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Total number of campsites
Total reservable frontcountry sites: 27
Total vehicle-accessible sites: 39
Total groupsites: 2
Total walk-in sites: 4
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Campsite reservations are accepted and first come, first served sites are also available. Group campsite reservations are accepted at this park the BC Parks reservations system.

All campsite and group site reservations must be made the BC Parks reservations system. When reservations are not available all campsites function as first come, first served.

Group camping

There are group campsites at Stoltz Pool and Horseshoe Bend. 

Reservation information

Stoltz Pool group campsite

The Stolz Pool groupsite has been relocated inland due to bank instability caused by river erosion. The new location provides inclusive camping for RVs and tents. The shelter will be installed at the groupsite early June, while all other facilities will be in place at the beginning of April. Guests can access drinking water from the nearest campground loop.

Horseshoe Bend group campsite

This site has a shelter and is situated beside Cowichan River amongst the trees. There are 11 tent pads. Parking is in a gravel lot above the site. Vehicles are only allowed to drop off at the shelter and then have to park in the lot. Campers and RVs can camp in the parking lot. The shelter has a sink, wood stoves inside the shelter and picnic tables inside and out. Water is available by a water pump in the group site. Cowichan River is beside the site so watch small children. The river can be dangerous certain times of the year, especially in winter, fall or spring. This is a very private site and beautifully situated. 

Youth group camping fee$1 per person (6+), with a $50 minimum and $150 maximum. Children under 6 are free!
Regular group camping fee$80 per group site per night, plus $5 per adult (16+, minimum charge for 15 adults), plus $1 per child (6-15). Children under 6 are free!

For information on the Youth group policy see the group camping page.

Vehicle-accessible camping

Stoltz Pool campground

There are 39 drive-in and four walk-in sites at the Stoltz Pool campsite, situated in a second-growth Douglas fir stand. All sites are well spaced with easy access to the river. Campsite reservations are accepted and first come, first served sites are also available. Stoltz Pool campground is open year-round. A winter camping fee is in place.

Vehicle-accessible camping fee$20 per party per night
BC seniors’ rate (day after Labour Day to June 14 only)$10 per senior party per night

For information on the BC seniors’ rate, see the camping fees page.

Walk-in camping

There are four walk-in campsites at the Stoltz Pool campground. Camping is permitted only in designated campsites.

Winter camping

Stoltz Pool campground is open year-round, a winter camping fee is in place.

Winter vehicle-accessible camping fee: $11 per party per night

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Accessibility information

Accessibility information is available for these areas of the park:


Drinking water

Cold water hand pumps are located at Stoltz Pool campground, Stoltz Pool group site and Horseshoe Bend group site.

Drinking Water System Report 2021

Boat launch

A boat launch is located at the Stoltz Pool day-use area. Parking is available a short distance from the boat launch.


Campfire rings are provided at each campsite. Firewood can be purchased from the park operator. Fees for firewood are set locally and may vary. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please don’t gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park. Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. You can conserve firewood and air quality by keeping your campfire small. Campfire bans may be implemented. Be prepared to bring a portable stove for cooking.

Picnic areas

There are four day-use areas at Cowichan River Park: The main day-use area at Stoltz Pool, as well as Skutz Falls, Marie Canyon and 66 Mile Trestle.

  • Stoltz Pool day-use: This day-use and picnicking area is located adjacent to the campground and includes a boat launch, riverside trail, picnicking area with tables, parking, pit toilets, information shelter, and an all-purpose playing field. The picnic area overlooks the river from a grassy area nestled in a grove of large maple trees. The Burma Star Memorial Cairn, a replica of the Kohima Monument in Myamar (Burma) is located here. The cairn was erected by the Burma Star Association to commemorate and tell the story of Major Hoey and the Allied Second World War campaign in East Asia.
  • Skutz Falls day-use: Located at the western trailhead for the Cowichan River footpath, this site offers parking, pit toilets, picnic tables, a river pull-out and information shelter. This site provides access to the Skutz Falls section of the river, where visitors can watch view spawning salmon.
  • Marie Canyon day-use: Marie Canyon is a popular sit for picnicking and for viewing one of the more spectacular sections of the river. Facilities include parking, pit toilets, an information shelter, and a trail down to the canyon bottom.
  • 6 -Mile Trestle day-use: Located near the beautiful 66 Mile trestle on the Trans Canada Trail, this site offers, parking, pit toilets, picnic tables, and an information shelter.
Pit or flush toilets

There are several pit toilets available throughout the park.

