Situated on top of Mount Newton on southern Vancouver Island, ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Park overlooks the pastoral Saanich Peninsula, the Gulf Islands and the Cascade Mountains. ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Park protects one of the last stands of old-growth douglas fir and garry oak on the Saanich Peninsula, and is a popular destination for local residents, who visit the park to hike in a pristine wilderness environment and enjoy the spectacular views. The mountain and surrounding area figure prominently in First Nations culture, and early descriptions of the mountain mention large rings of white stones placed there by the Saanich people. ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱, as Mount Newton is known to the First Nations of the Saanich Peninsula, was the high point of land that enabled them to survive the great flood. Here legend has it that the Saanich ancestors were able to anchor their canoe until the floodwaters subsided using a giant cedar rope. ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ was the first land available as the floodwaters receded.
A number of hiking trails, varying in degrees of difficulty, wind through the inspiring forest across the south and east face of Mount Newton at this day-use park. Adventurous hikers can climb to the summit of Mount Newton. In the spring the park comes alive with a vivid display of wildflowers native to British Columbia, including drifts of blue camas lilies, which carpet the understorey, as well as common red paintbrush, sea blush, and shooting stars.
Wildlife flocks to this lush forest and from the top of Mount Newton you can watch as ravens, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, and turkey vultures put on a display of soaring techniques. The summit of Mount Newton is also regarded as an excellent location to watch some of the best sunsets on Vancouver Island.
Established Date: December 9, 1921
Park Size: 174 hectares
This park has a day-use area with a parking lot, information shelter and a pit toilet. The park is blocked off by a gate, which is locked from dusk until 8am. This park is closed to vehicle traffic from November to March.
ȽÁU,WELṈEW_/John Dean Park has approximately 6km of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to more difficult hikes through beautiful old-growth douglas fir and garry oak ecosystems. A main park map is located at the information shelter, as well as trail maps at various points along the trail system. Portions of the trail system can be steep and are geared to more advanced hikers. Refer to park map for more information and routes.
A viewing platform is located at pickles bluff and offers spectacular views out over the Saanich peninsula. This park also offers the opportunity to see old-growth douglas fir and garry oak trees and a variety of wildflowers in the spring.
Bicycles must keep to roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean 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.
ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Park is located near Sidney on southern Vancouver Island. The park can be accessed off Hwy #17. Turn west onto McTavish Road, south onto East Saanich Road, then west onto John Dean Road. Follow John Dean Road until you reach the park. Nearby communities include: Sidney, Saanichton, Brentwood Bay, Victoria.
This park proudly operated by:
R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.