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karst Creek trail, is it still a worth while hike and photography trip?

What has happened to the Karst Creek Trail

Karst Creek Trail was a very nice trail with a waterfall at the top. Over the years the trail has depreciated and the hike has become a rather unpleasant trail. last time I visited we had to climb over and duck under the fallen trees and the bridge has been washed out for several years.

Table of Contents

What is Karst Creek Trail?

The Karst Creek Trail is a 1.3 KM loop that takes you through a stretch of the rain forest. A lesser-known waterfall in Strathcona Park, but a delightful waterfall. The trail starts across the street from the parking lot and follows Karst Creek to its source.

The trailhead can be found across from the picnic area and boat ramp.

What is the scenery like?

The Karst Creek Trail is a popular hike in the area and is accessible for hikers of most skill levels. The trail runs the old growth forest, a limestone region and sink holes before ending at the waterfall. However, keep in mind that the route crosses over a rocky creek bed that will restrict access for older family members or families with strollers.

Karst Creek Trail

Best time of year to hike Karst Creek trail?

Like all waterfall in strathcona park, the best time to head out and take pictures is late winter early sprint. You want to photograph waterfalls when the snow begins to melt and the water levels are higher. However, there is always the acceptation, but Karst creek waterfall is not one of them.

What are the trail conditions like?

Honestly, the trail is a mess. It is difficult to hike and need some work to repair the area. Before heading out I would check the BC parks trail report.


  • the bridge is out, there is signed posted
  • Large trees have fallen and are blocking parts of the trail.
  • Beware of rock hazards at the falls

How long does the hike take?

The Karst Creek Trail is beautiful, and a short hike that only takes about 30 minutes to complete. Unless you bring a camera. 🙂

What is the difficulty level of the hike?

All trails list the hike as easy, which is normally is. However, as I’ve written, the trail is a mess and needs work. Be prepared to climb over and under obstacles. If carrying a pack or 25 pounds of camera gear, it will get hung up on branches, leading to an unpleasant hike. I would rate Karst Creek Trail as moderate.

Where is the Karst Creek Trail?

Karst Creek Trail in Strathcona Park

The closest town to Karst Creek is Campbell River so I’ll start from here.

  1. From Campbell River, take the Gold River Highway North towards Gold River.
  2. Continue onto Westmin RD at the bridge. (head straight)
  3. Continue straight in Westwin road for 22 km
  4. Hint – it is about 15-20 minutes past Lupin Falls parking lot.


There is lots of parking at the boat ramp and day picnic area. Facilities are available as well.

Footwear Recommendation

The best shoes for the trail are those that provide good traction and support. Shoes with good traction will help you keep your footing on slippery or uneven surfaces, while hiking boots/shoes with good support will help prevent injuries.

Photographing Karst Creek trail in Winter on Vancouver Island

Can be an easy hike to a gorgeous winter waterfall, Easy to get to and lots of opportunities to use your camera. Yes, it can be nippy and a 45 minute drive.

One of the few locations to photography icicles. Bring an LED light to place behind the icicles.

Similar hikes close to Karst Creek trails and waterfalls

Lower Myra Falls

At the end of Buttle lake, you will find a wonder waterfall known as Lower Myra Falls. This 2 km hike takes on average 25 minutes to complete. I rate the trail as medium as the return trip is all uphill.

Depending on the light, Lower Myra Falls’ waters can be teal or emerald green. Its glistening waters cascade down the rocks, eventually reaching the lake below. Although the water is frigid, the courageous always go in and it is a enjoyed swimming area in the summer.

Lupin Falls Strathcona park

Lupin Falls is a 0.8 kilometre trail that takes 16 minutes to hike. Thought of as an easy path for hikers or anyone seeking a day in the woods.

Outstanding opportunity for a rest stop along the way. Unquestionably worthwhile. Before reaching the tall, multi-tiered falls, you pass through a rain forest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Strathcona Park have cell service? No! Most areas don’t have WiFi or cell service in the park. I can confirm that Mount Washington ski hill has cell service, therefore paradise meadows to battleship lake, will have service.

Yes Strathcona Provincial Park is Pets Friendly.

  • Pets must be kept on a leash no more than 2 metres (6-1/2 feet) in length.
  • Pets are not be allowed in park or beach buildings unless specifically stated otherwise by a sign.
  • Pet owners are in charge of their animals’ conduct and the proper disposal of their waste is the owners responsibility.

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