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A maze of developed and undeveloped routes offers significant walking and hiking opportunities in and around Cowichan River Park. 

  • As emergency aid is not immediately available over much of this area, please always travel prepared. 
  • Basic supplies should include drinking water, a first aid kit, and adequate clothing and footwear.
  • For your own safety and preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.

Walking and hiking trails

Stoltz Pool loop trail

This relatively short, gentle loop trail runs from the Stoltz Pool day-use area adjacent to the river for much of its length before gently climbing inland through second-growth forest above the campground. Fishing is excellent at many spots along this trail.

Skutz/66 Mile Loop Trail

This 8 km loop trail gives spectacular views along the Cowichan River. Crossing at both the Skutz Falls forest service bridge and the historic 66 Mile Trestle, this trail travels through a steep canyon environment high above the Cowichan River.

Cowichan River Footpath

This historic trail winds its way along the Cowichan River for approximately 20 km from Glenora to Skutz Falls. This is an easy to moderate level of hiking and you should allow approximately 6.5 hours to hike its length. The main trail is well marked but several older secondary routes still exist and these are not sign posted or maintained. Notices will be placed at each trailhead (Glenora and Skutz Falls) explaining any current situations of interest to trail users. There is no drinking water available on the trail and river water must be boiled, filtered, or treated prior to consumption. Parts of the trail are through private property, please respect these areas and any potential restrictions that may be in place.

Trans Canada Trail route

This section of the Trans Canada Trail route stretches from Glenora to Skutz Falls, an ambitious undertaking that involved the restoration of the 66 Mile and Holt Creek Trestles and the rehabilitation of approximately 13 kilometres of abandoned Canadian Pacific Railway grade. The beautiful railway trestles along this route offer spectacular views and a glimpse of the past to a time when log-laden traincars would thunder along the tracks high above the Cowichan River. 


Swimming is a popular activity at the Stoltz Pool day-use area and below Skutz Falls.

Warning: The Cowichan River has fluctuating water levels and swift currents. Children should be accompanied by an adult when in or near the river. Visitors should also expect natural occurrences such as log jams and sweepers at any point and at any time along the river. Severe rapids exist at Marie Canyon and Skutz Falls throughout the year. Information on these hazards and pull-out locations are posted at the park. Visitors wishing to swim in this area must familiarize themselves prior to entering the river. There are no lifeguards on duty.


Canoeing is popular in the Stoltz Pool day-use area. 



Kayaking is popular in the Stoltz Pool day-use area. Experienced whitewater kayakers may wish to navigate the river between Skutz Falls and Marie Canyon. The river is suitable for year-round kayaking, although the best water conditions are from October through to June.

Warning: The Cowichan River has fluctuating water levels and swift currents. Paddlers should also expect natural occurrences such as log jams and sweepers at any point and at any time along the river. Severe rapids exist at Marie Canyon and Skutz Falls throughout the year. Information on these hazards and pull-out locations are posted at the park. Visitors must familiarize themselves prior to entering the river.


This park offers excellent river fishing opportunities. The Cowichan River is a highly important river because of its variety and abundance of fish species, including coho, Chinook and chum salmon, steelhead and Rainbow, Brown and Cutthroat trout. It is one of only two rivers in British Columbia known to have Brown trout, which was introduced from Scotland in the 1930s.

Spawning salmon are often easily seen during the fall spawning season at Marie Canyon. All fishing is often closed in this section of the river from October to mid-December. Specific fishing closures are posted at information shelters within the park.

For up-to-date information, all anglers should check all current and relevant freshwater (non-tidal) sport fishing regulations and saltwater sport fishing regulations, including the appropriate licensing requirements, prior to fishing.

Wildlife viewing

River viewing points at Skutz Falls and Marie Canyon are prime locations to watch spawning salmon in the fall, or to have a picnic at the end of a day’s hike. Marie Canyon day-use overlooks the Cowichan River as it surges through a spectacular sheer rock canyon. Skutz Falls offers magnificent views of river rapids and a man-made fish ladder.

Pets on leash

Pets and domestic animals must be on a leash and under control all times. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with bears.


Bicycles must keep to roadways or the Trans Canada Trail. Bicycles are not permitted on developed hiking trails. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.

Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within Cowichan River Park. E-bikes are restricted to park roads and areas where motorized use is permitted. The only exception to this policy will be for authorized and identified trail maintenance bikes conducting work on behalf of BC Parks.

Horseback riding

Horseback riding is permitted on the Trans Canada Trail.

Scuba diving

Snorkelling and scuba diving are possible in the Cowichan river and holds great opportunities for fish viewing.