35 Spectacular Vancouver Island Waterfalls

*Featured image from iStock By Dave Hutchison Photography

Are you looking for Vancouver Island waterfalls?

Being from British Columbia, you hear about the best waterfall hikes on the island.

Vancouver Island has many hidden and well-known waterfalls all across the island. Some are easy to get to, like Elk Falls, and others require a moderate to difficult hike, like Mystic Beach or a two to three-day excursion to Della Falls.

However, whether you’re looking for the easy or the more challenging waterfalls, they’re listed below. These are a handful of the many waterfalls on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island Waterfalls

These are the top waterfalls on Vancouver Island that many people visit as a day trip or add to their list for a Vancouver Island road trip.

💡 Note: Almost every location allows dogs. However, they need to be on a leash.

1. Elk Falls

Location: Campbell River
Hike Length: 1.4 km (Loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Height of Waterfall: 82 feet (25 metres)
Allow Dogs: Yes

An aerial view of the Elk River Falls flowing though rocks and falling off a cliffside. There are many surrounding trees and  other rocks around the waterfall.
Image from iStock By AutumnSkyPhotography

The trail features viewpoints that offer panoramic views of Elk Falls. You can witness the powerful waterfall cascading into the Campbell River Canyon from these vantage points.

The hike’s highlight is the suspension bridge, which provides an exhilarating experience as you stand above the rushing waters.

Multiple loop trails are within the park. Many old-growth trees surround the top of Elk Falls and other locations around the park.

2. Englishman River Falls

Location: Errington
Hike Length: 1.3 km (Loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Height of Waterfall: 75-100 feet (22-30 metres)
Allow Dogs: Yes

A short drive from Parksville, Englishman River Falls offers a family-friendly hiking experience. Divided into upper and lower falls, they create a mesmerizing display as water cascades into rocky pools below.

A Vancouver Island waterfall that starts from pool of water and looks like it's falling between two cliffs.  There are many trees surrounding the waterfall and rocks on a cunny and cloudy day.

3. Mystic Beach

Location: Juan de Fuca Provincial Park
Hike Length: 4 km round-trip (Out & back)
Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
Height of Waterfall: 32 feet (10 metres)
Allow Dogs: No

Along the rugged coastline of Vancouver Island lies the breathtaking Mystic Beach, a true coastal paradise located at the start of the Juan de Fuca Trail. It’s one of the most popular trails to do during the summer months.

You’ll embark on a scenic hike through the lush rainforest to reach Mystic Beach. The trail is well worn down and easy to follow. You’ll hear ocean waves crashing against the shore as you get closer.

Parking is more accessible at the China Beach Trailhead, but don’t start your hike there. Also, don’t leave any valuables in the car, as thieves are known to break into vehicles.

During sunset a spray of a waterfall off a massive cliff face and into the ocean. There is a beach at the bottom you can walk a long during low tide.
Image from iStock By Dave Hutchison Photography

4. Hidden Falls (Sombrio Beach)

Location: Juan de Fuca Provincial Park
Hike Length: 2.7 km (Out & back)
Difficulty: Moderate
Height of Waterfall: 30 feet (9 metres)
Allow Dogs: Yes

Sombrio Beach and its hidden waterfall offer a secluded and awe-inspiring experience. Tucked away behind bouldering rocks, the off-beat path of finding this waterfall is an unforgettable experience.

To find the hidden waterfall, you need to walk south along the shore, about a kilometre from the parking lot (East). However, you’ll not be able to reach it when there’s a high tide.

💡 Note: Rocks may be slippery, so be careful when bringing dogs.

5. Lady Falls

Location: Strathcona Provincial Park
Hike Length: 1 km (Out & back)
Difficulty: Easy
Height of Waterfall: 86 feet (26 metres)
Allow Dogs: Yes

Lady Falls has an easy gradual incline, and it’s a short hike to do with children. The Lady Falls Hike is an excellent pitstop travelling along the Gold River Highway. 

6. Little Qualicum Falls

Location: Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park
Hike Length: 3 km (Loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Height of Waterfall: N/A
Allow Dogs: Yes

Little Qualicum Falls has a loop route in which you can see the upper and lower falls. Suppose you have less time to spare on your adventure; an out-and-back trail leads only to the upper falls.

If you wish to explore more of the park, there are more hiking trails exploring the old-growth forest.

Two waterfalls. One is falling from massive rocks into a pool before falling off the side. There is rock walls surrounding the entire area.

7. Hole In The Wall

Location: Port Alberni
Hike Length: 1.3 km (Out & back)
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Height of Waterfall: 11 feet (3.3 metres)
Allow Dogs: Yes

A blasted-out hole in the rock wall was used as a shortcut to the town for water supply. Today a creek flows through the hole in the wall, leaving a unique structure and water feature for everyone to see.

It’s a pitstop spot before entering the town of Port Alberni along the Alberni Highway.

8. Della Falls

Location: Strathcona Provincial Park
Hike Length: 16 km (Out & back)
Difficulty: Moderate-Intermediate
Height of Waterfall: 1,143 feet (440 metres)
Allow Dogs: Yes

Within the breathtaking Strathcona Provincial Park, Della Falls is Canada’s highest waterfall. It’s one of the longer waterfall hikes on Vancouver Island, which may take three days to complete (depending on fitness level and route plan).

