Nanaimo River

181 Boulder Problems


Conglomerate sandstone bouldering in one of the best locations on the Island. Bring your swimwear and a towel if you plan on coming here in the summer.

Nanaimo River Flow Monitoring

*With a water level of 1.5m recorded at the monitoring station, the only lower river boulders underwater or partially underwater are Amphibian and Underwater Horse Massacre, everything else is climbable.

*Boulders actually in the river such as Clairvoyance, Fortune Cat, and Bass Hole are climbable at 0.62m. Serene seems to require a landing as it always has water under it.*

*The Dragon Claw / Zen Garden area is hard to predict early in the year. Big ponds form there when the river is high that take a while to dry up. Also this area can collect a lot of big logs and debris from the winter. It is best to ask a Nanaimo resident if you are planning on making a trip just to climb around Dragon Claw.*


Directions / Travel Info:

Turn off Island Highway onto Nanaimo River Road, following signs for Wild Play. Follow Nanaimo River Road for 2.5k to where the power lines cross the road, where you will see a large gravel shoulder for parking near the gate. Park and follow the dirt road East beyond the gate and towards the river.
The path splits here as shown in the Topo. Left through the trees takes you to the Forest boulders and downstream of Lower Sunny Side. Right takes you to a set of stairs heading down the cliff to all the other areas.

Upper Dark Side is best accessed by crossing the river just upstream from Fight Milk.

Lower Dark Side can also be accessed easily this way, or by parking at the Dark Side parking at the end of Riverbend Rd.

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