Stotan Falls looks as though it has been plucked from a tropical location and dropped onto Vancouver Island. This section of the Puntledge River is a great option to spend a hot summer day, swimming in the mellow currents, jumping from waterfalls, exploring behind waterfalls, and lounging in the river kettles.

How to get there

From Vancouver you take a ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo (1 hour 45 mins) and from Nanaimo it’s about a 1.5-hour drive north. It’s near the town of Courtenay in the Comox Valley which in itself is a great place to explore. From Nanaimo make your way to the Inland Island Highway (BC-19 N) and drive about 100km to the Cumberland/Courtenay/Comox exit. Here’s a Google Map for Stotan Falls that will lead you right to the spot.

What to consider

    • Stotan Falls is on privately owned land. The owners (3L Developments) used to allow free access but have started charging a small fee to recover costs (liability insurance, maintenance).
    • It costs $5 per person or $10 per family.
    • Water shoes or something similar with decent grip are a good idea as part of the river bed on which you walk can be a little slippery.
    • There are river kettles (pot holes) all throughout the river bed (which might only be ankle deep) so pay attention to your steps

Some of the kettles are deep enough to jump in, and there are parts of the river deep enough to dive/jump in from higher rocks and waterfalls. Be sure to check the depth before jumping.

  • There are no bathrooms and no food, so come fully prepared.
  • Practice standard backcountry etiquette: Pack out what you pack in (even organic materials like apple cores and banana peels). LEAVE NO TRACE.