I bet you thought Niagara Falls was Canada’s highest waterfall. But you are mistaken! It’s Della Falls located in the middle of nowhere on Vancouver Island. This is home to a wonderful 3 days backpacking trip.
About the trip
The trail head is accessed by boat! You can reserve a spot on the Della Falls Water Taxi and just sit back and enjoy the ride. Some people canoe over, but it’s an all day affair.
Much of the hike is flat, which makes it a pretty relaxed hike for experienced folks. And a great challenge if you’re starting out.
There are tons of camping spots at each designated spot, complete with a bear cache for your food and a pit toilet. And it’s never going to get too crowded, as there are only so many spots on the water taxi!
I think mid August was probably not the best time to go. The falls were a bit of a an unimpressive trickle obscured by smoke. Apparently it’s quite remarkable in early July when the snow is melting. All was not lost, as I loved checking out Love Lake! This is an optional hike on the second day to a great swimming spot.
The hardest part of the whole thing was the cable car. I thought it looked fun until I realized just how difficult it would be. It was on the “wrong” side of the valley when we got there, so we had to pull it over to us. I am by no means have weak arms, but I am a rather tiny women. I couldn’t make that thing budge even pulling with all my body weight. Together, Ashley and I just managed to get that thing over to our side. And then we could get in and pull ourselves across. Pretty exhausting!
Hiking during wild fire season
In the week before we left, I was carefully watching the wild fire maps to see if anything had popped up near our hiking location. It had not. So we still went.
I completely forgot about the smoke, though. Although Ashley was totally fine, I was not. I had so many problems breathing. My asthma has been completely under control for the past 10 or so years since I made a significant change to my diet. So I just sort of forgot I had asthma. But smoke is also apparently big trigger for me, apparently. Well, you live and learn! I was really not feeling very well for a the past week, but I am on the mend now.
Tips for your adventure
- Mike’s trip report is so excellent
- Book the Della Falls Water Taxi in advance to avoid disappointment
- Remember to leave no trace. This means no fires in the backcountry. And pick up all your waste, even used toilet paper!