The area around Thetis Lake has a network of hiking trails situated next to several scenic lakes and a lush west coast rainforest. Popular with hikers, trail runners, and dog walkers of all ages, the trails around both Lower and Upper Thetis Lake are moderately challenging with many beautiful views of the lake.
There are plenty of trails to hike in Thetis Lake Regional Park and you can choose your own route. The description below will follow a popular route around both Lower and Upper Thetis Lake, staying close to the lakes to enjoy the scenic views.
From the main parking lot, walk to the trail and into the forest and within minutes, you arrive at the beach area at Lower Thetis Lake. Continue your hike by walking to the right of the beach and following the trail that's next to the lake. The trail is well defined, has several small uphill and downhill sections, and plenty of views of the scenic lake.
Go left at the first junction and continue to follow the trail so that the lake is on your left. At a second junction, go left and cross over the bridge as you continue to follow the lake's edge.
The trail eventually reaches a major 4-way junction. At the junction, go left and only 20-meters or so further, you reach another junction. Go right at the 2nd junction and make your way up onto the rocky outcrop with a view of Upper Thetis Lake. Follow the trail as you make your way northward with occasional views of the lake to your left. Cross a bridge and a short distance further, you pass a junction with the Seaborn Trail on your right that heads into the backcountry towards Prior Lake and McKenzie Lake. Stay on the main trail around Upper Thetis Lake.
The route continues through a series of up and down sections, some with small rocks as steps or guides to keep you on the trail. There are many viewpoints of the upper lake through this section of trail and, as you are far away from the busy beach area at the lower lake, one of these spots is good to stop for a snack or break.
Continue along the trail and pass a junction to your right that also heads north into the backcountry. The trail passes through a forested area before crossing over a bridge over a small creek where there is another junction with the Phelps Road trail. Go left at this junction and left again at the next junction, a short distance away and continue to stay close to the lake. This side of the lake has fewer ups and downs, making it a bit easier than some of the other sections.
Eventually you will reach the junction with the Trillium Trail. The Trillium Trail goes between Lower and Upper Thetis Lakes and connects to the 4-way junction you passed earlier, however you do not want to take this route. Instead, go right and up the short hill and continue as the trail veers left and arrives at a small parking lot with a boat launch.
Walk across the travel area and continue on the trail as it passes next to a section of Lower Thetis Lake. At the end of this section of water is another junction to your left which takes you out onto a rocky point with a great view of Lower Thetis Lake. Go left and follow this short 15 minutes side trail for a different view of the lake.
Return to the junction from the side trail, or if you did not take the side trail, and continue straight up the short straight hill, going left at the junction at the top. As you continue walking, you begin to hear the busy beach area and within minutes you're back at the Thetis Lake beach. Return to the parking lot by walking away from the water and following one of the trails directly south and within minutes, you will return to where you began your hike.
To get to Thetis Lake from downtown Victoria, drive to Douglas Street and head northbound out of the city as Douglas turns into Highway #1 the Trans-Canada Highway. Take Exit #10 to View Royal / Colwood, making sure to follow the signs and pass underneath the highway. Now on Island Highway, follow this road a short distance and turn right onto Six Mile Road. Follow Six Mile Road as you, again, pass under the highway, and a large parking lot on the left becomes visible. Park in this parking lot and the trail begins at the far corner.
Bus #50: Langford / Downtown via Coldstream stops near Thetis Lake but it will require an approximately 20-minute walk from the bus stop to the Thetis Lake area and the start of the trail. This bus begins from Government Street next to the Parliament Buildings and has multiple stops along Douglas Street. The bus ride takes about 40-minutes.
Under-control dogs are allowed on the trails around Thetis Lake, however they must be on a leash and cannot stay at beach and picnic areas from June 1 - September 15. Please make sure to pick up after your dog and remove all excrement from the park.
There are bathrooms located in the building by the main beach area of Thetis Lake. The main beach is located a few minutes walking distance from the parking lot and is the area for the start and finish of your hike around the Thetis Lake area. There are no other toilet facilities along the trails in the park.