Goldstream Provincial Park is a large natural and forested park located less than 20 km north of Victoria on the Trans-Canada Highway.
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A popular place for hikes and camping, Goldstream Park is 477 hectares in size. It features over 170 campsites, many of which are available year-round.
There are extensive hiking trails, a river and even a couple of waterfalls in the area. This includes Niagara Falls which is over 47 metres high. There are also picnic tables, a picnic shelter, lots of forest trails and wildlife in the area (including eagles and sometimes even bears).
Where is Goldstream?
Goldstream Provincial Park is located in the Greater Victoria municipality of Langford.
Leaving Victoria and heading up the Trans-Canada Highway, the park is just north of the community of Langford. Before the highway narrows and you enter a bit of a ravine, you’ll find the campground on your left. Soon after the highway narrows, the main day-use parking area is on your right.
Goldstream Park Campground
There are over 150 campsites in the park. Some of them are first-come first-serve while others can be reserved in advance. Campfire pits are provided, though there is sometimes a fire ban put in place at the peak of the summer.
With regards to facilities, there are pits toilets all around the park and flush toilets in the main campground area and the day-use area. The campground also has cold tap water and hot showers (these are shut off during the winter, however).
There are a large number of trails in the park, ranging in difficulty from very easy to much harder. All told, the trail network is about 16 km long. Dogs are allowed in the park, but they must be on-leash at all times and are not allowed in the buildings or day-use areas.
Bears do live in the area, so make sure to take all the proper precautions to avoid attracting one to your campsite. Every once in a while, a cougar will sometimes be spotted nearby. Nature is great, but make sure to not mess with it too much!
Goldstream Park Salmon Run
A popular time to visit the park is during the annual salmon run in autumn. From mid-October until late December thousands of Chum salmon make their way up the river to spawn and then die. Lesser numbers of Coho and Chinook can also be seen in Goldstream River at various times.
At its peak, the salmon run at Goldstream is impressive. Hundreds of people turn out to see the fish, as do crowds of seagulls, dozens of eagles and even the occasional black bear.
Peak salmon run season varies each year, as does the numbers of fish. Early November is generally a pretty good time to visit.
Tips and Tricks
TIP #1: Go earlier in the salmon run season if you can as the smell of rotting fish can be overwhelming for some people if you visit later.
TIP #2: Dogs are allowed along the trails but they must be kept on leash and you are encouraged to keep them away from the stream. The fish are easily scared by loud noises and lots of movement.
TIP #3: Check out the nature house. To get there you follow a nice path through the forest to the estuary. Inside the nature house there is a resident toad, baby salmon in a tank, fun games for kids to play, and a description of the salmon life cycle.
TIP #4: If you go during the salmon run, avoid wearing red, pink, or purple as the salmon can easily see bright colours.
TIP #5: Wear polarized sunglasses if you have them, they will reduce the glare from the water so you can see the actual fish more easily.
TIP #6: Arrive early if you want to find a parking spot! It can get very busy during salmon run season so finding parking can sometimes be difficult. Also try to carpool if possible to minimize the amount of spots you take up.
TIP #7: While you’re in Goldstream Park, if you want a challenge you can attempt the incredibly steep 4 km hike up Mount Finlayson.
For a map of the park click Goldstream Park Map.
For a map of the campground area click Goldstream Campsite Map.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Victoria Parks
- Tourist Attractions in Victoria
- Glossary of Victoria Places
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature