Outdoor Recreation

Land Based Programs

Conquer mountain trails, explore picturesque parks, rise above rock walls, and wind through coastal forests. Some of our hiking, biking, and climbing experiences are meant to be challenging while others are geared towards beginners.

Mt Benson

Advanced Hiking Sunset – Mt Benson

4pm to 8pm, Wednesday, Sept 23

This activity is a sunset hike to the summit of Mt. Benson (1400m). The summit of Mt. Benson is reached by some steep hiking trails that start above Nanaimo.

Students can expect to hike for up to 2.5 hours to reach the summit and the return trip down can take almost as long. The hike is called Advanced because students need to have a good to excellent fitness level to enjoy this activity.

The sunset hike was new for the fall of 2021 and has proven to be an instant classic. Watching the sun go down from the summit of Mt Benson is pretty awesome.

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Mt Benson

Advanced Hiking – Mt Benson

10am to 5pm, Saturday, Nov 26

This activity is a hike to the summit of Mt. Benson (1400m). The summit of Mt. Benson is reached by some steep hiking trails that start above Nanaimo.

Students can expect to hike for up to 2.5 hours to reach the summit and the return trip down can take almost as long. The hike is called Advanced because students need to have a good to excellent fitness level to enjoy this activity.

This hike is an absolute must do if you are a student at VIU – a real classic with beautiful views of the strait and mountains of Vancouver Island.

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Cowichan River

Hiking – Cowichan River

10am to 5pm, Saturday, Nov 12

This program is a guided hike into the beautiful area of Cowichan River Provincial Park. This activity requires students to hike for up to 3 hours on relatively easy to moderate trails, with some steep sections going both up and down.

Please bring enough food and water for your entire day. Students may leave extra food, clothing, and personal items in a locked vehicle while hiking.

The Cowichan River hike is a beautiful experience with interesting geology and ecology. It makes for an excellent day trip.

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Strathcona

Hiking – Strathcona Provincial Park

9am to 6pm, Friday, Oct 7

This is activity is a guided hike into the eastern side of Strathcona Provincial Park. We access and start our hike from the Mt Washington ski area and from here typically hike out towards Lake Helen McKenzie and well beyond. 

The trails are in good shape, wide, and for the most part there is not too much vertical gain and loss on in this area. You will not be climbing to the summit of mountains on this hike but instead enjoying the beautiful alpine meadows and putting on some easy kilometers. 

This hike is suitable for beginner hikers and people with moderate fitness. Students can expect to hike up to 4 or 5 hours on this activity.

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Bouldering

Bouldering – RavenWood

6pm to 8pm, Thursdays, Oct 13, 20, 27, Nov 3, 10

We were excited to introduce this activity for the first time in 2022 at Nanaimo’s RavenWood Boulders.

Bouldering is a climbing sport that takes place on a short wall that does not require the use of ropes or harnesses. This means when you fall you are only a short distance from the floor and land on thick crash pads.

Bouldering facilities are set up with lots of different routes to choose from so there is something for everybody. VIU provides transportation, your pass for the evening, and rock climbing shoes. Come out, meet new people, and give bouldering a try!

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Oct 13  Oct 20  Oct 27  Nov 3  Nov 10