A Solo Travellers Guide to Waterfall Exploration

Blog and Images by: nat_venture

Extra, extra read all about it! Campbell River has been listed among the “top places to visit as a solo female traveller” by Expedia.ca. Something I have known for the last few years and have definitely taken advantage of but, this validation has certainly raised the excitement level for my home away from home!


If a road trip (no matter the season) is on your bucket list, Campbell River is definitely the place to head.

No one to go with you? Lack of funds? No reservations? No problem! Don’t let these hesitations hold you back.

There are so many world-class hiking trails and scenic locales in and around Campbell River. If you are a first-time solo traveller I would suggest taking the Waterfall Tour.


You could spend a whole day at Elk Falls Provincial Park walking the suspension bridge and enjoying the winding trails or you could just make it a quick stop to view the gorgeous falls and then drive to Strathcona Park to hit 4 more waterfalls.


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From Elk Falls you are looking at about a 45-minute drive to Lady Falls. Follow the signs toward Gold River. From the parking lot, it’s a 900-meter path up to the falls (about 15 min each way).



You’ll need to backtrack a little bit toward Buttle Lake to hit Lupin Falls next. It’s about another 15-minute walk from the parking lot to this absolutely magical and whimsical waterfall in the most idyllic forest setting. There is a beautiful rest/picnic area here which would be a great place to have lunch or a snack.


Karst Creek is next on the hit list and often overlooked but, quite a unique place that features sinkholes and disappearing waterfalls into the soft limestone. It is about a 2km round trip trail. The bridge on this trail is in disrepair but you can still hike in and back out as opposed to the round trip.

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Last but not least is Myra Falls. This is not only my favourite waterfall on the island but, probably my favourite spot to visit on the island. It is stunningly beautiful and changes so much from season to season. I have been there countless times and each time has been a different experience.


From Campbell River, it is more than possible to hit all 5 waterfalls in one day. I recently enjoyed my own frozen waterfall tour.

I started at Elk Falls at 8 am. I hit all 5 waterfalls and ended at Myra at 2:30 in the afternoon. I spent quite a bit of time at my last destination having an outdoor picnic and enjoying hot chocolate at the Falls.


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There are so many options for accommodations while you are in the area. My personal go to as a solo female traveller is to car camp. There are several campsites and rec sites in the area depending on your comfort level.

Buttle Lake Campground and Ralph River Campground are two popular sites right in the park. Keep in mind they don’t open up until April 1st.

You could stay in one of the hotels right in Campbell River. There are a few to choose from.

If you have a tent or a camper why not try one of the rec sites in the area? Watching the sunset after a perfect day around a fire is my favourite way to make the most of the fresh pine air.

What to bring:

  • Weather appropriate clothing (the temps from day to night can be quite extreme)
  • Waterproof clothing
  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Headlamp
  • Your favourite road trip tunes
  • Camera
  • Single burner for hot drinks and heating food
  • Good hiking shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Plenty of food and water
  • Navigation tools such as GPS, compass or map

Follow Leave No Trace principles when exploring anywhere in nature, and always be prepared for your exploration trips by checking in with Adventure Smart. 

Nat has become a wonderful community ambassador and advocate for Campbell River, Destination Campbell River couldn’t be happier with this solo adventurers approach to exploration and education for the Campbell River and Strathcona Region. Follow her adventures on Instagram @nat_venture

Share your adventures in Campbell River and Region using #DiscoverCampbellRiver #LNT #AdventureSmart