Fire Restrictions in Effect for this Park
Activites and Facilities Available in this Park - Click icon to view
Activities Available at this Park
Facilities Available at this Park
Park Contact This park proudly operated by:
R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd.
E-mail address: office@rlcparks.ca
Phone: (250) 474-1336

Click here to view R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd’s Webpage, for more information.

Elk Falls Provincial Park and Protected Area

Attention Park Visitors:

Winter Trail Conditions
Many of the parks walking trails and structures are very icy and snow covered through the winter months.
Please use appropriate foot wear, use handrails where provided and proceed with care when visiting the park.

Fisheries Restoration Project Underway (February 2016) please read for more information [PDF 128KB]

Elk Falls Day-use Area – Winter Hours are in affect for the Elk Falls Day-use Area – the gates are open to the public from 8:00am to 5:00 pm.

As a result of BC Hydro construction activities for the John Hart Replacement Project the following advisories have been issued for public safety.
Temporary public safety controls are in place at these location through the winter months.

  • Canyon View Trail, Station View Trail, Millennium Trail – At areas adjacent to blasting activities for the BC Hydro Tailrace.
  • The Elk Falls Day-use Parking Area (Suspension Bridge Area) – Temporary access closures on the trail approaches to allow for road building.
  • John Hart Dam Area – Public are asked to stay clear of the approaches to the John Hart Dam from the Brewster Lake Road, Upper Elk Falls Park Area trails, Dolphin Pool and Moose Falls areas – please adhere to closures and stay behind safety fences around blasting and construction sites.
Thank you for your cooperation.

Important Notices Concerning Public Access

There are several changes to public access at Elk Falls Park as a result of the BC Hydro John Hart Generation Station Replacement Project.

For your safety, park visitors are reminded to adhere to all road and trail closures, please watch for increased heavy traffic while driving to the park and stay on designated trails while hiking in the park.

The key changes to public access and restrictions include:

BREWSTER LAKE ROAD CLOSURE  
(Access to the Upper Elk Falls Day-Use Area)
The Brewster Lake Road is closed to the two existing parking lots at Upper Elk Falls day-use area. To accommodate this and provide for future parking at the park, BC Hydro has constructed a new parking area capable of safely accommodating park visitor vehicles. The walk-in access to the park is now via a hiking trail from the new parking area to the new Suspension Bridge, viewing areas and beyond to the old growth trail loop trails.

All trails in the park remain open, but may be subject to short term closures for public safety during construction activities.

This map shows the new parking and trail locations [PDF 3.45MB] within Elk Falls Park and located on BC Hydro property.


Alternate route along Hwy. 19 to access to Northwest areas of Elk Falls Park, The Snowden Forest and Loveland Bay.
Access will be restricted as above from the Brewster Lake road across John Hart Dam. The recognized route for public recreational traffic to access these areas follows Hwy. 19 North to Duncan Bay, Gordon Road, Snowden Road and reconnects to Brewster Lake-Loveland Bay Road.

About This Park

Drone promo video shot by Go Campbell River.

A thundering waterfall and some of the finest year-round salmon fishing in Canada are just two of the reasons Elk Falls is one of the most popular provincial parks on Vancouver Island. Add to that the extensive network of forest trails, the nearby Quinsam salmon hatchery and, in the fall, the sight of spawning salmon in the Quinsam and Campbell Rivers, and it’s easy to see why this provincial park is considered one of the best campground accommodations in the “Salmon Capital of the World.”

This convenient location – just 2 kilometres from downtown Campbell River on central Vancouver Island – provides quiet riverside camping in the heart of a world-renowned fishing area. And you don’t have to go far to find fish – from November to March, the steelhead run right by the campsites on the Quinsam River. As spring progresses, lakes in the area – many of which have been stocked – ripple with rainbow, cutthroat and dolly varden trout. During late spring and through the summer, fishermen head to the tidal waters to fish for chinook or coho salmon.

After a morning fishing, pack a picnic lunch and take a cool stroll to the Elk Falls day-use area. Just 3 km from the campground, this picnic area contains easy walking trails and the plunging 25-metre waterfall that gives this park its name. Hiking trails also lead to other areas in the park, which is home to the only significant stand of old-growth Douglas fir north of MacMillan Provincial Park.

The large campground at Elk Falls Provincial Park provides a convenient base camp for day tripping. Gold River, destinations in the Sayward Forest, Kelsey Bay, Rock Bay, and the parks of Quadra and Cortes Islands are within easy reach.

Date Established: Park – December 20, 1940; Protected Area – March 3, 2013

Size: Park – 1,055 hectares; Protected Area – 16 hectares

Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
Opening and Closing Campground Dates:
(campground is accessible but may not offer full services such as water, security, etc.)
Open year round (Winter fee from October 16 to April 28 with no services provided)
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: April 29 – October 15
Campground Reservable Dates: May 13 – September 4
Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites: 122
Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
48
Note: The above information is for the campground only. Park users can still walk into the park if conditions such as weather permit. Check the "Attention Visitor Notice" above for park alerts.

