Hike Mount Washington and discover the unique flora and fauna found in our Mile High Alpine. Mount Washington is also the gateway to British Columbia's oldest and most picturesque park, Strathcona Provincial Park. The Paradise Meadows Trailhead is located at the base of Mount Washington (1100m elevation) where you will find a wheelchair accessible boardwalk through alpine meadows and, for the more adventurous, multi-day trekking routes.
Hike from the bottom, or take a Scenic Chairlift Ride to the summit (1588 m elevation). Interpretive signs identify the more distinct landmarks you are able to view along the self guided tour on the easy bark mulch trails. You then have the opportunity to take the breathtaking chairlift ride back down or choose to hike a more rugged downhill trail to the base.
Explore Beautiful Strathcona Park
The Paradise Meadows trailhead is located at Raven Lodge at the base of Mount Washington (1100m elevation) where you will find the wheelchair accessible boardwalk. The trails located close to Mount Washington open up some of the most beautiful and picturesque terrain in BC and offer opportunities to see deer, bears, whiskey jacks, eagles and marmots. The Strathcona Wilderness Institute, the non-profit society who manages the Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre, has a great program lined up for the summer: nature walks, talks & hikes, including several new themes. The Wilderness Centre building is located at the Paradise Meadows trailhead in Strathcona Park, adjacent to Mt. Washington’s Raven Lodge, the Nordic ski lodge. The Centre provides visitor information, maps, books, refreshments, & more. In addition to the self-guided interpretive walks, guided walks with a naturalist are also available. Check out Strathcona Wilderness Institute Summer Walks schedule. Enjoy BC's oldest and most enchanting provincial park.
Camping is permitted in designated areas only and campfires are not allowed. Mountain biking and unauthorized vehicle use is not allowed. Pets must be on a leash. Please obey all signs referring to re-vegetation areas.
Be aware that backcountry travel on Vancouver Island can be challenging and care must be taken to avoid hazards such as: wildlife, stream crossings, water quality, cliffs, extreme weather, navigation, and early season avalanches.
Parking is available in the lower lot at Mount Washington's Raven Lodge for visitors accessing the Paradise Meadows trail head.
PLEASE NOTE: Please check out the Strathcona Trail Report for the most up-to-date closures and conditions.
The Paradise Meadows and Helen MacKenzie - Battleship Lakes Loops are both well graded class 2 trails with little or no elevation change.
The Paradise Meadows Loop Trail is about 3km return to the parking lot, with a suggested hiking time of 30-60 minutes return.
The Helen MacKenzie - Battleship Lakes Loop Trail is 6.8km return to the parking lot, with a suggested hiking time of 1.5 -3 hours return.
The easiest overnight destination is at the designated camping area at the east end of Lake Helen MacKenzie. Located about 3.5km or 1-2 hours hiking time one way from the Paradise Meadows trailhead.
Above Lake Helen MacKenzie hiking options are numerous, from larger loops, to overnight destination at designated camping areas of Kwai or Circlet Lakes. This trail system can also provide the gateway to more extensive hiking routes, such as the traverse to Buttle Lake or Comox Glacier.
The trails above Lake Helen MacKenzie are mostly class 4 with some sections class 3. Beyond Circlet Lake the trails go from rough and steep Class 4 to quickly becoming hiking routes.
Distance to Kwai Lake from the Paradise Meadows trailhead is just over 7km, with an elevation gain of 249m/800ft. Suggested hiking time one way is 1.5 - 3 hours.
Distance to Circlet Lake from the Paradise Meadows trailhead is just over 10km, with an elevation gain similar to that of the hike to Kwai Lake. Suggested hiking time one way is 2.5-5 hours.
Distance from Circlet Lake to the summit of Mt. Albert Edward is 6km with an elevation gain of 900m/3000ft. Suggested hiking time one way from Circlet Lake is 2-4 hours.
Other popular destinations are Lake Beautiful, the Cruickshank Canyon overlook and Amphitheatre Lake, all within a few hours hiking from Kwai or Circlet Lakes.