Ammonite Falls is an #ExploreNanaimo favourite, and many folks want to know how to safely reach the magnificent views of this waterfall gem. Hint: If you’d like to see just how impressive the waterfalls are in Nanaimo, check out our Waterfall Wanderings blog post.
How To Get To Ammonite Falls
To give you the best directions to Ammonite Falls, we reached out to the amazing local guides at Vancouver Island Expeditions. They even offer guided hikes to the falls, if that’s more up your alley. Whether you’re a newbie hiker or the next Bear Grylls, this accessible trail is perfect for any level.
Driving there: Just 15 minutes from downtown, the chase begins on Jingle Pot Road; from there, drive until you reach Kilpatrick Road, where a left followed by a quick right will get you onto Jameson Road. At the end, you will find an old logging road with a yellow forestry gate roughly 30 meters down. This is your trailhead!
Parking: Be sure to park your vehicle in the designated parking lot on Creekside Place, a short walking distance from the end of Jameson Road. There is lots of room to park on the logging road, but a beautiful hike is not worth a towed vehicle.
The Trail: Once at the trailhead, walk down the well-maintained logging road amongst the tall firs. At the first fork, avoid going uphill and keep right until you see the first blue Ammonite Falls trail marker post. Be sure to follow the directions on these posts as well as the orange flags in the trees throughout your hike. The trail itself is nearly 5 km round-trip and usually takes about 1-1.5 hours out-and-back. Good, sturdy shoes are highly recommended. The trail does get quite saturated on rainy days, so opt for waterproof footwear if you can.
Trail Continued: Follow the trail downhill from here for another half an hour or so. As you near the falls, keep the sounds of Benson Creek to your left.
Eventually, the trail flattens and comes to an opening with a fire pit. Over the ridge to the left is the top of Ammonite Falls. Continue past this section, following the trail down the steep slope until the waterfall comes into full view!
It can get pretty muddy during the rainy season, so be sure to dress appropriately. Until you reach the falls, the trail would be considered intermediate with some minor tripping hazards along the way…..roots, rocks, branches etc. Once in the clearing and in view of the falls, the hazards definitely increase.
To view the falls from below, you will have to venture past trail boundaries. This is not recommended as the ropes are not well maintained and the bank is very eroded. To preserve the creek bank and stop erosion, the Regional District of Nanaimo installed stairs in 2022, giving everyone the chance to see that beautiful view or top off their hike with a refreshing dip!
This area doesn’t have a bathroom or running water, so be sure to come prepared. Visit AdventureSmart.ca for tips on how to safely explore the great outdoors.
Thanks Vancouver Island Expeditions!