Strathcona Specialty Programs

Group summit pose

These are more advanced programs that focus on one or two skills. These trips vary in difficulty from easy to strenuous and usually, two or more nights are spent camping. Below is a description of our most popular specialty programs. We also have custom built programs for groups using the unique skills of our instructors. These include mountain biking, trail building, sailing and more. Contact the Program Manger, 250-286-3122 or, for a full list of options.

Combined Canoe and Hike

With this program you get the best of water and land. After paddling across the lake in a canoe the group will hike into the Island Mountains past abundant wildlife and mature forest. A night is usually spent in the mountains before returning to the Lodge by canoe.


Destinations vary depending on the group’s experience, age, time of year and trail conditions. A gentle introduction to backpacking can be found nearby at Roger’s Ridge or leaving right from the Lodge to Camp 1. Both one night trips feature exceptional views with minimal effort.

In Strathcona Provincial Park more strenuous hikes take students into the true wilderness on excellent trails. The trails lead through old growth forests to alpine tundra and glacier fed lakes. The Elk River Trail and Bedwell Trail are two popular examples.

For strong and determined groups a Vancouver Island summit is within reach. King’s Peak, Mount Myra and Mount McBride can all be climbed on a three day backpacking trip.

Canoe and Kayak trips

Canoeing on the Brewster Chain Lakes.

Based on a chain of lakes and close to the ocean on both coasts, the paddling options at Strathcona Park Lodge are almost infinite.

Upper Campbell and Buttle Lakes provide over 40 kilometers of safe freshwater paddling with campsites every few kilometers. Groups have a variety of destination options surrounded by old-growth forests, hiking trails, rivers and creeks.

Ocean Paddling in the protected waters and exposed coast of Nootka Sound will take groups to sandy beaches and pristine forests where eagles, bears, seals, whales and other marine life are often seen. You may also visit Friendly Cove, where Captain Cook first landed, to view First Nation artifacts.

The Brewster Lakes provide a classic canoe trip by paddle and portage. After being taken to the drop-off, the group is self-reliant as they navigate a circuit of lakes and rivers, traveling approximately 50 km before returning to the Lodge.

Whitewater Kayak and Canoe

A progression from basic skills taught in our protected paddling bays to the grade 1 or 2 levels on the Campbell or Gold Rivers. A low student-to-instructor ratio and a controlled whitewater environment allows students to gain skills and confidence.

Rock Climbing

Climbing at the Lake Bluffs

After reviewing the basics on Strathcona’s indoor climbing walls and three rock bluffs, the group will spend two or more days at nearby Crest Creek Crags refining their rock climbing skills. Students will learn climbing and rappelling techniques from experienced rock specialists.