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Hiking To Della Falls
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Hiking to Della Falls

Della Falls is one of the most rewarding hikes that I have ever done. Della Falls is the highest falls in Canada (440 metres / 1443 feet) and is situated in Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. The reward at the end of your hike is one of the most spectacular views in British Columbia.

I did this hike several years ago with 5 friends. We elected to drive to about half way down Great Central Lake and then canoe the rest of the way to the end of the lake. This takes about 4 hours, or about 6-7 hours from the Ark Resort at the far end of the lake. You can also charter a boat at the Ark Resort that will take you to the end of the lake where the trail begins. The boat ride takes about an hour. Canoeing takes several hours and is somewhat risky because the wind is known to pick up on the lake especially in the afternoons making it difficult or impossible to navigate by canoe. We started out early (recommended) and were fortunate to have a relatively calm day on the lake and I loved this part of the trip.

There is a campsite maintained by BC Parks at the trail head. You can elect to camp here your first night before heading out in the morning. The trail is about 16 km in length and is not too difficult; however I would definitely not recommend it to beginners. You need 3 days to do this trip so you have to carry all the essential gear that you need for 3 days including a tent, sleeping bag and all your food etc. This makes for a pretty heavy pack so don’t try this without some experience and good physical fitness. The hike one way takes about 7 or 8 hours. It follows Drinkwater Creek and crosses the creek several times using bridges that are maintained by Parks staff. There is no guarantee what kind of shape the bridges will be in and even if the trail is officially open or not. Be sure to check with BC Parks before planning your trip.

After landing our canoes and locking them up we decided to hike a few hours and camp on a gravel bed on Drinkwater Creak. A good portion of the trail (about 7 kms) follows an old road bed that is fairly flat and relatively easy hiking. Before you get to the falls there is a junction (aprox. the 16 km mark) where you can take the Love Lake / Mount Septimus trail up to Love Lake.

There is a good campsite below the falls. You can see the falls from the campsite. The falls cascade down in 3 successive drops of about 150 metres each. It is really quite a spectacular sight and well worth the trip. It is possible to climb to the top of the falls but it is quite dangerous so don’t try this unless you are an experienced climber. You can however walk right up to the base of the falls which is breathtaking.

The best time to go hiking to Della Falls is in the summer. Don’t go too early or you will be hiking in the snow. I also would not recommend you go too late in the season because a very dry summer can cause some disappointment with the amount of water going over the falls.

With every hike into the wilderness, be sure to go well prepared before hiking to Della Falls. Take all the essential back country gear including your waterproof breathable rain jacket. Della Falls is situated in an area where it rains a lot and where the weather can be unpredictable. You will absolutely love this hike and the spectacular Della Falls will be something you will never forget.

See you out on the trail.


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