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Discover Naka Creek Rec Site: Raging Waterfall and Campground

Let’s start with Have you heard about Naka Creek recreation site? If not, it’s definitely worth checking out. A secluded area on the east coast of Vancouver Island. This recreation site offers opportunities for the whole family to escape into nature and camp under the stars. Not into camping, Naka Creek offers photographers a chance to explore the nearby creek and waterfall.

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About Naka Creek Recreation Site

Naka Creek Recreation Site is a beautiful campsite on Vancouver Island. This site offers a stunning view of nature and Johnson Strait. It’s a popular spot for kayakers travelling through the Johnstone Strait and for those looking to visit Robson Bight Ecological Reserve and Orca Sanctuary, and catch a glimpse of the whales.

Although the logging road at times can be difficult, it’s worth the trip for those seeking a peaceful camping experience.

Where is Naka Creek’s Rec Site located?

Naka Creek Recreation Site is a campsite, next to Naka Creek on the Johnson strait. It’s a small campsite offering seven sites for tents, campers and motor homes. The site is watched over by a caretaker, and is a first come, first served site. The campsite is situated on the Johnson strait. Often you will see kayakers traversing the Strait, as it’s an ideal location, just 35 km for Kelsey bay or 27 km from Flower Island. But the big reason you see kayakers is the campsites are only 10 km from The Robson Bight Ecological Reserve and Orca Sanctuary.

What to consider when planning a trip to Naka Creek Campground and Rec Site

When planning a trip to Naka Creek, it is important to note that the site has no camping free. It’s a first-come-first-serve site. They say there are 7 campsites in total. 4 are out of the sun and weather. If you look hard, you can see 10 campsites.

The best time to visit is during the summer months, when the weather is mild and the tide levels are suitable for landing and launching your boat or kayak. The boat’s launch is rocky/gravel along with the beach. You will often see small 12′ aluminum boats leaving the beach to go fishing.

Cool things to see and do in the area are, as mentioned, Robson Bight Ecological Reserve and Orca Sanctuary are only an hour paddle away. The waterfall on Naka Creek is a short hike.

Getting to the site can be tough on vehicles; you’ll need a bit of clearance.

How to get to Naka Creek Campground and Rec Site

From Campell River BC

  • Head east on Island highway 19 for approximately 1 hour.
  • Go pass Sayward
  • Go pass Rooney Lake Road. (Google Maps will send you this way).
  • Look for Eve Main for 20 KLM – This is the quickest route; watch for logging trucks. At the end of Eve Rd is a log sorting area.
  • Take Naka Creek Rd for 14 KLM – Up and over the mountain.

Naka Creek

Amenities at Naka Creek Campsite

There is not much in the way of amenities; it is after all a wilderness campsite. There are 2 pit-toilets, one on either side of the campsite. Firewood was available beside the 2nd toilet. A gravel boat launch, picnic tables and fire pits are available at the camps.

What to do at Naka Creek Rec Site

Step 1: Choose your rec site

Naka Creek Recreational Site offers a variety of sites for visitors to enjoy. The site has seven campsites that are suitable for camping, with amenities such as picnic tables, restrooms, fishing, and a boat launch. The site also offers beautiful views of Johnson Strait, perfect for that beautiful sunset.

Step 2 Bring your Kayak

Naka Creek Rec Site is a popular launching point for kayakers. We recommend having the proper safety equipment; Johnson Strait can very quickly be rough.

Please note that landing at or kayaking in Robson Bight Ecological Reserve is not allowed. When kayaking, be aware of the guidelines for watching marine wildlife. I have often seen sea lions and white tailed dolphins swimming past the campsite.

Overall, Naka Creek Rec Site is a beautiful and exciting location for kayaking on Vancouver Island.

Step 3 Bring your Boat

Naka Creek Rec Site is a perfect destination for fishing enthusiasts. Boaters can expect a fun-filled adventure at the site. Remember, it’s a gravel boat launch. I wouldn’t recommend launching a 34-foot cabin cruiser.

As a fishing enthusiast, there are plenty of nearby fishing spots.

Photographing Naka Creek waterfall

Naka Creek waterfall

Several times when camping here I’ve had the opportunity to capture a magnificent sunset over the Johnson Strait. But truly it’s not why I ventured out to Naka Creek. I’ve come for the waterfall.

