Located in Goldstream Provincial Park, the hike to Mount Finlayson is one of the steepest hikes as it climbs up and offers scenic views looking south towards the Langford area. The route is a popular exercise trail and can be busy on weekends, however the views from the top on a clear day are spectacular and worth the hard work of getting there.
The trailhead begins along the paved road across the bridge from where you drove into the day-use area, Walk over the bridge and about 200-meters along the road and on your right, watch for a trail with a large wooden map board of the area. Follow this trail past the large map and, just before the stairs, go left. The trail climbs immediately but follows a smooth, dirt path as you pas through the beautiful forest. Walk up a few steps and follow the trail as it veers left and meets a junction with a trail to the right. Take note of this as you will have to return the same way when hiking back down.
Continue past the junction as the wide trail, that was once an old logging road, continues to climb steeply. The path levels slightly and you reach a point where it drops down into a canyon and you cross a small wooden bridge before climbing through a fairly steep section.
The trail then passes through a much gentler incline before reaching a junction point. Go left at the junction, leaving the wide trail and, from this point on, things get really steep. Carefully make your way up the loose rocks as you rapidly gain elevation, all the while you try to catch your breath in the process.
The trail then exits the forest and continues along the exposed rock. Follow the markers as the route wraps around the rocks, before climbing up the side of the mountain. Make sure to watch for the markers as they should be used to guide you all the way to the top as areas outside the regular route an be dangerous. There are a couple of very steep sections where you will need to use your hands to help scramble up.
The trail eventually levels and passes between some trees where, on the other side, the peak comes into view. Hike up the last uphill section and go left to where a sign marks the highest point on Mount Finlayson. From here, sweeping views are visible looking south towards the Langford area and down to the Bear Mountain Golf Resort.
After enjoying the views, hike back down following the same route you took, being careful to watch for the trail markers through the exposed rock section. Use your hands to carefully climb down some of the rocks and return to the forest, carefully watching your step as you walk back down the loose rock. Make sure to stay right at both junctions when returning as you make your way back down to the wooden map board near the road. Walk back along the road and return to the Goldstream Provincial Park day-use area.
The hike to Mount Finlayson begins from the parking lot at the day-use area of Goldstream Provincial Park, near the park's Visitor Center. To drive to the day-use area parking lot from downtown Victoria, follow Douglas Street northbound and continue driving as you leave the city and the street becomes Island Highway (Highway #1). Continue along the highway for about 20km as the highway becomes a single lane when it enters Goldstream Provincial Park. Watch for signage and turn right at the Goldstream Provincial Park signs that point to the parking area.
The trail to Mount Finlayson begins about 200-meters across the bridge and along the road as you enter the park. However, there is no parking along that road or near to the trailhead, so you will have to park at the designated parking spots next to the bridge or in the day-use area.
Dogs are allowed on the trail to Mount Finlayson, however keep in mind that there are a few very steep sections that may prove to be challenging for a dog to walk up or walk back down. Please ensure to pick up after your dog and remove all excrement from the park.
Toilet facilities are located at the day-use area for Goldstream Provincial Park. There are no toilets along the trail to Mount Finlayson.