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 R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd.
E-mail address: office@rlcparks.ca
Phone: (250) 474-1336

Elk Falls Provincial Park and Protected Area

Caution – BC Hydro announces significant water releases at Elk Falls - October 30, 2014.

BC Hydro has doubled the spill down Elk Falls Canyon to 85 m3/s. This is being done to proactively control the reservoir level and for flood risk management.

BC Hydro initiated a spill last week in consideration of the wet weather and even with the increased flow down Elk Falls Canyon, the duration of the spill may last to Remembrance Day.

BC Hydro and BC Parks advises park visitors people to stay away from the river side areas directly above Elk Falls. The spill over the falls will be a public viewing attraction and must be viewed from safe locations along park trails.

For public safety, BC Hydro and BC Parks also advises caution when using trails along the lower river downstream of the John Hart generating station as total river flows are around 200 m3/s.

Attention Park Visitors – Important Notices Concerning Public Access

There are several changes to public access in and around Elk Falls Park as a result of the BC Hydro John Hart Generation Station Replacement Project and planned construction activities for permit holders.


For your safety, park visitors are reminded to adhere to all site 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:
  • Rotary Suspension Bridge Project:
    The Rotary Club of Campbell River in collaboration with BC Parks and BC Hydro are pleased to announce the construction of the Elk Falls suspension bridge. Construction activity will begin on July 7th and take place in the areas of the Elk Falls day use area outlined on the notice below. Please adhere to all site and trail closures and do not approach work areas. Thank you for your cooperation.
    (please see pdf map “Rotary Club of Campbell River Suspension Bridge Project”) [PDF 314KB]
  • Station View Trail (BC Hydro)
    BC Hydro has constructed the Station View Trail to allow for access around the John Hart construction site. This trail allows for continued hiking around the Campbell River connecting it to the Canyon View and Millennium Trails. The Station View Trail will be subject to relocation through July 2014 to accommodate the new location of the John Hart generating station. It will reopen in August 2014.
  • Elk Falls Day-Use Area and Brewster Lake Road (Dam Area) Closure
    The Brewster Lake Road will be subject to closure beginning in early spring 2015 and will close access to the two existing Elk Falls day-use parking lots. 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 in a setting located away from the parks featured old growth trees. The walk-in access to the park is now via a hiking trail from the new parking area and along the Millennium Trail. All trails in the park remain open, but may be subject to short term closures for public safety.
  • This map shows the new parking and trail locations within Elk Fall Park and located on BC Hydro property.
    Elk Falls New Parking and Trail Locations [PDF 2.4MB]

About This Park

Elk Falls Provincial Park 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.

Size: Park – 1,065 hectares; Protected Area – 5.6 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
Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees: May 1 – October 15
Campground Reservable Dates: May 15 – August 31
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: $18.00 per party / night
BC Senior’s Rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only): $9.00 per senior party/night. Read the User Fees Policy for information on Senior Camping Discounts.
Wheelchair Access

Wheelchair Access

Some facilities in the park are wheelchair accessible.
Winter Camping

Winter Camping

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