Father and Son Lake Hiking Trail

In the backwoods of Port Alberni, go for a fish and chase endless reflections

  • A quiet morning spent fishing beneath low clouds at Father and Son Lake.

    A quiet morning spent fishing beneath low clouds at Father and Son Lake. Photo: Keegan Pearson

  • A quiet day at Father and Son Lake.

    A quiet day at Father and Son Lake. Photo: Keegan Pearson

Essential info

  • Destination: Southwest British Columbia
  • Season: January-December
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Distance: 2.3 kilometers (loop)
  • Elevation Gain: 220 meters
  • Duration: 0.5-1.5 hours

About Father and Son Lake

Few travelers on the way to Tofino know that Port Alberni is the warmest place on Vancouver Island, and, that the surrounding mountains are full of secret trails and lakes. Combine a day of exploring backroads with a quick fish on your way to the rugged west coast or spend a tranquil overnight weekend in the mountains.

Getting there

Drive south from Port Alberni and take the Franklin River Road for 17 kilometers past China Creek to the Museum Main forest road. Turn left and follow it for about 3.5 kilometers to the road marked Thistle Milne. Follow Thistle Milne for 7.5 kilometers and then turn left at the sign for Father & Son Lake. Stay left when the road forks until you come to a small parking area. 

The last kilometer of the road has several deep ditches crossing the road and a high clearance or 4x4 vehicle is required. 

Access to Father & Son Recreation Site is via privately managed roads. 

Trail description

The trail is a quick 15-20 minutes of moderately steep walking through hemlock and cedar forests. It roughly follows the line of a creek to the basin that Father and Son Lake occupies. 


Facts

  • There are small trout to be caught in the lake and walk in camping is available.

Amenities

  • Three campsites along the lake
  • Pit toilets


Where to stay

Camp here, stay in Port Alberni, or do a day hike on the way to Tofino.

Map

Questions or comments? Let us know.

Download trail descriptions, maps, and guides in the Outtt app.

By Keegan Pearson

Keegan is a photographer and storyteller who was born and raised on Salt Spring Island. He now lives in Squamish, BC.

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