Gold River is two hours northwest of Campbell River and is home to the Mowachaht/Muchalaht, Nuchatlaht, and Ehattesaht First Nations who have been in the region in excess of 4,200 years. These traditional territories include all of the area known today as Nootka Sound. If you’ve been thinking about exploring the Village of Gold River, then check out the road trip itinerary below to prepare, set expectations high, and get excited about this trip! #HappyAdventuring

Generic Van Life Strathcona Gold River Lower Myra Falls 1 2
Generic Van Life Strathcona Gold River Air Nootka Take Off 3


Day one


Start Your Day in Comfort

Kick off your road trip the right way by filling up with breakfast at the Ideal Cafe. A Campbell River classic since the 1940s this local diner has everything on offer from your traditional eggs and bacon to vegan options to cover everyone in your group! Local tip: these guys are famous for their hand-dipped milkshakes get one we promise you won’t regret it!

Explore the Great Outdoors

Highway 28 is one of the most scenic drives on the island. This road winds its way between Campbell River and Gold River, with the scenic Strathcona Provincial Park located in the middle. Stop at the park and explore the numerous waterfall trails we recommend checking out Lupin Falls, Lower Myra Falls, and Lady Falls. Or if you’re craving mountain views try Crest Mountain, this steep trek ends with killer views of the Strathcona Mountain Range (this hike is best attempted from June-September when it is snow free). Once you’ve had your fill of exploring the park continue on your way to Gold River.

Discover the Community Culture

Once you’ve arrived in Gold River stop in at the local coffee shop Clayworks Cafe. Grab a bite to eat and get to know the friendly locals! In addition to serving up great coffee, this local gem displays pottery designed by the owners Anita and Neil.

Share Your Stories of the Wild

Gold River is where the pavement ends and the adventure begins. Hop in your trusty road trip mobile and head out on the backroads in search of one of the areas many rec sites. We suggest checking out Muchalat Lake, located just 20 minutes out of Gold River this forested site is set on the side of a lake making it the perfect spot to chill out and re-cap the day’s adventures! P.S now is the time to break out the growler you picked up from Beach Fire Brewing. Remember when camping at rec sites to follow Leave No Trace and pack out what you pack in!

Day Two

Start Your Day in Comfort

Begin your second day of adventure by brewing up some tea from Stonehouse Teas (picked up in Campbell River). There’s nothing like a hot drink made over an open flame. Make it a leisurely morning and chill out at your campsite, paddle around the lake or hang beachside and jump off the dock! Once you’ve had your fill hit the roads and find your next adventure!

Explore the Great Outdoors

The Gold River region has endless outdoor experiences to choose from. Spend your day hiking along Antler Lake, this loop trail winds its way on a boardwalk through old growth Red Cedar and Douglas Fir trees. Or if you brought a canoe or kayak explore the lake from the water and take the afternoon to fully experience this special place!

Discover the Community Culture

Take to the skies with Air Nootka for an afternoon of exploring the beauty and rich history of Nootka Sound from above! Take the Historic Mail Flight, and drop off the mail and medical supplies to secluded coastal communities such as Kyuquot and Zeballos. Along the way, your knowledgeable pilot will share stories of the history of Nootka Sound!  

Share Your Stories of the Wild

End your road trip at the rustic Strathcona Park Lodge. The lodge is located along the scenic shores of Buttle Lake. Take an evening paddle along the shores of Buttle Lake or explore the many trails surrounding the lodge! With no TV or Wifi in the rooms, the lodge is the perfect spot to reconnect and recap the last days’ adventures! 

Highlighted Local Providers 

Air Nootka 

Strathcona Park Lodge 

Moutcha Bay Resort  

Important Considerations:

Into the wild, you go! The CO-OP Grocery for Gold River is the only place in town to purchase provisions, so be sure to stock up in Campbell River before heading out. Besides your staples, we always recommend taking along a local treat. Try one of the following offerings:

Trip Planning Resources

Village of Gold River 

Gold River Weather 

Rec Sites and Trails BC

Strathcona Park General Info 

Strathcona Park Trail Report 

Looking for more itineraries?

Let us help you plan your perfect day in Campbell River.