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From McKenzie Bight near the Malahat, Vancouver Island | G. Stathers
The small community of Malahat, while located in the Cowichan Valley, is only a 20-minute drive north of Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, which offers an abundance of attractions and activities for the young and not-so-young. However, between Victoria and Malahat is the magnificent Goldstream Provincial Park that lies amid the splendour of an old-growth temperate rain forest. From October to December you can see world-class salmon-spawning with thousands of Chum Salmon. A wildlife viewing platform and hiking trails in the park take you from the valley floor to ridges, even to the top of Mt. Finlayson. And you can enjoy two different waterfalls, an abandoned gold mine, and incredible views.
‘The Malahat’ is the term commonly applied to the Malahat Drive, a 25 km (15.5 mi) portion of the Trans Canada Highway 1 running along the west side of Saanich Inlet and to the region surrounding it. The road was first cut as a cattle trail in 1861 and was then upgraded to wagon road standards in 1884. It became a paved road in 1911. Its name comes from the Malahat First Nation, whose ancestors used the caves for spiritual enhancement. The Malahat Drive climbs to a summit of 356 m (1,156 ft), and the mountain is considered one of the most sacred sites on southern Vancouver Island.