Strathcona-Westmin Park is surrounded by Strathcona Park on central Vancouver Island. This park is unique in that it incorporates a working mine, the Myra Falls Operation of Boliden-Westmin Resources Ltd. This mine produces ore containing zinc, copper, gold and silver and has a capacity of 1.4 million tons annually.
Aside from mining, this rugged forest environment offers a variety of recreational opportunities for visitors, particularly hiking and backcountry camping.
Routes range from 15 minute walks to more than eight hour hikes. A short trails lead from the Boliden-Westmin mine to beautiful Upper and Lower Myra Falls, a scenic waterfalls located deep in the forest. Other longer trails lead to the lower Thelwood Valley, which is a great place to see Roosevelt elk, and access the backcountry at Price Creek, Philips Ridge, Tennent Lake and Mount Myra.
Campfires are not permitted. Please bring your own camp stove.
Strathcona-Westmin Park has a significant black bear population. It is common to encounter bears along the trails and roadsides. Visitors should use caution around bears and not approach. Keep pets on a leash. Click here for information on bear safety.
Bring your own water as no potable water is available.
Strathcona Park Public Advisory Committee (SPPAC)
This committee was established in 1993 to ensure public participation in the ongoing operation and management of Strathcona Park and Strathcona-Westmin Park.
Hiking opportunities range from short easy walks to steep, difficult backcountry hikes. Parking and trailhead facilities at Strathcona-Westmin Park provide access to hiking opportunities in surrounding Strathcona Park. Three trailheads offer visitor information shelters, parking areas and pit toilets.
For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Price Creek/Cream Lake
Length: 8.5 km
One-way hiking time: 7 h
Elevation change: 1,200 m
This trail starts from the south end of Buttle Lake at the entrance to Strathcona-Westmin Park. The route follows a gravel road for the first 3 km then a rough trail follows the main valley where it crosses Price Creek and deteriorates into a very steep, rough route to Cream Lake.
Lower Myra Falls
Length: 1 km
One-way hiking time: 15 min
The trail starts near the south end of Buttle Lake before the mine site. This trail has one steep section and offers views of several beautiful cascades from a viewing platform at Myra Falls, as well as access to several creek-side areas.
Upper Myra Falls
Length: 3 km
One-way hiking time: 1.5 h
Elevation change: 100 m
This hike starts at the trailhead just past the Boliden-Westmin mine site and follows a gravel road for 700 metres before turning into a forest trail. Features include old-growth forest and a waterfall. Use caution when visiting the falls.
Length: 6 km
One-way hiking time: 4 h
Elevation change: 800 m
This well-graded trail starts from the trailhead just past the Boliden-Westmin mine site and leads to Arnica Lake. There is a camping area at the north end of Arnica Lake.
Tennent Lake-Mount Myra
Length: 7 km
One-way hiking time: 5 h
Elevation change: 1,500 m
This hike starts just past the Boliden-Westmin mine and follows a gravel road for 900 metres. The trail then leaves the road beside the pump house and follows a very steep, older roadbed to Tennent Lake. A rough route exists from Tennent Lake to Mount Myra.
Angling can be rewarding on Buttle Lake and on the other lakes and waterways in and near the park. Cutthroat and rainbow trout are the primary catch.
Fly fishing is allowed in all tributaries, but fishing of all kinds is closed in Thelwood Creek.
The Elk River is open to catch and release fly fishing, only.
All anglers should check the current regulations issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada prior to fishing for other restrictions.
Viewing platforms at Lower and Upper Myra Falls offer spectacular views of the waterfalls. The trail to Upper Myra Falls leads through beautiful old-growth forest. Philips Ridge and Mount Myra offer great views of the surrounding alpine environment of Strathcona Park.
Pets on leash
Pets and domestic animals must be on a leash and under control at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to the potential for problems with bears and other wildlife.
Strathcona-Westmin Park is surrounded by Strathcona Park on central Vancouver Island. Located at the south end of Buttle Lake, the park covers the lower portions of the Myra Creek and Thelwood Creek valleys.
To reach the park, visitors drive west on Hwy 28 from Campbell River to the entrance to Strathcona Park (48 km), proceed down the Buttle Lake road (Western Mines Road) past the Buttle Narrows Bridge toward Strathcona-Westmin park, an additional 35 km.
Nearby communities include: Campbell River, Comox, Courtenay, Gold River
Learn more about this park
Date established: March 14, 1987
Size: 3,327.5 hectares
Nature and culture
the Strathcona-Westmin class B provincial park covers the area permitted for Boliden-Westmin resources to carry out mining operations. The land was given special designation because of mineral values and the decision by the provincial government to allow exploration and mining in this area. This park was separated out of Strathcona Park in 1965 and designated as a class B provincial park. Mining began in 1966 and will continue dependant on reserves and commodity prices.
Conservation and wildlife
The lower portion of Thelwood Creek has spawning beds for rainbow, Dolly Varden and cutthroat trout, as well as char. These spawning areas are essential to maintaining the fishery of Buttle Lake in Strathcona Park.
The park also protects important habitat for Roosevelt elk and beaver. Strathcona-Westmin Park has a significant black bear population. It is common to encounter bears along the trails and roadsides. Other wildlife in the park includes the red-listed Vancouver Island wolverine, as well as cougars, deer, wolves and a variety of birds and amphibians.
Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples
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.