The Alberni Valley

Welcome to the Alberni Valley. We call it the “real west coast” because that’s what you’ll find here: a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing and boating, as well as other outdoor adventures such as windsurfing, zip lining, mountain climbing, mountain biking and more.

There’s so much to do and explore… One of our most striking features is the Alberni Inlet, a long narrow arm of the ocean that travels inland from Barkley Sound, excellent for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Just north of Port Alberni is Stamp River, with incredible Chinook and steelhead fishing. In fact, in late summer, over half a million salmon spawn near the Stamp River Hatchery, making it a favourite for local black bears (and bear watching!). South of Port Alberni is China Creek Marina, with a private campground and boat launch. Sproat Lake is great for rainbow trout fishing, and features the famous Mars Water Bombers. Or, if you’re keen on kayaking or diving, try Barkley Sound, home to the Broken Group of Islands, a series of islands and reefs.

Our claims to fame:

  • The only access to Della Falls, the highest waterfall in Canada
  • Where the first old age Pension Cheque in Canada was given in 1927
  • Data relay site of the Neptune Project, the world’s largest fibre -optic cable seafloor observatory system
  • Sproat Lake is home to the world’s largest flying boats ever flown operationally
  • Birthplace of Canada’s first female prime minister
  • Site of BC’s first export sawmill in 1860
  • Site of BC’s first paper mill, 1894
  • Childhood home of Rick Hansen, the first person to wheelchair around the world on his Man In Motion Tour to raise funds for spinal cord research
  • Childhood home of Colin Angus, the first person to go around the world by human power: skiing, hiking, biking and rowing
  • Site of the first Mile Zero post of the Trans Canada Highway
  • Home of the only ¼ mile drag strip on Vancouver Island (Thunder in the Valley Drag Races Event)
  • The only Canadian city to be damaged in a tsunami
  • The furthest west terminus of the first car driven across Canada in 1912
  • The only city in BC to host all four BC Games: Winter, Summer, Seniors and Athletes with Disabilities
  • Adjacent to Mt. Arrowsmith, the highest mountain on southern Vancouver Island