Hiker sitting at Pickles' Bluff in John Dean Provincial Park in Victoria, BC

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8 Spectacular Viewpoints in Victoria

Are you looking for some breathtaking views of Victoria, British Columbia? If the answer is yes, then you should definitely check out these spectacular viewpoints around Greater Victoria, which offer some of the best panoramic views of the city’s skyline and natural beauty.

Lush temperate rainforests, rugged coastlines, mountaintop vistas… there are so many beautiful spots to see around the city of Victoria. Even after years of living here, we still find the views breathtaking!

We cover some of the best scenic spots and unparalleled vistas around Victoria, BC. These top viewpoints feature sweeping views of the city’s skyline, forests, ocean, coastline, and mountains. Don’t forget a camera!

Best Spectacular Viewpoints Around Victoria, BC

PKOLS (Mount Douglas Park)

The spectacular view of Cordova Bay from the summit of PKOLS (Mount Douglas)

PKOLS (Mount Douglas Park) has some of the best panoramic ocean and city views that Victoria has to offer. At the summit of this 225 meter (738 foot) mountain, you’ll find sweeping 360º views of the city of Victoria, rural Saanich, and Cordova Bay. Across the Salish Sea, you’ll even be able to spot the the stunning Olympic and Cascade Mountains!

For those that enjoy hiking, the Irvine, Glendenning, and South Ridge trails lead up to the two peaks of PKOLS (Mount Douglas). Otherwise, drive up Churchill Drive to the hill’s summit, where there’s a small parking lot.

Little Mount Douglas, just to the west of PKOLS, also offers incredible views. This smaller peak is slightly less busy, and is accessed from the Whittaker Loop or Blenkinsop.

Pickles’ Bluff

The spectacular Pickles' Bluff viewpoint in John Dean Provincial Park in Greater Victoria, BC

The Pickles’ Bluff viewpoint is one of our favorite places to go in North Saanich with some of the best views of the Saanich Peninsula, Gulf Islands and Cascade Mountains.

This gorgeous viewpoint is located on the east side of Mount Newton in ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ (pronounced like “Tlay-will-nook”) / John Dean Provincial Park. While there are several other viewpoints in the park, Pickles’ Bluff offers the best vistas of Greater Victoria.

During the summer, Pickles’ Bluff is easily accessed by driving Dean Park Road to the upper John Dean parking lot. However, from November to March, the park is walk-in only as the road is closed. To access the viewpoint, hikers can either walk the road to Mount Newton’s summit or follow the Fern Dell or Lauwelnew hiking trails through the forest.

Gowlland Tod Provincial Park

The view of Finlayson Arm at Squally Reach via the Timberman Trail at Gowlland Tod Provincial Park

Gowlland Tod Provincial Park is a beautiful protected area that encompasses the Gowlland Range. The park stretches along the eastern side of the Saanich Inlet and protects most of Tod Inlet. Here, you’ll find several amazing viewpoints, all offering incredible views over the water.

Jocelyn Hill has some of the best views of the Finlayson Arm, a gorgeous fjord in Greater Victoria that connects the Saanich Inlet to the Goldstream River. From the south, the viewpoint is accessed via the Jocelyn Hill Loop Trail, which also crosses Holmes Peak — another top viewpoint in the park. From the north, the Timberman Trail takes you to Jocelyn Hill, passing by the Squally Reach viewpoint along the way.

The Squally Reach viewpoint provides amazing views over the Squally Reach portion of the Saanich Inlet. Accessed best on the Timberman Trail, the hike takes you through the forest of Gowlland Tod Provincial Park to the Squally Reach viewpoint. Make sure to stop at Mckenzie Bight while you’re in the park!

There’s also a fair chance of running into wildlife like black bears and cougars in Gowlland Tod. We recommend bringing bear spray!

Mount Finlayson

Located in Goldstream Provincial Park, the impressive Mount Finlayson features one of the steepest hikes in Victoria — but the challenge is definitely worth it!

At 419 meters (1,375 feet), Mount Finlayson is one of the highest mountains in Greater Victoria. The hike up the mountain is a continuous steep climb that’s only a few kilometers long. You’ll get an excellent cardio workout hiking to the top!

After making the trek to the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views over the forests of Greater Victoria and Goldstream Provincial Park, as well as the Sooke Hills, Langford, Bear Mountain, Greater Victoria, and the Salish Sea.

Clover Point Park and Dallas Road

The beautiful coastline of Victoria along Dallas Road

Clover Point Park and Dallas Road have some of the best views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and coastline along the south side of Victoria. Close to downtown Victoria, these spots are convenient to access and provide amazing views of coastal cliffs over the rocky coastline and Spiral Beach.

