About Goldstream Falls
Goldstream Falls (also called the Upper Goldstream Falls) was a small waterfall that seemed more suitable for playing (as evidenced by some sand toys left creekside during my visit) as well as swimming in the warmer Summer months. Adding to this waterfall’s popularity was that it was within the very large Goldstream Campground complex. As you can see from the photos on this page, the falls was nestled in lush scenery and quite simply was the kind of place that just oozed tranquility. I made my visit early in the morning when most campers were either still asleep or just starting to pack up and go. The end result was that I had the falls mostly to myself (except for one visitor going for a morning jog), which further added to the peaceful experience.
From the nearest outhouse on the far western side of the Goldstream Campground complex (see directions below), I followed an obvious trail that meandered between tall trees before reaching a four-way junction right in front of the start of the long series of steps leading down closer to the falls. The steps were a breeze going down, but I knew that it would be a bit of a workout on the way back up. That was pretty much the extent of my visit, but I had read that the more sanctioned way of doing this excursion was to park near the entrance kiosk and take a creekside trail leading up to the four-way trail junction at the top of the steps. That would have been a 3km round trip hike and likely to take about 90 minutes or so. But because I had gotten an early start, I was able to park in a small pullout near the outhouse instead and reduce the time spent here to a mere half-hour quickie.
We’ll describe the directions both from downtown Victoria as well as the Schwartz Bay Ferry Terminal (since we managed to make these drives).
Coming from Victoria, we drove north on Douglas St, which eventually became the Trans-Canada Hwy (Hwy 1). We followed Hwy 1 for about 16km before turning left at the traffic light at West Shore Parkway. Once exiting onto West Shore Pkwy, we then took the first exit at the roundabout for Amy Rd. Then, we followed Amy Rd for about 800m before turning left onto Sooke Lake Rd. After another 400m, we turned right onto Golden Gate Rd and followed it into the entrance gate about 500m further. The official day use parking was right behind the kiosk, but there was also additional day-use parking before the entrance gate.
I actually continued past the gate and drove through the campground complex towards its western end. That was where I saw the outhouse and turned left, where I found a small pullout with probably space for two cars. Overall, this drive took me about 40 minutes without traffic (though some of that time was spent trying to figure out where to park while navigating through the campground).
From the Schwartz Bay Ferry Terminal, we drove about 26km south on Hwy 17 before taking exit 1 onto McKenzie Ave (towards Nanaimo and Sooke). Once on McKenzie Ave, we then took this surface street for about 2km before merging onto the Trans-Canada Hwy (Hwy 1) towards Nanaimo. We continued on Hwy 1 for about 10km before turning left at the traffic light onto West Shore Pkway. Then, we’d follow the local surface roads as described above to get to the Goldstream Campground.
And for some geographical context, Victoria was about 31km (about 30-45 minutes drive) south of Sidney (where the Schwartz Bay Ferry Terminal was), about 111km (over 90 minutes drive) south of Nanaimo, and 40km (around an hour drive) east of Sooke.
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