Hiking Upper Thetis Lake Trail - A Jewel of Nature in Victoria, BC
Located in suburban Victoria, BC, Thetis Lake is a well-known park that’s close to the city but yet feels miles apart from the urban world. The park is made up of two lakes, joined together by a natural dam and surrounded by forest covered hills. There’s excellent adventure and things to do including hiking, swimming and even fishing throughout this 834 hectare park that’s located 25 minutes from downtown Victoria, BC, Canada. The water is warm and the trails are wide and well-worn. Visitors to Thetis Lake park don’t have to travel far to experience the natural beauty of southern Vancouver Island.
Rating – Expert
Distance – Approximately 4 kilometers
Elevation Gain – 10 meters
Duration – 1.5 hours round trip
When to Go – Year Round but the trail can be a bit wet & muddy in sections from November to March
Where to Park - Park in the upper parking lot to get closer to the trail head but spaces are limited.
If you have the time, a visit to Thetis Lake is well worth it – the placid lakes, towering trees and meandering hiking trails offers stunning and quiet beauty, in huge contrast to city just outside the park boundary. The Upper Thetis Lake hiking trail is one of the most popular in the park. This hike takes about 1.5 hours to complete and is a fairly easy loop. The trail starts along the wide & flat Trillium Trail and comes to a junction at the earthen damn where the trails met.
Taking the Upper Thetis Lake Trail, the trail curves around the freshwater lake and swampy shorelines where birdwatchers usually enjoy a visual feast. There are scenic viewpoints on the surrounding cliffs and the elevation gain is small. Benches perched along the trail allow for viewing of the placid Thetis Lake. Watch swimmers frolic in the warm waters, anglers quietly casting their line and on the rare occasion, cliff jumpers hurtling from a top the rocky crags.
The trail narrows in sections as it winds beneath towering Douglas firs, arbutus and maple trees. The trail gets a bit muddy in sections close to the water but the surrounding shores are mainly rocky. A good pair of shoes with grip is required as the rocks can get slippery when wet, but runners should suffice. If you enjoy this hike, you’ll also enjoy the trails around Matheson Lake, 25 minutes away in Metchosin, BC.
View Upper Thetis Lake (Victoria, BC) in a larger map
Things to do at Thetis Lake Regional Park in Victoria, BC
- Swim in the warm fresh water and sun on the small sand beach. Life guards are not always on duty so never swim alone.
- There are over 45 kilometers of hiking trails in the park. The Upper Thetis Like hiking trail is one of the most scenic & popular.
- Fishing for freshwater trout is always fun.
- Kayaking and canoeing are popular water sports. Boats with gasoline engines are not allowed on the water but boats with electric motors are permitted.
- This is a popular park for walking the dog. Please clean up after your pet & keep them under control.
- The park is closed 1 hour after sunset and the gates are locked. Exit the park before that time or your vehicle will spend the night in the parking lot.
- Located in the neighbouring Francis/King Regional Park are 500 year old trees, some of the oldest in all of greater Victoria.
This park is a gem of nature set in View Royal & Langford, BC, just outside of Victoria. As you enter the park, the city sounds and sights quickly disappear behind a thick forest veil. Hikers, bikers, swimmers & nature lovers will find a scenic refuge around the Upper and Lower Thetis Lake trail.
Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.