The ambling trails on the west side of Goldstream Park offer lush views of a mixed forest. Amy Attas photo.

The ambling trails on the west side of Goldstream Park offer lush views of a mixed forest. Amy Attas photo.

Your go-to guide to Victoria’s trails

A hike for every occasion, all within 25 minutes of downtown

Climb every mountain… or stick to easier trails!

Victoria is a hiker’s paradise, with a variety of views from seaside to mountaintop and difficulty ranging from paved paths to steep climbs. Pick a trail that suits your goals, or crush them all over a season!

The big uphill sweat:

  • Mount Finlayson: You’ll start in lush old-growth and celebrate on the exposed summit with 360-degree views. The real question is how do you get down? The top third of the Mount Finlayson is rocky cliff-face — not exactly rock climbing, but you’ll have to use your hands to clamber up. It makes for a fun challenge on the ascent, but can be hard on your knees (and your nerves) on the way down. Past the summit on the back side of the mountain you’ll find a wider forest trail for a smoother descent — it makes the hike longer, but it’s worth it.
  • Mount Work: Take a long look at the map in the McKenzie Bight parking lot before you start — the first few hundred metres of the trail are confusing! Once you navigate those junctions it’s smooth sailing and gruelling climbing the rest of the way. The forested summit doesn’t offer any views, but you can watch ships in Saanich Inlet and see south down the Peninsula from clearings before and after the summit.
  • Jocelyn Hill: The nice thing about Jocelyn Hill is that you don’t have to start climbing right away — give your body time to warm up! Park at McKenzie Bight (as you would for Mount Work) but walk 200 metres further down the road to find the Jocelyn Hill trailhead. After your flat warm-up prepare to climb steep sections all the way to viewpoints at Squally Reach and Jocelyn Hill.
The ambling trails on the west side of Goldstream Park offer lush views of healthy old-growth forest. Amy Attas photo

All ages and abilities:

  • Dallas Road Waterfront Pathway: Watch the dogs and the kites in Clover Point Park, push your stroller on the paved oceanside path, or watch waves smash along the Ogden Point Breakwater. The perfect spot to soak up the rays on a sunny day!
  • Island View Beach: Take the gravel walkway for a leisurely stroll, or drop down on the beach to comb for treasure. When the wind is right, take a seat on a hunk of driftwood and watch the wind surfers tumbling in the waves.
  • Elk/Beaver Lake: The trail around the lake is wide and smooth, but at 10 kilometres you may not want to do the whole thing. Watch out for horses, and see if you can catch the Canadian Olympic Rowing team training on the lake!
A family takes a closer look at an otter, swimming past Island View Beach. Amy Attas photo

A family takes a closer look at an otter, swimming past Island View Beach. Amy Attas photo

Smaller climbs:

  • Horth Hill: Made famous by former royals Harry and Meghan when they visited in the winter of 2019-2020, the short, steep climb has a few cross-trails to give you options — duck out early, or do some zig-zagging for a longer hike.
  • Bear Hill: The Bear Hill Road access point has better parking, but you can also strike out from a trailhead on Central Saanich Road. It’s a short, steep climb to great views across the Strait to the mainland.
ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park shows signs of 20th Century European settlement, and W’S’ANEC cultural use from ancient and modern times.

ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park shows signs of 20th Century European settlement, and W’S’ANEC cultural use from ancient and modern times.

Choose your own adventure:

Sometimes you don’t know how far you want to hike before you set out. These parks offer networks of trails and loops so you can find a length that suits your tastes, without doubling back.

  • Goldstream’s West Side: Park at the campground and dive in on the Arbutus Loop or Prospector’s Trail. Traipse the rolling terrain through lush rainforest, check out a waterfall or look for salmon running in the autumn. The trail is never flat, but it’s not too gruelling either.
  • ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱/John Dean Provincial Park: Trails wind through old-growth cedar and rocky Garry oak groves, with an interesting mix of artifacts to keep things interesting. Find remnants of pioneer John Dean’s life on the mountain, as well as culturally modified trees from the many coastal Indigenous nations who continue to harvest cedar bark for art and clothing. Trails are well-signed, but expect to spend a bit of time staring at ‘you are here’ maps before you get your bearings. ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ is best pronounced ‘tlay will nook.’
  • Pkols/Mount Douglas: Beach, forest or mountaintop: take your pick, because Pkols has all three. Opt for a wide path with room for bikes or a stroller, clamber up something steep, or just drive to the summit! Navigating can be challenging, so download the GPS-enabled map to follow the blue dot on your phone.

Hike to the Pkols/Mt. Doug summit and be rewarded of 360-degree views. Jen Blyth photo.

Hike to the Pkols/Mt. Doug summit and be rewarded of 360-degree views. Jen Blyth photo.

Plan your future adventures throughout the West Coast at and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @thewestcoasttraveller. And for the top West Coast Travel stories of the week delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our weekly Armchair Traveller newsletter!

British ColumbiaCanadahikingSaanichSaanich PeninsulaThings to dotravelvancouverislandVictoriawct-intro

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Coaches with the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey association have had to get creative during their weekly practices to keep players interested and improving their skills without physical contact. (Damian Kowalewich photo)
West Shore minor hockey coach shares what it’s like on the ice without parents, fans

Most practices consist of relay races, goalie shots and passing drills

The Songhees Wellness Centre is a symbol of First Nations strength in the region. Representatives of local First Nations will soon play a greater role in decision making and governance relating to the Capital Regional District. (Courtesy Royal Roads University)
Capital Regional District to add First Nations representatives to advisory committees

Board approves bylaw, looks forward to Indigenous input on future decisions

Central Saanich will investigate ways in which the municipality along with funding partners Sidney and North Saanich can financially support the Panorama Recreation Centre. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich to spell out options for financially supporting Panorama Recreation Centre

Municipality looks for best use of COVID-19 restart grant worth some $3.5 million

Willow, a kitten belonging to a Victoria family, was rescued by firefighters on Thursday after she got stuck in a basement drain pipe. (City of Victoria/Twitter)
Victoria kitten stuck in basement drain pipe rescued by firefighters

Willow the cat on the mend, owner feeling ‘enormous gratitude’

(Black Press Media file photo)
Blue-green algae bloom confirmed in Elk Lake, water-based activities not recommended

Blue-green algae can be lethal to dogs, cause health issues for humans

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open to Jan. 15

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Most Read