How to get to Nitinaht Lake

Malachan is the present-day home community of the Ditidaht First Nation. It is located on the shores of Nitinaht Lake, 1 hour from Port Alberni and 1.5 hours from Duncan. Access is along active, dirt logging roads and it is recommended you have a reliable vehicle with a spare tire. Always pull over for logging trucks, ensuring you provide plenty of room for these large vehicles. Take time to stop and enjoy the scenery filled with seasonal elk herds, eagles, and stunning rainforest.


Directions

From Duncan:

Heading north on the Trans Canada Highway follow the signs to Highway 18, Youbou, and Lake Cowichan. You’ll take the next left at the stop lights. If heading south you’ll take a right past the North Cowichan Municipal Hall onto Highway 18 and then drive 23 km to the Youbou/Lake Cowichan Junction.

At the junction, stay to your right and follow the signs to Youbou where you will drive another 15 km through the town to the end of the pavement, which now extends 4 km past the Youbou Fire Hall. Stay on the main gravel road and travel another 15 km around the lake (Cowichan Lake). At the end of the lake, continue straight on the main gravel road for about 40 km, until you reach a large T – junction with signs marking left for Nitinaht and right for Port Alberni. At the T – junction make a left and travel the final 7 km to Nitinaht village. You will see Nitinaht Lake on your right and you will soon be on paved road. Stay to your left and you will pass the Community Centre, Motel, and General Store. Continue through the village and past the saw mill on the gravel road, which curves around to the right.

From Port Alberni:

Nitinaht Lake is 80 km southeast of Port Alberni. Leaving Port Alberni, follow the gravel road towards Bamfield. At what used to be ‘Franklin Camp’ there is a stop sign, turn left and follow signs towards Lake Cowichan. There is about 17 km of lumpy paved road, which reverts to gravel. Continue straight after the gravel begins again. You will eventually cross a large bridge over the Nitinaht River; continue straight on past the big T – junction about 200 meters after the bridge.

At the T – junction, continue straight another 7 km to Nitinaht (a left turn at the junction goes to Lake Cowichan). The Nitinaht River will be on your right. Continue on for another 7 km and you will see signs to the Village. You will see Nitinaht Lake on your right and you will soon be on paved road. Stay to your left, and you will pass the Community Centre, Motel, and General Store. Continue through the village and past the saw mill, on the gravel road, which curves around to the right.

Welcome to the Nitinaht Campsite!


Click here for detailed (though somewhat outdated) directions to Nitinaht Lake.