It’s a breathtaking experience as you traverse through rugged terrain, stunning untouched landscapes, spotting wild mammals and birds, and more.

The Della Falls Water Taxi will take you to the trailhead, as Della Falls is only accessible by water.

9. Ammonite Falls (Benson Creek Falls)

Location: Nanaimo
Hike Length: 5 km (Out & back)
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Height of Waterfall: 60 feet (18 metres)
Allow Dogs: Yes

The beautiful Ammonite Falls has a relatively easy trail to follow. The final section of the trail can be steep, as ropes are on the sides to assist you.

Ammonite fossils were found in the sedimentary rock around the falls hence how Ammonite Falls came to be.

10. Myra Falls (Upper & Lower)

Location: Strathcona Provincial Park

Lower Myra Falls

Hike Length: 1.5 km (Loop)
Difficulty: Easy
Height of Waterfall: N/A
Allow Dogs: Yes

Upper Myra Falls

Hike Length: 7.5 km (Out & back)
Difficulty: Moderate
Height of Waterfall: 75 feet (23 metres)
Allow Dogs: Yes

Upper and Lower Myra Falls are different trails leading to two different waterfalls. However, Lower has the bottom of the waterfall pool where you can walk below on the rocks (rocks may be slippery). Upper has a platform area to look at the waterfall.

Lower Myra Falls is shorter, easier and more popular. Upper Myra Falls is longer and moderate. There may be some steep locations along the Upper Myra Falls trail.

More Vancouver Island Waterfalls

This is a list of some more waterfalls that are located on Vancouver Island.

  • Weiner Falls (Port Alberni near Sproat Lake)
  • Fossli Park Falls (Port Alberni)
  • Kitsuksis Creek Trestle (Port Alberni)
  • Stamp Falls (Port Alberni)
  • Lupin Falls (Strathcona Provincial Park)
  • Karst Creek (Strathcona Provincial Park)
  • Granny Falls/Colliery Dam Park (Nanaimo)
  • Bowen Park (Nanaimo)
  • Beach Estates Falls (Nanaimo)
  • Nymph Falls (Comox Valley)
  • Medicine Bowl Trail (Comox Valley)
  • Stocking Creek (Ladysmith)
  • Christie Falls (Ladysmith)
  • Niagara Falls (Goldstream Provincial Park)
  • Trent River Falls (Royston)
  • Sandcut Beach (Jordan River)
  • Virgin Falls (Clayquot)
  • China Beach Waterfall (Juan de Fuca Provincial Park)
  • Mary Vine Creek Falls (Galloping Goose Trail, Sooke)
  • Tsusiat Falls (West Coast Trail)
  • Millstone River Falls (Bowen Park)
  • Eternal Fountain (Port Alice)
  • Rosewell Creek Falls (Bowser)
  • Goldstream Park (Victoria)
  • Witty’s Waterfall (Victoria)
A smaller waterfall falling into a pool of water before heading into a  stream. there are rocks and greenery surround the waterfall. Goldstream Park waterfall is a small but mighty waterfall that has fast rushing water.
Goldstream

Waterfall Safety Tips

Consider these safety tips when hiking to a waterfall and prepare for a hike.

🎒 Appropriate Gear: Hiking boots are the best option for footwear for any type of hiking, long or short. Remember to wear the proper clothing for the time of year you plan to hike.

Hazardous Conditions: If the water is flowing fast, it’s best not to swim at the bottom of the waterfall. Also, watch your step for slippery rocks, roots, or even the weather.

🐻 Surroundings: Watch for wildlife such as grizzly bears, wolves, and black bears. Watch out for those waterfall cliffsides or cliffs; in general, the last thing you want is something horrific to happen.

🏔 Glacier Water: Vancouver Island has many mountains, and a lot of the time, the water comes from glaciers above. So remember that when you dip into the bottom pool of a waterfall, the water may be freezing cold.

Vancouver Island Waterfall Camping Sites

Many of the waterfall locations are inside provincial parks. You can reserve a campground site at parks such as Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, Englishman River Falls Park, or the backcountry on the way to Della Falls.

If you go camping on Vancouver Island, take everything you brought in and don’t leave any garbage behind, even if you plan backcountry camping.

Vancouver Island Waterfalls – FAQs

Here are a few of Vancouver Island waterfalls frequently asked questions.

What Is The Highest Waterfall On Vancouver Island?

Della Falls is the highest waterfall on Vancouver Island, Canada’s highest waterfall, and the 16th highest in the world, at 1,443 feet (440 metres).

Is Della Falls Bigger Than Niagara Falls?

While Della Falls is not necessarily bigger than Niagara Falls, it’s much taller. It lives up to its name as the tallest waterfall in Canada.

Can You Swim At The Bottom Of A Waterfall?

Yes and no. There are some waterfalls on Vancouver Island where you can swim at the bottom pool. However, there are also some falls where you’re prohibited from swimming. 

Look for signage, usually at the beginning or along the trails, for indications of swimming conditions.

What Waterfall Is On The Way To Tofino?

Virgin Falls is a waterfall on the way to Tofino. It’s located in Clayoquot Arm Provincial Park.

Conclusion

Vancouver Island is home to stunning waterfalls, from hidden gems like Sombrio Beach and Lady Falls to majestic wonders like Elk Falls and Della Falls. I hope you enjoy discovering Vancouver Island waterfalls, and remember to take many pictures along the way.

Have a good day 🙂