Sooke Potholes Provincial Park is a popular destination along the Sooke River with a unique rock formation that was formed from the last ice-age millions of years ago. The park area has several trails along the river, close to the shoreline and others that are high above the rock pools.
There isn't a single route to take like other hiking trails but there are several short trails that lead to viewpoints and to the river areas. Parking in either lot #1 or #2 are both equally good as you will need to walk between both lots and there will be some uphill and downhill sections but you will also need to return to your vehicle up the same route you walked down, for example. Some of the trails can be steep, including some rock stairs down to a viewpoint that are very steep. Also, caution should be used when walking out onto any rocks near the river as the rocks are often slippery from being a wet and the risk of falling and injury yourself is always possible.
For this description, we start from parking lot #2, the higher of the two parking lots. Walk to the area of the parking lot where you drove in and follow the gravel path next to the road as it heads downhill. Keep following the path until it meets a junction and go right down the steep hill. Near the bottom, the trail turns into rock stairs that are very steep as you make your way to the bottom to see he view of the water cascading into the canyon below.
After seeing the view, walk back up the stairs and the steep trail to the junction and this time go right, following the trail to a clearing by a Visitor Centre where there are additional views into the canyon.
From this point, you can decide whether to walk down towards parking lot #1, where some trails access the river area, or return to parking lot #2. If you decide to walk down to parking lot #1, there are only partial trails to get there and you will have to walk on the side of a section of road. To do so, follow the trail on the far end of the visitor centre as it heads downhill but ends at the road. Walk down the side road, being careful to stay close to the side and avoid the vehicles driving through. Watch for a trail to the right and walk down the rock steps, continuing as it heads down into the forest.
At the bottom of hill, first go right and follow the trail through the forest to where it reaches a clearing and you climb up onto several rocks. This area offers a nice view of the river area but watch your footing on these rocks as they are often slippery. Return to the trail, heading back where you came, and pass the junction so that you continue further down stream. When the trail reaches a wide trail to the right, follow the wide route downhill to a rocky beach area next to the river.
Return to the trail and follow it as it loops around and arrives at parking lot #1. If you parked at parking lot #2, you will now need to hike back up to your car. Walk to the far end of parking lot #1 and begin walking up the side of the road, staying close to the edge. Go left and follow the gravel trail uphill, back to the visitor centre. Continue along the gravel trail on the other side, this time going right at the junction as the trail brings you back to the area near parking lot #2.
Stoke Potholes Provincial Park is located to the west of downtown Victoria near the community of Sooke. To drive there from downtown Victoria, drive to Douglas Street and head northbound as you leave the city and Douglas turns into Highway #1. Continue following the highway and take Exit #10 to View Royal / Colwood, stay to the left and passing underneath the highway.
Drive along Sooke Road for the next 20km and watch for signs as you enter into the community of Sooke. Turn right onto Sooke River Road and drive north for about 5km into the Provincial Park. If you are unable to find parking in Parking Log #1, drive further up the hill and parking in Parking Lot #2.
Dogs must be on a least at all times in the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. Please ensure to pickup after your dog and dispose of any excrement.
Pit toilets are located at Parking 1 and Parking 2. There are no other toilet facilities along any trails in the park.
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