The Dallas Road oceanfront walkway is an incredible and accessible way to see some of Victoria’s best coastal sights. This 4-km long pathway stretches from the Ross Bay seawall and Clover Point Park to the Ogden Point breakwater.

Walk the length of the Dallas Road pathway for incredible views, or sit at one of the many benches along the route and enjoy the sights. There are stairs down to Spiral Beach, for those who want to be close to the water. The walkway also passes beside one of the most beautiful gardens in Victoria: Beacon Hill Park.

East Sooke Regional Park

Some of the best coastal viewpoints around Greater Victoria are in East Sooke Regional Park. This 1474 hectare park is an incredible example of BC’s West Coast, with mossy rainforest, pocket beaches, and waves crashing on the rugged coastline.

The Coastal Trail has some of the best viewpoints in East Sooke Regional Park. This 10-km long (one-way) hiking trail follows the coastline from Aylard Farm to Iron Mine Bay. Along the way, you’ll see spectacular views of the Salish Sea, hiking alongside the water and through the coastal rainforest.

Even if you don’t hike the entire Coastal Trail, it’s worth walking a section just to see the beautiful coastline. Coastal viewpoints of note in East Sooke include Creyke Point, the petroglyph at Alldridge Point, Beechey Head, Cabin Point, and Pike Point.

Mount Tolmie Park

With breathtaking expansive views of Victoria, Mount Tolmie Park is considered one of the best viewpoints to see the full city.

At the top of this 120 meter (394 foot) hill, you’ll be treated to amazing views from Oak Bay to Saanich to downtown Victoria, and beyond. Look for landmarks like the Chatham Islands, San Juan Islands, PKOLS (Mount Doug), and across the ocean, Mount Baker and the Olympic Mountains.

For those who don’t want to hike to a viewpoint, Mount Tolmie Park is an excellent choice. While there are trails through the park, Mayfair Drive will take you all the way to the summit, with a parking lot at the top. This is one of the best viewpoints to watch the sunset in Victoria — you don’t even need to leave your vehicle!

Gonzales Hill Regional Park

The view of Gonzales Bay from the Gonzales Observatory, Victoria

Gonzales Hill Regional Park is the tiniest CRD park in Greater Victoria at 1.8 hectares but despite its size, it offers some truly incredible views!

While only 66 meters (216.5 feet) high, this hill is the tallest point of land in southern Victoria. From Gonzales Hill, as well as the nearby Walbran Park, you’ll get amazing views over the Juan de Fuca Strait, Oak Bay, Trial Islands, and Gonzales Bay (home to one of the best sandy beaches in Victoria).

Within the regional park, there is the Gonzales Hill Observatory, a strikingly white heritage building overlooking the city. Also, if you follow Denison Road to Walbran Park, there is a viewing platform at the top of the hill to look over the ocean.

Top Travel Tips & Resources for Victoria, BC

  • Travel Insurance – If you’re travelling internationally, travel insurance is a must for any trip. Being covered by insurance is especially important when you’re going to an adventure-filled place like British Columbia. If you injure yourself while adventuring, you want to have insurance! We recommend using SafetyWing for international travel insurance. They are affordable and have great policies for travellers, digital nomads, and remote workers. Also, SafetyWing provides COVID-19 coverage, which many other insurance companies don’t cover.
  • Car Rental – We find the best deal on vehicle rental prices using RentalCars.com. They compare the prices for different car rental companies so you can find the best deals out there!
  • Accommodations – We prefer booking all of our hotels, hostels, and other accommodations through Booking.com because they have a flexible cancellation policy. Also, there are lots of different options on their platform, from hotels to vacation homes. Alternatively, Expedia and Hotels.com are good for booking accommodations. For vacation home rentals, VRBO is an excellent choice (they have lower fees than Airbnb, many of the same properties, and are more ethical).
  • Flights – You’ll find many good flight deals on Skyscanner or Google Flights. You can book flights through these websites and they’ll help you find the best prices and flight times. If you fly at less popular times (e.g. mid-week or red-eye flights), you can also save some money.
  • Tours – Get the most out of your vacation by taking a guided tour! This is a great way to see the city, adventure to exciting new locations, and learn about the local culture. Viator or GetYourGuide are great options for booking tours.

About the author

Hey, I'm Nicole! I've travelled all over the world but my favorite place is British Columbia. I've lived in Victoria, BC since 2019 and spend most of my free time travelling around BC. My goal is to explore as much of this beautiful province as possible. Along the way I'll be sharing travel tips with you!

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