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Lupin falls Strathcona Park Vancouver Island
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Photographing and hiking Lupin Falls Trail A good day to be out shooting

Lupin falls Strathcona Park , a drive into the wilds of Vancouver Island? No, not really, however, it offers ample opportunities to use your camera.
I had no idea there would be so many interesting spots to photograph planning this trek.

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Lupin Falls Strathcona Park Vancouver Island

Difficulty: The Lupin Falls Trail is an easy to moderate hike with a few short uphill sections. The trail is well-marked and well-maintained. It should take most people 30 minutes to complete.

Length: The Lupin Falls Trail is 0.8 km long and takes you through old growth forest, and along creeks and eventually to the waterfall.

Lupin Falls Trail information

Try out this 0.8-km loop trail in Strathcona Provincial Park. Usually takes 16 minutes to hike the loop and is regarded as being easy/simple. Although this trail is well-liked for hiking and photographers. Head out early and you should have the falls and surrounding area all to yourself.

Lupin Falls Hike Intro

The highlight of the Lupin Falls trail is, of course, the falls! The falls are about 25 meters tall and cut through the second growth forest. Other highlights include the old growth forest (tall Douglas fur trees) and the creeks and trails leading to and from the falls.

Be sure to wear proper footwear and bring plenty of water. There is a viewing platform at the falls, so use caution when viewing them. Lupin Falls is best seen during the late spring or late fall winter, when the water is spring run or winter storm have arrived, and the water is at a higher level.

Best time of day to photograph Lupin Falls Trail?

I prefer early morning or late afternoon. Although the falls are in a dark forest. The sun has an opportunity to ruin a good photo. It often shines through the treetops and creates hotspots on the falls and the trees.

During the early morning I find there are fewer people.

The lighting and conditions can differ depending on the time of day and the weather. During the early morning or late afternoon/early evening, the light is typically softer and more flattering. However, if it’s a cloudy day, the light may be diffused and flat. On bright days, there may be harsh shadows. It’s important to pay attention to both the lighting and conditions when photographing at lupin Falls Trail.

Lupin falls Strathcona Park Hike

What type of camera equipment is best for photographing Lupin Falls Trail?

To get the best possible photos of Lupin Falls, you’ll want to use a good DSLR or mirror-less camera with a wide-angle lens with a tripod and polarizer filter.

A tripod will keep your camera steady when taking long exposures, for that silky white look.

The Polarizer filter will cut the reflections from the wet rocks.

Don’t leave the telephoto lens at home; there are lots of opportunities along the trail to use the zoom.

Having said all that, I’ve seen a few awesome smartphone photos of the falls. Ugh!

For more tips on waterfalls’ photography, check out our full guide on how to photograph waterfalls

Where is the Lupin Falls Trail Strathcona park?

The closest town to Lupin Falls is Campbell River, so I start there.

Lupin Falls Trail is a 45-minute drive from Campbell River. Take highway 28 towards Gold River. Do not go over the bridge. Head straight at the Gold River Westwin mine junction. Once on the Westwin mine road, it’s only 6 KLM to the trailhead. Keep your eyes open for the park signs. Why? The parking spot is easy to miss. It’s just after a bend/corner.

It is a winding road, so take your time. Large buses and trucks come and go on the Westwin mine road.

Map to Lupin Falls in Strathcona park Vancouver Island


The parking lot is small. Maybe it might hold about 5 vehicles. Backing out of the lot can be difficult, as other vehicles on the road will not see you until it’s too late. So be careful.

Hikers and photographers motto – Leave no trace

The Leave no trace principles are a set of guidelines that aim to minimize the impact of humans on the environment. The seven principles are:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare,
  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces,
  3. Dispose of waste properly,
  4. Leave what you find,
  5. Minimize campfire impacts,
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors and other photographers.

Other great photo opportunities in the area (Buttle Lake Access)

Lower Myra falls

Explore Lower Myra Falls this 1.6-kilometer route in Strathcona Provincial Park. It takes 29 minutes on average to accomplish what is typically thought of as a straightforward route. Although this trail is well-liked for hiking and strolling, you will find it some quiet during the slower times of the day. The months of April through October are ideal for hiking this trek.

Karst Creek Falls

Karst Creek Trail has become a somewhat tough trail to hike and photograph in the past years. Large trees cover the trail to the right. The bridge is washed out to the left.

Which ever trail you choose, it’s going to be a tough climb. Once at the waterfall, there are signs warning of the rocks about to fall.

However, there is a lovely day use area with a boat launch and a picnic area.

Finial though about Lupin Falls Strathcona Park Trail.

The Lupin Falls Trail is a must-do for anyone visiting the area. It’s an easy hike with plenty of photo ops, and the views are simply breathtaking. Be sure to pack plenty of water and snacks, and don’t forget your camera!

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