Thetis Lake Regional Park - Victoria Hiking Trails
Thetis Lake Regional Park is a very popular Victoria park that contains several lakes. Lower Thetis Lake, Upper Thetis Lake, Prior Lake and further out, McKenzie Lake are all within this amazing park. A wide, spider web of hiking trails run in between and around these lakes in the midst of a beautiful and secluded forest. Trails also lead to more challenging trails to Scafe Hill and Stewart Mountain.
In the summer Thetis Lake is fantastically popular as a swimming beach. Sandy beach, beautiful lake, and a wonderful trail system make the park crowded on hot days. Fishing, kayaking and canoeing are other popular attractions.Parking is free most of the year, however May 1st to September 30th expect to pay for parking near the main beach and trailhead.
Trails from Thetis Lake Regional Park extend to the neighbouring parks of Francis King Regional Park and Mill Hill Regional Park. Both are beautiful parks in their own right. Mill Hill commands unexpectedly beautiful views of Victoria and the ocean beyond. Francis King showcases some of the most impressively enormous trees in the Victoria area.
Thetis Lake Regional Park - Directions
It is only 10 kilometres from downtown Victoria to the park and should take about 15-20 minutes to drive there. Leaving downtown Victoria take highway #1 west from Victoria, after about 8k take the View Royal/Colwood Exit (Exit 10), continue on the Island Highway and in about 2 minutes you will see the Six Mile Rd on your right, turn right here and follow Six Mile Rd to Thetis Lake Regional Park. There are very strict parking regulations and enforcement as you can only park in the area from dawn to dusk. The cost to park is very low however, at just $2.50
More Trails Near Thetis Lake
Mill Hill Regional Park is a well hidden though wonderfully short hike to amazing views of Victoria, Esquimalt and the Western Communities. The hike is only 15 minutes to the summit with a branching trail that leads to Thetis Lake Park. This is a remarkably seldom hiked park in Victoria. It is rare to see anyone on the trail or at the beautiful summit. The views are amazing. What makes them even more amazing is that the views look as though you are on a much higher mountain than the small and short hike that brought you to this great summit. The hike is only 15 minutes to the summit with a branching trail that leads to the neighbouring Thetis Lake Regional Park. The beautiful wilderness hiking trails in Francis King Park take you past massive, old-growth Douglas Fir trees. Some estimated to be as old as 500 years and the Elsie King interpretive trail gives beautiful descriptions of the forest around you. The Elsie King Trail is a self guided, 800 metre loop trail, named after a leader of the Victoria Girl Guides and wife of the Victoria naturalist, Freeman King. There are over 11 kilometres of trails in Francis/King Park, and the park connects to Thetis Lake Regional Park. Thetis Lake Park then connects to the beautiful Mill Hill Regional Park, combining these three beautiful parks into one, massive, interconnected hiking paradise. Goldstream Provincial Park and Mount Finlayson are beautiful and shouldn't be missed on a trip to Victoria. Huge coastal rainforest trees everywhere. An impressively golden river, an abandoned gold mine and one of the highest mountains in Victoria. As soon as you leave your car you can feel the wonderful forest alive around you. Goldstream Park is home to the annual salmon spawning run every fall and the rest of the year is just a wonderful world of centuries old Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedars. Trails run all over the park, but the Mount Finlayson trail takes you up to beautiful views of Victoria. Gowlland Tod Provincial Park is a beautiful park running along the Saanich Inlet. Accessible from Goldstream Park at one end and Brentwood Bay, near Buchart Gardens at the other. From beautiful ocean views of the inlet to wonderful mountain views from Mount Work, this park has a great variety of characteristically Victoria hiking. Mount Work is a popular hiking trail in Gowlland Tod and the most challenging trail at 5k from trailhead to summit. Gowlland Tod Provincial Park is quite large, spread out and the trails so varied, that you feel far from the city. The trails and views to and along Finlayson Arm are amazing and breathtakingly serene. Galloping Goose Regional Trail developed from a disused railway line begins at the Johnson Street bridge in downtown Victoria and goes in two directions. One direction goes to the Vancouver ferry terminal at Swartz Bay, 35km away. And the other 55km through the Western Communities, out past Sooke ending near the ghost town, Leechtown. The trail is paved for 13 kilometres, from Victoria to Colwood, then the trail is gravel and dirt paths. Most of the distance the ground is fairly smooth and rarely do you encounter even gradual hills as the route follows the old railway line. is astonishingly beautiful and incredibly interesting as a tourist attraction in Victoria that most never see. This fact is amazing as it is wonderful and unquestionably, or at least arguably, as good or better than any other attraction around. And at $3.90, what a phenomenal deal. You can crawl all over all the real pre World War I era defensive structures and even play with and all but fire a genuine World War II Anti-Aircraft Gun... which astonishingly is in the parking lot. Fort Rodd Hill has so much to see it spills onto the parking lot.