July 1/2: Canada Day Long Weekend at Buttle Lake, Strathcona Provinical Park

Some time in June, my good friend Jack mentioned that he'd seen some photos of Myra Falls up Vancouver Island in Strathcona Provincial Park. He said we should go check them out and we figured we might as well make a camping trip out of it and get a few of our friends up there for Canada Day Long Weekend. 

Checking BC Parks online reservation system we found that there were no reserveable camp sites left at either of the Buttle Lake campgrounds, Buttle Lake or Ralph River. Although this was somewhat worrying, we decided that come June 30, we'd try our luck.

Thus, come June 30, Frodo the 4runner and I picked up Jack and his girlfriend Taylor, as well as our close friend Sam, and began the three hour drive to Ralph River Campground. With a few stops along the way, we arrived to find a couple of great sites available and we booked two; one for us, and another for the rest of our friends that were going to meet us at the campground later that night and the next day.

Come Canada Day, all of our friends had arrived and we spent the weekend chilling out at the campground as well as going on a couple short trips to see a couple of the nearby waterfalls. Our first outing was to see Myra Falls -- after all this was why we came up here in the first place. Having looked online at photos of Myra Falls I wasn't expecting anything mind-boggling; during my Pan-American trip I saw an incredible amount of truly awe-inspiring waterfalls so my expectations are quite high when it comes to falls. However, upon arrival at Myra Falls, I was impressed by the volume and colour of the water. We all cooled out at the falls for a good amount of time, some of us swimming, and others shooting photos and videos. After leaving Myra Falls we briefly checked out the mine within the park, and then headed back to the campground where we chilled around the fire.

The next day, we visited another set of falls, much smaller than Myra: Lupin Falls. Although pretty, I was underwhelmed by this set of falls. After a short visit at Lupin, a few of us spent some time at the lake, while another group, including myself, took the trip to the Strathcona Park Lodge, where we used their wifi, charged our camera batteries, and had a bite to eat.

Later in the evening after reuniting, we all went down to the lake to have a paddle around in my father's canoe which I'd brought strapped atop Frodo. Again, we then chilled out by the fire, and headed home the next day.

Overall, every time I visit Strathcona Provincial Park I am impressed by its beauty. This trip, however, was much different than my last trip to the park which was spent with my girlfriend and her dad hiking up the Flower Ridge Trail and camping on the ridge for a couple nights. Although the Canada Day Weekend trip lacked as much hiking as I would have liked, it was still a great trip to hang with some of my closest friends, and appreciate the beauty of our great nation.

Links to those featured in this blog: Jack, Taylor, Sam, Annika, Niko, Danielle, Virginia, Grant.

Our campsite within Ralph River Campground.

Our first glimpse of Myra Falls.

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Lupin Falls.

Sam at the Lodge.