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.