Amphitheater Lake

Strathcona Provincial Park

1 hr 40 min from Downtown Nanaimo, BC
49.745495, -125.320167
The Amphitheatre Lake trail – part of the Forbidden Plateau trail network - is a quick, easy hike through the subalpine to the north of Circlet Lake. Taking only about 25 minutes to hike from Circlet Lake, this hike can easily be accomplished as part of a multi-hike day exploring the Forbidden Plateau trails. The lake itself is moderate in size, with a mud and sand bottom, and offers an escape from the comparatively-busy Circlet Lake. While some find it underwhelming, Circlet Lake makes for a lovely, peaceful lunch spot, and can be used for swimming on warmer days.

To access the trailhead from Circlet Lake Campground, follow the boardwalk around Circlet Lake until reaching the outflow. After crossing the outflowing stream in two places, look for rock cairns and a well-worn trail leading to the right. The trail itself has no flagging or markers, but is well traveled and easily navigable. After following this trail for roughly 15 minutes, there will be two large tarns on the right, followed by another on the left. Continue on for another 10 minutes, and complete the descent into Amphitheatre Lake. To return, simply follow the same trail back to the Circlet Lake campground.
  • Short
  • Easy
  • Out & Back Same Way
  • 2.60 km round-trip
  • 50 min solo
  • 1 hr group
  • 29 m gain
  • Single-Wide
Kids & Pets


49.745495, -125.320167

Driving Time

From Downtown Nanaimo, BC, approximate travel time by car is 1 hr 40 min.

GPS Co-ordinates

Detailed Directions

1. Take Highway 19 north towards Mount Washington Ski Resort
2. Turn left onto Strathcona Parkway about 15 km past Cumberland
3. Follow this for almost 20km and then turn left onto Nordic Drive, after the second switchback.
4. Proceed to Raven Lodge on the left. Park here.

Note: Driving directions are for the trailhead to Circlet Lake. To access the trailhead for Amphitheatre Lake, follow the Circlet Lake trail to Circlet Lake Campground.

Google Directions

Use our written directions in preference to the Google directions below as they are likely more accurate.

Create Album

Photo Albums
No albums to show

If you need assistance, please contact us
Linear Trail
This is a linear (out and back/not a loop) trail; the values below indicate the one-way statistics from the trailhead to the end of the route.
  • Starting Elevation: 1174 meters
  • Ending Elevation: 1203 meters
  • Maximum Elevation: 1203 meters
  • Minimum Elevation: 1174 meters
  • Elevation Gain: 29 meters
There are currently no user comments.

Leave a comment

You must Login to post a comment!

Share this Trail