Reservations

All campsite reservations must be made through Discover Camping. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.

make a reservation

Campsite Reservations:
Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
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Location and Maps

Please note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation. The Quinsam campground at Elk Falls Provincial Park is located 3 km north of Campbell River on central Vancouver Island on Hwy 28 toward Gold River. The Elk Falls day-use areas are located 3 km west of the campground off Hwy 28.

Maps and Brochures

Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
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Nature and Culture

  • In the campground, each of the campsite posts identifies a tree, shrub or flower growing adjacent to the post or near the campsite. Here is a Guide [PDF 15KB] explaining the plant names and additional comments.
  • Wildlife: Wildlife in Elk Falls Park includes a variety of small mammals and birds. Great blue herons, killdeer, Glaucous-winged gulls, crows, Chestnut-backed chickadees, Golden-crowned kinglets and starlings are the most abundant resident bird species. Mammals include deer, bears and cougars, as well as shrews, squirrels, voles, raccoons, mink, river otters, muskrat and beaver. A beaver dam and pond are located west of the campground. Roosevelt elk also utilize portions of the park for winter range. Fish species include steelhead, cutthroat and Dolly Varden trout, three spine stickleback, fresh water Sculpin and chinook, chum, coho, pink and sockeye salmon.
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Management Planning

Management Planning Information
  • The approved management plan [PDF 1.02MB] for Elk Falls Provincial Park is available in PDF format.
    DISCLAIMER:
    This is NOT the original management planning product. This document has been scanned from the original format of the plan. It may contain some formatting changes, however the content is consistent with the original.
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Activities Available at this Park

Cycling

Cycling

Cycling is permitted on roadways in the park and mountain bike opportunities exist on the Pumphouse trails, which connect to the Snowden demonstration forest trail network. The pumphouse trail network is best accessed from near the water tower uphill of the logging road bridge over the Campbell River. Click here to view a detailed trail map. [PDF 4.05MB] Trail and stunt construction is prohibited.
Fishing

Fishing

Fresh water fishing in Quinsam and Campbell River, as well as, saltwater/ocean fishing near the town of Campbell River. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Hiking

Hiking

An extensive 6 km trail system offers a variety of hiking opportunities within Elk Falls Provincial Park. Click Here to View Detailed Trail Information.

In the day-use area there is a short trail to the magnificent old growth Douglas fir forest. Another system of trails will take you to Elk, Moose and Deer Falls, found along this portion of the Campbell River. Detailed trail maps are located at the day-use areas and in the campground.

For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Pets on Leash

Pets on Leash

Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. 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.
Swimming

Swimming

There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks. There are swimming holes near the falls at the day-use area of the park.
Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife Viewing

Viewing platforms are located at the day-use area near the falls, as well as along the Canyon View Trail. These sites offers spectacular views of the deep rock canyons and waterfalls.
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Facilities Available at this Park

Campfires

Campfires

While fires are allowed, we encourage visitors to conserve the environment by minimizing the use of fire and using stoves instead. Campfire rings are provided at each campsite. Firewood can be purchased from the park facility operator. 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 (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Limited burning hours or campfire bans may be implemented. Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.
Drinking Water

Drinking Water

Cold water taps are located in the campground. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
Picnic Areas

Picnic Areas

This park has a day-use area, located 3 km west of the campground off Hwy 28. The area has 2 parking lots – one adjacent to a viewpoint and the other with picnic tables, pit toilets, and an information shelter. Trails link the parking lots. This area also offers opportunities for picnicking on the rocks near the river.
Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit or Flush Toilets

Pit toilets are located throughout the campground and day-use area. Flush toilets are located at the sani-station in the campground.
Playground

Playground

There is an adventure playground and sports field at the campground at this park.
Sani-Station/Dump

Sani-Station/Dump

A sani-station/dump is located in the campground and is available during the collecting season.
Sani-station Use Fee: $5.00 per discharge
Vehicle Accessible Camping

Vehicle Accessible Camping

This park offers 122 vehicle accessible campsites. Approximately 25 of these sites border the Quinsam River; the rest are set in a second-growth forest. The Quinsam campground entrance is located on the west side of the Quinsam Bridge. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $20.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $10.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

A number of facilities in the park are wheelchair accessible or have been designed for park visitors with mobility challenges.
  1. Elk Falls Day-use Area – Viewpoints and Suspension Bridge approach:
    The paved parking includes stalls that are designated for people with mobility challenges, all pit toilets and most picnic tables are wheelchair accessible. The trails accessing the first set of viewpoints are designed to a 5% grade or less and have hard packed trail surfaces, park bench resting spots, and safety fencing.
    Please note: The stairs, suspension bridge and the lower viewing areas are not classified as wheelchair accessible.
  2. Quinsam River Fishing / Viewing Platform:
    A flat concrete platform just below the Quinsam River Highway Bridge provides access to a holding pool for salmon before it enters into the Campbell River. In the fall it holds pink, coho and chinook while on their way upstream. The trail is graded at more than 5% but it is smooth and can be accessed with wheelchairs, it is a short 60m. away from the parking area, and is located across from the Quinsam River Campground.
  3. Quinsam River Campground:
    A number of campsites have wheelchair accessible picnic tables. The entire campsite has wheelchair accessible pit toilets located throughout.
Winter Camping

Winter Camping

This park offers winter camping but no services are available during the off-season.

Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $11.00 per party / night