Yuquot, Gold River & South En d of Nootka Trail Photo Province of BC

Travel Spotlight

Gold River

Gold River serves as a base for such famous activities as the Nootka Island trek, hiking the Elk Lake trail, mountain-climbing up Golden Hinde (Vancouver Island’s highest peak), and the Great Walk. But Gold River has much to explore. Gold Muchalat Provincial Park, located northwest of Gold River offers a pristine wilderness environment for sports fishing, wildlife viewing and rustic hiking. Whitewater kayaking and rafting are also available.

Upana Caves, Gold River Photo Province of BC

Upana Caves, Gold River Photo Province of BC

The Upana Caves are spectacular and accessible to everyone, from novice to experienced spelunker. The caves offer fascinating formations including stalactites and stalagmites. For climbers, Crest Creek Crag has over 100 routes to test your climbing stamina. These rock walls draw climbers from around the world.  A picnic area nestled up to the shores of the Gold River offers an opportunity to enjoy your meal as you watch the kayakers and canoes floating by. Next door are the beautiful fairways and greens of the local golf course. Bring your own boat, rent one, or hop on the MV Uchuck III – it all begins at the Gold River government wharf near the old mill site. The protected waters of Nootka Sound, the fiords and channels, the maze of islands, and the smaller communities scattered throughout are a boater’s paradise.

Gold River, Photo Province of BC

Gold River, Photo Province of BC


Located in central Vancouver Island, at the end of scenic Highway 28, 90 km (55 mi) west of Campbell River. Traveling from the north or south on Vancouver Island, exit easily from Island Highway 19 and follow the signs through Strathcona Park, then across the bridge between the lakes.

A Step Back in Time

Taking advantage of its deep water and abundant forests, Gold River developed in 1967 as a logging and pulp & paper industry community. Gold River quickly sprang into prosperity and established excellent community facilities. When shifting world markets brought the mill closure in 1998, many of Gold River’s inhabitants were forced to relocate. Since then, the village has capitalized on its idealistic setting among picturesque mountains, lakes, rivers, ocean, and forests to develop tourism and sport fishing as its main economic generators.

Gold River also serves as a historic point, being the closest village to the famous Yuquot, or “Friendly Cove”, where British explorer Captain James Cook first set ashore.

Contact Information


Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989