fires are NOT PERMITTED elsewhere in the park.
can be purchased from the Park Facility Operator
during peak season, or you can bring your own wood.
Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. To
preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don't
gather firewood from the area around your campsite
or elsewhere in the park. Dead wood is an important
habitat element for many plants and animals and it
adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve
and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Be
prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.
||There are no electrical hook-ups in this park.
are no regularly scheduled interpretive programs at
Carmanah Valley offers spectacular opportunities
for wilderness hiking. Many sections of the trail
in the Carmanah Valley are extremely muddy and difficult.
Be equipped with appropriate clothing (including
adequate raingear) and good hiking boots. Several
of the Carmanah hikes are described below - please
note that hiking times may vary depending on trail
conditions and weather. Distances are one-way and
the approximate hiking times are based on good weather
here for information on trails in the Carmanah Valley.
your own safety and preservation of the park, obey posted
signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails
destroys plant life and soil structure.
is no playground at this park.
There are no opportunities for swimming in this park.
There are no opportunities for canoeing or kayaking
in this park.
boat launch is available at this park.
There is no fishing permitted in the park. Anyone
fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an
Cycling is not permitted.
horseback riding at this park.
|| Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash
and under control all times. You are responsible for their behaviour and must
dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other
pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
old-growth setting of Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park is awe-inspiring
no matter where you go. Trails from the Carmanah Valley Trailhead lead
to a variety of park highlights.
Viewing platforms are located at Coast
Tower, Three Sisters and Heaven Tree. An elevated platform at Three Sisters
offers visitors a different
perspective of this majestic old growth forest. These viewing platforms
also help to protect the vegetation surrounding these natural wonders.
winter recreation opportunities.
SCUBA diving or snorkelling opportunities.
of this park are open to hunting for specific species. Hunters must
have valid licences and tags. Please refer to the current Hunting
and Trapping Regulations and Synopsis publication for closures
climbing or rock climbing opportunities.
spelunking or caving opportunities.
cabins, yurts or lodges for public use.