Kanaka Creek Regional Park

Quick Facts:

  • AllTrails link: Kanaka Creek Canyon Trail, 3.7km with 123m elevation
  • Difficulty: easy, but not stroller friendly
  • Traffic: light on a rainy day
  • Facilities: pit toilets, picnic tables near the canyons and at the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre
  • View: interesting views of the canyons and water carved sandstones
  • Overall score: 8/10

Kanaka Creek Regional Park follows and protects Kanaka Creek from its watershed to where it merges with Fraser River. Unlike Lynn Creek where an established network of trails connects the entire length of the creek from its headwaters to Burrard Inlet, only a few sections of the Kanaka Creek have been developed, namely: Fraser Riverfront, Fish Fence, and Cliff Falls and Canyon to the Salmon Hatchery. They are not connected by trails, so driving is required if you want to see more than one section. Of these, the Cliff Falls and Canyon area is the most scenic and iconic.

We started from the Cliff Park parking lot and walked upstream. The gravel trail is well maintained with no muddy sections even though it was raining.

After a short descent, we reached the canyons very quickly. The sight and sound of rushing water cutting into the sandstone were quite impressive. We thought it looked like a miniature version of the Mistaya Canyons in the Rockies.

It was also fun for Junior to cross the bridges over the creek.

Interestingly, there was a small clearing on the Canyon Trail about 300 meters from the parking lot going down a fair bit of hill, and it had half a dozen picnic tables. I’m not sure who would want to lug their picnic gear down this distance to use this picnic area, where there isn’t much of any view either. You could only hear the canyons, but you can’t even see any water. An outhouse is available nearby.

Picnic area at the canyons.

There were some flights of stairs to navigate through, but nothing that Junior couldn’t handle.

After about 1.5km, Junior was done hiking. We picked him up for the remainder.

Soon we arrived at the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre and Salmon Hatchery. There was no one there, and the Centre was closed for the pandemic. There is a parking lot, 2 outhouse, and a picnic area next to Kanaka Creek on some green field. A much more convenient choice compared with the picnic area near the canyons.

We turned back and took the Pine Ridge Trail instead (thus completing this loop as well).

Walking through the coastal rainforest with the constant sounds of the flowing creek was a very pleasant experience. Having done this walk in the rain allowed us to explore this park with very little traffic. All the stairs and bridges are covered with anti-slip rubber strips, so we felt very sure footed. If we had to pick a negative about this hike, it would be that it’s too short!

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