Photography Destinations

The Cowichan Valley has an incredible amount of beauty providing for endless photography possibilities. Producing a “Top Ten Photography Destinations” list was quite difficult but here we go, in no particular order.

Top Ten Photography Locations in the Cowichan Valley
The View From Mt Prevost, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
The View From Mt Prevost, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Mt. Prevost – The views from the summit of Mount Prevost are stunning. Overlooking the Cowichan Valley and Southern Gulf Islands, one can look for hours at the views.
Great Blue Heron, Cowichan River Estuary, British Columbia
Great Blue Heron, Cowichan River Estuary, British Columbia
Cowichan Bay Estuary – Rise early in the morning and wander out along one of the paths in the Cowichan Bay Estuary, you won’t be disappointed. Generally the trails are relatively quiet only with the odd dog owner taking Fido for a walk. Sunrise in Cowichan Bay can often be magical and the bird life doesn’t get any better. Take a long lens for the birds, I use a 300mm, but don’t forget the picturesque landscape as well so you may want a wide angle in your bag.

Cowichan River Provincial Park, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Cowichan River Provincial Park, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Cowichan River Provincial Park – The Cowichan River flows 47km from fabulous Cowichan Lake through beautiful rain forest and fields on it’s way to the Cowichan Bay Estuary in the Pacific Ocean. Cowichan River Provincial Park encompasses much of the forested area. Giant cedars and maples, excellent fishing and an interesting salmon run in the fall. Always changing and beautiful any time of the year.

Trumpeter Swans at the Somenos Marsh, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Trumpeter Swans at the Somenos Marsh, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Somenos Marsh – Marshes are special places and the Somenos Marsh is no exception. On any given day dozens of bird species are visible, especially for those willing to wake up early for sunrise. Often the light is gorgeous at sunrise as well. Located just north of the city of Duncan, park just off the highway and enjoy.

Downtown Ladysmith, Ladysmith, British Columbia
Downtown Ladysmith, Ladysmith, British Columbia
Downtown Ladysmith – Ladysmith was once named one of Canada’s prettiest cities by Harrowsmith Magazine. The town is very picturesque with many of the old buildings on the main street in surprisingly good condition. Many of these old buildings received new colourful paint jobs a few years back during a large movie production.

Vineyard in the Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Vineyard in the Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
South Cowichan Valley Vineyards – There’s just something really photographic when it comes to vineyards. Maybe it’s the romantic part, maybe the perfectly planted rows of green vines with gorgeous grapes of many different colours. Likely it’s the fact that you can have a glass of wine while enjoying the beauty and talking to others about the good things in life.

Totem Poles in Downtown Duncan, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Totem Poles in Downtown Duncan, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Duncan Totem Poles – Duncan has an interesting collection of native totem poles from British Columbia as well as Quebec and New Zealand. There are approximately 50 located throughout the city. Very colourful and interesting stories behind most of them.

Gordon Bay Provincial Park, Cowichan Lake, British Columbia
Gordon Bay Provincial Park, Cowichan Lake, British Columbia
Cowichan Lake – While the town of Lake Cowichan has some interesting photographic possibilities it’s the lake itself that is the destination for most travellers. Try Gordon Bay Provincial Park for land based activities with beautiful forest walks and a sandy beach. For the more adventuresome, the lake itself is 30km of bays and islands with camping areas, good fishing and beautiful sunrises.

Barn and Sunflowers in Glenora, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Barn and Sunflowers in Glenora, Cowichan Valley, British Columbia
Glenora Area – Located just south of Duncan, Glenora is largely a farming community with the picture perfect calendar farms at every turn in the road. Want photos of barns? this is your place.

Ganges Saturday Market, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
Ganges Saturday Market, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia
Salt Spring Island – Yeah, I know that Salt Spring Island isn’t really part of the Cowichan Valley but neither are Chemainus and Ladysmith if one wants to get really technical about it. Salt Spring Island is only a 20 minute ferry ride away from Crofton. Hop on the ferry early Saturday morning and take in the Ganges Saturday Market, the largest and most interesting market in the area. Lots of artists, fresh produce, psychedelic t-shirts and skirts, you get the idea! Don’t miss the view from Mount Maxwell.