A great group of participants from the Comox Valley, Campbell River & Victoria enjoyed the hike to Upper Myra Falls at Buttle Lake yesterday, with a visit to Lower Myra Falls at the end of the day. Access to the trails is within Strathcona-Westmin Park – unusual in that it incorporates a working mine, separated out of Strathcona Provincial Park in 1965 and designated as a Class B provincial park.
The trail to the Upper Falls travels 4 km through old-growth forest with large boulders amid redcedar, Douglas-fir and western hemlock, with just about 150m of cumulative elevation gain.
Upper Myra Falls drops 60m into a turquoise pool below.
We spotted several varieties of berries including the unique single blue berry of Queen’s cup . An exception to the usual rule of thumb that blue berries are edible – this single berry is considered mildly toxic.
The spotted pale red berries of false Solomon’s seal are also unusual, and not palatable.
More common were the bright red clusters of bunchberry, which are edible.
While the Upper Myra Falls are pretty, the Lower Myra Falls are spectacular – with several terraces of basalt & limestone rocks alternating with turquoise pools.
From the lower viewpoint, views of Syd Watts Peak & even the southwest shoulder of Mt Albert Edward can be glimpsed beyond Buttle Lake to the northeast.
From a higher viewpoint, the upper terrace waterfall also spills into a beautiful aquamarine pool. The total loop trail is only 1.2 km.
The Strathcona Wilderness Institute 2014-2015 calendar features a beautiful photo of Lower Myra Falls by photographer Ron Otsu.