On This Page
Goldstream Provincial Park
About This Park
Awesome video of the new facilities in Goldstream Provincial Park.
Massive 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 – Mount 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 operator.
- 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.
Know Before You Go
Warning – Riverbank and Cliff Hazards
This park has large waterfalls, strong currents and other hazards. Creek and riverbanks can be very slippery. Stay away from cliff and riverbank edges. Jumping from bridges or cliffs is prohibited.
Warning – do not attempt to cross the highway
There is no pedestrian access between the east and west sides of Goldstream Provincial Park, bisected by the Trans-Canada Highway.
Be advised – railway lines/trestles/tunnels are private property
All railway lines and associated structures (trestles and tunnels) are located outside the boundaries of Goldstream Provincial Park. Accessing these are considered trespassing on private property and pose a significant public safety risk.
Mount 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.
- 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.
- Fishing is not allowed in Goldstream Provincial Park.
- 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 the winter season.
All campsite and group site reservations must be made through the BC Parks reservations system. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first-come, first-served.
Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
Group Camping Reservations
Goldstream Provincial Park is located 16 km northwest of Victoria on southern Vancouver Island on the Trans Canada Hwy (Hwy #1). There are separate entrances for the main campground, group campsite and day-use area:
- 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.
Nearby communities include: Victoria, Langford, Duncan, Colwood, Metchosin, Sooke.
Maps and Brochures
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 Planning Information
Goldstream Park Management Plan – 1993 [PDF 1.56MB]
The management plan for Goldstream Park was approved in 1993.
Activities Available at this Park
Bicycles are allowed on roadways and the paved trail from the day-use area to the Freeman King Visitor Centre. Bicycles are not permitted on park trails. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
An extensive network of trails winds through Goldstream Provincial Park, totaling a distance of approximately 16 km. Trails start from both the day-use area and campground and range from easy walks, including short 5-15 minute walks along the river bank and through tall timber, to harder hikes. Some of the longer trails may take several hours to hike. For your own safety and preservation of the park, hike only on marked trails and obey posted signs. The ecosystems of this park are rare and fragile. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
An open air ampitheatre is located at the campground which is the location of the summer programs in the park. The Freeman King Visitor Centre offers programs, exhibits, a gift shop, coffee and snacks and interpretive programming throughout the year. The Visitor Centre can be reached by a short trail from the day-use area parking lot, or by phone at 250 478-9414.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has a fun, hands on, Learn to Fish Program that teaches basic angling skills to youth under 16 years old. Please note, lesson only; there is no fishing. Check back to this page or ask the Park Operator for information.
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. Due to the sensitive nature of the salmon spawning cycle, dogs must be kept out of the river. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.
There is no designated swimming area at this park, however there are some sections of the Goldstream River near the campground that may be used for swimming. There are no lifeguards on duty at provincial parks.
The scenery in Goldstream Park is spectacular wherever you go and there are endless opportunities for nature viewing at this park. A viewing platform located at the estuary near the Visitor Center provides visitors with great views of the eagle feeding frenzy in the winter. Trails throughout the park lead to various features and viewpoints, including old-growth Douglas firs more than 600 years old and the stunning Niagara Falls, which cascades 47.5 metres down a rock cliff into a crystal clear canyon pool below. Visitors also have ample opportunity to see spawning salmon, a variety of wildlife and, in the spring, colorful wildflowers, including the shade-loving western trillium and the calypso, a delicate orchid of the mossy forest glades. Spectacular panoramic views of the Strait of Georgia to the Strait of Juan de Fuca can be had from the summit of Mount Finlayson, making it well worth the climb.
Facilities Available at this Park
Some facilities and hiking trails in the park are wheelchair-accessible.
Due to recent flood damage, some areas are not wheelchair-accessible. Check for important notices for details.
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, as well as communal rings in the day use area.
Firewood can be purchased from the Park 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 and some parks may use communal fire rings. Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.
Cold water taps are located throughout the park in the campground and day-use area. Taps are shut off during the off-season.
There are two group campsites at this park, with picnic shelters, woodstoves, electricity and water. Each group campsite has a large lawn area and they are surrounded by forest. These sites are reservable during the main camping season. Reservation information »
Youth group camping charges per night are $1/person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum. Read the Youth Group policy about Criteria for Youth Groups.
Regular group camping charges per night are the base rate for the site, which is $120.00/group site/night, plus $5/adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1/child (6-15). Children under 6 are free!
This park has a large day-use/picnic area with a picnic shelter, woodstove, flush toilets, fire rings and numerous picnic tables. Nature walks and trails of varying lengths starting at the day-use area offer the opportunity to see some of the park’s more notable features. The Freeman King Visitor Centre can be reached by a short trail from the day-use area parking lot. The centre is open daily, year-round. This is not a reservable facility.
Pit or Flush Toilets
Pit toilets are located throughout the park. Flush toilet buildings are located in the day-use area and main campground.
The new playground and Children’s Bike Park are located near the Amphitheatre. This area is near campsites #103-108 and #132-138.
Bicycle Pump Track and Skills Trails
Goldstream has a new Bicycle Pump Track with 240 metres of beginner and intermediate skills trails complete with small obstacles. This new facility provides a safe and controlled environment for kids to get exercise, hone their bike handling skills and have fun. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia and must be worn by all kids and adults using the pump track and skills trails. Eye protection, gloves and knee and elbow protection is also recommended safety equipment for those using these facilities.
A sani-station/dump is available during the main camping season. The facility is located in the main campground. Please note – in the event of freezing temperatures during the winter season, the sani-dump may be shut down temporarily.
Hot showers are available at Goldstream Park. They are located in the main campground area.
Vehicle Accessible Camping
This park offers vehicle-accessible campsites in a forest setting. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available. Goldstream Park is open year-round, facilities are limited in the winter/off-season.
Goldstream Provincial Park is open year-round, however facilities are limited in the winter/off-season. A fee is in place for winter camping.