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Elk Falls and Deer Falls

Vancouver Island

View two fantastic waterfalls on this one hike.

Hiking Easy

3.9 km
118 m
118 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
114 m
High Point
158 m
Elk Falls and Deer Falls Map

Elk Falls is a thundering 25-meter (89-foot) waterfall that crashes off a vertical cliff in the Campbell River. The path to a series of viewpoints of this visually-impressive plunge is a popular hike. And for extra fun, you can tack on some more mileage on narrower trails to reach views of Deer Falls as well.


The shortest route to view the falls measures just 1.1 miles round-trip. "The trail is flat, wide, and well-groomed doubletrack," according to OutdoorVancouver.com. The short, flat walk on an easy path makes this hike achievable for almost everybody. There are multiple viewing platforms, but for the best view of the entire falls, be sure to stop at the lower platform. For this hike combination with Deer Falls, you can begin with the short version to Elk Falls and then tack on some bonus mileage to reach Deer Falls.

While the waterfall is the goal of this hike, one of the absolute highlights is a 60-meter-long suspension bridge that spans Elk Falls Canyon. This incredible feat of engineering is the highest pedestrian bridge on Vancouver Island. While impressive in its own right, as you cross the bridge, you can watch the Campbell River surge through the canyon below you and spot the falls just upriver. On the other side of the bridge, you'll reach an upper viewing platform that provides an impressive view looking down on the falls.

After returning across the suspension bridge, take a right turn to head toward another viewing platform for Elk Falls and a short loop that reaches views of Deer Falls. The trails to Deer Falls are narrower and a bit steeper than those that access Elk Falls. When the dirt is wet, the footing can be a bit slippery in places, but the trails are still easily navigable.

"Deer Falls is perhaps one of the least significant named waterfalls in British Columbia, dropping no more than 5 feet (though maybe closer to 3 feet) over a small basalt ledge," writes WorldWaterfallDatabase.com. "The Campbell River drops over several small ledges of similar size between the more notable drops of Moose and Elk Falls, so locating the proper feature bearing the name of Deer Falls can be a bit of a task," they continue.

While Deer Falls isn't nearly as spectacular as Elk Falls, the towering forest that you'll hike through is worth the additional mileage. Douglas Firs and cedars tower high overhead, with little light filtering down through the thick canopy. It's a truly surreal experience!

Sources: BCParks.ca OutdoorVancouver.com WorldWaterfallDatabase.com



Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between April and November


  • Picturesque
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area