The waterfall is not far from the campsite, but unless you know where it is, you won’t find it. I must have camped at Naka Creek at least 4 times before I was asked if I had photographed the falls. My response was Falls? What Falls? In my defence, it’s not really at the campsite. You will need to backtrack a little. But you don’t need the vehicle.

Directions to Naka Creek waterfalls

From the campsite, you will want to head back to the logging road, back towards the bridge. Before you get to the bridge, there is a small road to the right leading off into the woods and down to the creek. Follow this path for about 20 minutes. The trail is going to be muddy, it always is. You cannot miss the falls, the trail end. Use caution once there, the rocks are slippery and every time I’ve been there the spray from the falls is everywhere. Be prepared to cover the camera when not in use.

1. Choosing Your Gear: When photographing waterfalls, it’s important to have the right gear. Consider using a wide-angle lens to capture the full grandeur of the waterfall and its surroundings. A tripod is essential for keeping your camera steady and ensuring sharp, clear shots. Additionally, a polarizing filter can help to reduce glare and enhance the colours of the water and foliage.

2. Finding the Best Composition: The key to capturing a stunning photograph of a waterfall is finding the right composition. Experiment with different angles and vantage points to find the best view of the waterfall. Consider using foreground elements, such as rocks or foliage, to add depth and interest to your shot. Experiment with shutter speeds to achieve various effects.

3. Timing Your Visit: The time of day and year can greatly affect the appearance of a waterfall. Naka Creek waterfall is situated in what I’d call a bowl. During the early morning or late afternoon the sun is not shining in the bowls, at these times there is little chance of the falls having hot spots. The best time of year to visit is during the spring when the waterfall is at its fullest. However, there is still lots of water at the falls in late Autumn when the bushes and trees are starting to turn.

4. Staying Safe: When photographing a waterfall, it’s important to stay safe. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and watch your footing on slippery rocks and uneven terrain. Keep a safe distance from the waterfall and never climb on wet rocks or attempt to swim in the pool below the waterfall. Remember to respect the natural environment and leave no trace of your visit.

Final though about Naka Creek Rec Site

Naka Creek Recreational Site is a great spot for any outdoor enthusiasts. The gravel beach adjacent to the camping area is great for landing and launching kayaks at all tide levels. There is plenty of space to camp and picnic tables are located in designated camping spots. Visitors should be aware that the road to the campground can be rough and may cause damage to vehicles. Overall, Naka Creek Recreational Site is a beautiful and peaceful spot to camp for those who are willing to make the journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

At Naka Creek Recreation Site, visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities in the beautiful British Columbia wilderness. Here are some of the things you can do while at the campsite:

  • Camping in one of the seven available sites
  • Tent camping is allowed.
  • Paddling along the Johnstone Strait and the Inside Passage
  • Spotting Orcas in the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve and Orca Sanctuary
  • Launching kayaks from the steep gravel beach
  • Enjoying the grassy lawn for picnics and relaxation

Beside the marine wildlife, I’ve seen jays, friendly crows and even the odd bear. So please do be bear safe. On one visit there was a sign-out indicated a cougar was in the area.

Yes, camping is allowed at Naka Creek Recreational Site. The site has seven tent camping sites available, with a maximum stay of 14 days. There are simple pit toilets available. Campers should note that there is no fee for camping at this Provincial Forest Recreation site, despite what the caretaker may say. The road leading to the camping area is steep and may damage vehicles, so towing is not recommended.

Yes, there are boat launch facilities available at Naka Creek’s Rec Site. The site offers a rough (beach) boat launch that provides access for fishermen and is a popular launching point for Kayakers.

Yes, there is a waterfall at Naka Creek’s Recreational Site. The waterfall is called Naka Creek Falls, and it is located just up Naka Creek by trail from the Naka beach campsite. The falls are very impressive, and you can walk behind them without getting too wet.

If you’re planning a camping or fishing trip, it’s best to go to Naka Creek Recreational Site between May and September. The weather during those months is usually nice and dry. Please be aware that the path leading to the campsite is made of gravel, and may pose a challenge to certain vehicles. It is highly recommended to be cautious while driving on this road.

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