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Ammonite falls Nanaimo Vancouver Island
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Photographing Ammonite Falls Nanaimo: A hike with an amazing waterfall

Photographing Ammonite Falls Nanaimo: A Beautiful Morning Waterfall Hike

Looking for a morning hike with your camera? Why not head to Ammonite Falls Nanaimo?

Ammonite Falls is a beautiful waterfall outside of Nanaimo, British Columbia. This lovely waterfall and hike leads you through the old-growth forest.

The hike to this waterfall can be a little challenging, but it’s worth it once you reach the falls. Read on to find out more about this amazing photo-op.

Table of Contents

Why is it called Ammonite Falls?

Ammonite Falls’ name is derived from the ammonite fossils found in the area. The concretions that contain ammonites are a common sight at the falls.

Ammonite Falls / Benson Creek Falls

The Ammonite Falls is a nice waterfall in Benson Creek Falls Regional Park.

This lovely 5 1/2-km out-and-back hike is on the outskirts of Nanaimo. It takes an average of 45 minutes to an hour to finish. Typically regarded as moderately difficult. Even though this is a well-travelled trail, and used by hikers and mountain bikers. The route is great to explore anytime of the year. Up until they installed the lookout and stairs the trail down to the falls was steep and required some scrambling, but even then the view of the waterfall was worth it.

Where is Ammonite Falls Nanaimo?

Map of Ammonite Falls Nanaimo

Getting There

To reach Ammonite Falls from Nanaimo, take Jingle Pot Road north until it meets Kilpatrick Road. Follow Kilpatrick until it reaches Jameson Road. Stay on Jameson till you get to Creekside Pl. There is a parking lot on Creekside Pl.

Ammonite Falls parking

The best place to park to see Ammonite Falls is at the gravel parking lot 100 meters down Jameson Road on the right.

Park in the designated parking area. Do not park at the yellow forest gate, for fear of being towed.

Ammonite Falls Hike

The Ammonite Falls Trail is a great hike for anyone visiting the Nanaimo area. The trail is well-maintained and provides amazing views of the waterfalls. At one time, ropes were the only way to access the falls. At last, this is no more! The RDN has installed viewing platforms and stairs.

Visitors can now see the falls from the safety of the viewing platform and stairway.

However, you still need to wear proper hiking footwear.

Quick Trail Facts

There are two access points to Ammonite Falls – Jameson Road and Weigles Road. The Jameson Road trail is approximately 5 km long, and the Weigles Road trail is more difficult, with a longer and steeper descent.

Ammonite Falls Trailhead

The trail is well-marked and easy to follow. After passing by the yellow gate, stay on the gravel road till you see the trail markers. Follow the markers until you reach Benson Creek Falls Regional Park. Head right into the old growth rain forest, stay on the path and listen for the sounds of the fall.

There are signs showing the distance to the falls, so be prepared to walk a bit! With clear directions, reaching the waterfalls is an easy and enjoyable experience.

How long does it take to hike to Ammonite Falls?

  1. Park in the lot by the trailhead.
  2. Walk past the yellow gate to enter the forest and follow the gravel road until you reach the trail markers.
  3. Follow the path for about 45 minutes
  4. Enjoy the view from the top!

Photographing Ammonite Falls Nanaimo

Have you ever noticed that all waterfalls seem sweeter on cloudy days? If heading out to photograph Ammonite falls, I would suggest being in place for the morning or late afternoon light. I find noon-hour light can cause hot spots on the falls.

To reduce reflections on the water and surrounding rocks plus enhance the saturation of the woodland greens, use that polarizer hiding in the bag.

Of course, for long exposures, a tripod is necessary.

Ammonite Falls’ amazing size isn’t well depicted in most other photos I’ve seen. The height of the falls astonished me when I initially arrived. Try using the trees at the top of the frame as a point of comparison to convey its enormous height. Take pictures that show the surroundings for scale while also capturing the magnitude of the falls. Get into the photo and use yourself as scale.

Ammonite fall Nanaimo person and his dog

Final thoughts about Ammonite Falls Nanaimo

Ammonite Falls is a must-do hike near Nanaimo, BC! With easy-to-follow directions and amazing views, this hike is perfect for all levels. Be sure to bring your camera, as there are plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

UPDATE on Ammonite Falls Nanaimo

During the fall of 2021, the Regional District of Nanaimo installed stairways and a viewing platform to Ammonite Falls. At the time of this post I have not been to see the new additions. So stay posted!

Frequently Asked Questions

Ammonite Falls is a beautiful waterfall located in the Benson Creek Region Park outside of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

Directions to the waterfall can be found with ease, thanks to clear signage in the park. The new viewing platform with staircase will lead down to the waterfall. Some people feel that the new viewing platform ruins the experience of visiting Ammonite Falls. However, I do not. The viewing platform and staircase now provides access to the falls for everyone.

The Ammonite Falls hike is a popular tourist spot in Vancouver Island . The trail is easy to follow with signs and orange flags. The trail may be muddy in wet weather, but it is manageable with proper footwear.

The Ammonite Falls Regional Trail is a moderate hike that takes approximately 1 hour to complete.

The parking lot is 150 meters down Creekside Place from the trailhead. There are also several other options for parking near the Ammonite Falls Trail, but this gravel parking lot is the closest option to the trailhead.

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