7 - 8
FATMAP difficulty grade
The hike begins with a nice scenic trail through the forest, which has great views of the blue waters of the Elk River, and lots of wild flowers if you go in the right season.
This is a long and difficult day hike, or can be done as a moderate- difficult overnight hike. There are 2 campgrounds en route, the first is around 7km along the trail, the 2nd is at the 10km mark & is a much nicer campsite.
The trail is well maintained up to Landslide Lake, however; it is an uneven forested hike, so good footwear is required & hiking poles would be useful.
As you leave the treeline after the 2nd campground, you get your first sight of Mt Colonel Forester towering overhead in the distance, at this point you are very close to one of the best views on Vancouver Island.
After a short hike up the waterfall that runs down from the Lake, you arrive at Landslide Lake, where you will have an amazing view of the crystal clear water, with the reflection of the mountains in the Lake.
You soon forget about the long hike up, as you just admire the amazing landscape and the power of nature that created it.
Landslide Lake is the finish point for most people on this trail, a pretty epic finish point at that, but if you are an experienced hiker who doesn't mind some bushwhacking and scrambling, there is an unmaintained trail leading up to Foster Lake.
This is a difficult trail & is more of a bushwhack through thick forest, before scrambling up a waterfall to get to Foster Lake.
The view at Foster Lake is well worth the extra effort, it's one of only a few turquoise glacier lakes on all of Vancouver Island, and quite often still has icebergs floating in it even in late summer.
You can scramble up the slopes next to it for an aerial view of both lakes, or just relax by the lake and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
This trail is part of Strathcona park, so if planning an overnight trip (which would be my recommended way to complete this hike), backcountry camping permits are required & campsites are first come first serve, there is also no camping allowed at Landslide lake.