Goldstream Provincial Park
About This ParkMassive trees, majestic waterfalls, a meandering river that meets the sea, flowers, birds and fascinating fish are but a few of the attractions that draw people to Goldstream Provincial Park, a mere 16 km from downtown Victoria on southern Vancouver Island.
It’s a world that seems far removed from the urban adventures of British Columbia’s capital city whether the visitor is a hiker seeking inspiration from this magnificent example of the great outdoors or a naturalist looking to add to their notebook. There’s something new, different and exciting every month of the year at Goldstream Park.
Goldstream’s numerous trails criss-cross through the dramatically different terrain of two distinct vegetation zones. The park is home to 600-year-old Douglas fir trees and western red cedar, mixed with western yew and hemlock, red alder, big leaf maple and black cottonwood. On the drier ridges visitors can find flowering dogwood, lodgepole pine and arbutus. The arbutus, with its thick leathery evergreen leaves, red-dish trunk and peeling bark, is Canada's only broad-leafed evergreen and is found exclusively on Vancouver Island and on the southwest coast of British Columbia. In the spring and early summer, Goldstream overflows with colourful wildflowers, including the shade-loving western trillium and the calypso, a delicate orchid of the mossy forest glades.
Trails range from easy, wheelchair accessible walks to strenuous hikes and track along creeks, through forested uplands and past abandoned gold diggings from the days of the Gold Rush. More adventurous hikers can climb to the top of one of the highest points in Greater Victoria - Mt Finlayson, a recent addition to the park in 1994. Another trail leads you to stunning Niagara Falls, which cascades 47.5 metres down a rock cliff into a crystal clear canyon pool below.
The park is also the site of an annual chum salmon spawning run, which draws thousands of salmon – and visitors – every year. Riverside trails and observation platforms provide extraordinary opportunities to view this natural phenomenon, which also attracts Bald eagles, who swoop down to devour the bodies of the spawned out salmon.
Park naturalists are available at the Freeman King Visitor Center, which offers interpretive programs and informative lectures about the area’s natural history for individuals and groups. The park also features a large picnic area with shelters, as well as vehicle accessible camping and group sites.
For your convenience during the summer season, this park has a small concession managed by the Park Facility Operator.
Park Size: 477 hectares
Goldstream Park is home to waterfalls, including Niagara Falls, which at 47.5 metres is almost at high as its famous namesake, and Goldstream Falls, a small waterfall located in the southwest corner of the park near the campground.
Goldstream is also part of the Nanaimo Lowlands Ecosection and the Coastal Douglas Fir Biogeoclimatic Zone. The park is home to small Garry oak meadows, arbutus, and Douglas fir trees – some more than 600 years old.
The park protects a number of red and blue listed species of flora and fauna, including rare wildflowers and plant species such as the Dense Spike Primrose and the Pacific Waterleaf. It also protects various reptiles and amphibians and plays major role in conserving the Goldstream River salmon run.
- Each year, visitors can witness salmon spawning at Goldstream Provincial Park. The best time for viewing is late October through November. During this period, there is congestion on Hwy #1 while cars park and exit the day-use area. Please be cautious. Help prevent disruption of salmon spawning - keep pets on a leash and out of the water at all times.
- For school groups and special group programs, please contact the Goldstream Freeman King Visitor Centre @ 250 478-9414 (phone/fax).
- West of the E & N Railway right-of-way is the Greater Victoria Water Supply Area - Access is prohibited.
- Please note that the head of Finlayson Arm and the Goldstream Estuary are closed to boaters and paddlers.
- No sani-station in Winter season.
Rockfish Conservation Areas occur within this park. Fishing activities are limited in Rockfish Conservation Areas. Before you go fishing, please refer to the Rockfish Conservation Area descriptions available from Fisheries and Oceans Canada DFO. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
- Mt. Finlayson Trail Caution: This trail is steep and rugged; dress for the terrain and weather; stay on the marked trail; allow adequate time for return in daylight. The summit can be accessed from Finlayson Arm Road or the day-use area. Use caution when walking on Finlayson Arm Road.
| Campground Hours 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.)
|Campground Dates with Full Services and Fees:||March 15 – October 31
Winter fee from November 1 – March 14 with no water, no firewood, no sani-station.
|Campground Reservable Dates:||May 15 – September 2|
|Total Number of Vehicle Accessible Campsites:||167|
|Number of Reservable Campsites, if applicable:
(all remaining sites are first-come, first-served)
|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.|
ReservationsFor parks that accept reservations, all vehicle accessible campsites and group sites must be reserved through Discover Camping.
Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
Group Camp/Picnic Reservations:
Group campsite and/or group picnic site reservations are accepted at this park.
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only - they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
- Visitors coming to the campground now must use Amy Road via Westshore Parkway to get to the campground. The Westshore Parkway intersection is just south of the old (now closed) Sooke Lake Road intersection and the first traffic signal after the Spencer Road intersection on Trans Canada Hwy #1.
- The entrance to the day-use area is at the junction of Trans Canada Hwy #1 and Finlayson Arm Road.
- The entrance to the group campsite is off the Trans Canada Hwy #1 opposite the now closed Sooke Lake Road intersection.
Maps and BrochuresAny maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Nature and Culture
- History – The area of the park was given to the people of British Columbia by the Greater Victoria Water Board in 1958. Additional lands were designated in 1994 and 1996 through the Commonwealth Nature Legacy and Crown Land additions.
- Cultural Heritage – Goldstream is located on traditional fishing grounds of local First Nations. Old mining shafts and tunnels are all that remain of the gold rush that Goldstream River experienced during the mid-19th century.
- Conservation – The diversity of flora and fauna within the area makes Goldstream Provincial Park a marvel of nature. With two distinct vegetation zones, the park offers views of 600-year-old Douglas-fir and western red cedar as well as stands of Garry oak and arbutus, found exclusively on Vancouver Island and the southwest coast of BC. Goldstream River, the site of an annual Chum salmon spawning run, also adds to the park’s natural values. The park also protects various reptiles and amphibians and a number of red and blue listed species of flora and fauna, including rare wildflowers and plant species such as the Dense Spike Primrose and the Pacific Waterleaf.
- Wildlife – Goldstream Park is home to black bears, cougars and deer, as well as numerous small animals like raccoons, minks, beavers, otters and Gray and Douglas squirrels. Salmon, trout and steelhead are found in the park’s streams, and migratory and resident birds such as hummingbirds, Bald eagles, turkey vultures, ducks and gulls can be spotted throughout the park. From late October through December of each year, the Goldstream River is the scene of one of nature's spectacles as chum, coho and Chinook salmon enter the river via Finlayson Arm from the Pacific Ocean. Three to four years previously, these same salmon were born here before traveling to the sea to grow and mature. Their return to spawn and die in their ancestral spawning beds is fascinating. The Goldstream River estuary is closed to the public (including all boaters). This closure has resulted in a resurgence of wildlife using the estuary throughout the year. Due to the closure, once rarely seen Bald eagles now abound during the salmon run and nest during the summer - Eagle Extravaganza
Management PlanningManagement Planning Information
- The approved management plan for Goldstream Provincial Park is available in PDF format [PDF 962.25KB].
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.
Activities Available at this Park
Click here to view a summer program schedule [PDF 117KB] for visitor programs being held in the amphitheatre located in the campground.
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
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 and some parks may use communal fire rings. Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.
View the Annual Drinking Water System Report [pdf]: Goldstream day-use area.
Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum.
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $100.00/group site/night, plus $4/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15).
Pit or Flush Toilets
Vehicle Accessible Camping
Winter Vehicle Accessible Camping Fee: $11.00 per party / night