John Dean Park is situated on top of Mount Newton which overlooks the pastoral Saanich Peninsula, the Gulf Islands and the Cascade Mountains.
It protects one of the last stands of old-growth Douglas fir and Garry oak on the Saanich Peninsula, and is a popular destination for local residents, who visit the park to hike in a pristine wilderness environment and enjoy the spectacular views.
A number of hiking trails, varying in degrees of difficulty, wind through the forest across the south and east face of Mount Newton at this day-use park. Adventurous hikers can climb to the summit of Mount Newton. In the spring the park comes alive with a vivid display of wildflowers native to British Columbia, including drifts of blue camas lilies, as well as common red paintbrush, sea blush and shooting stars. There are several ponds along the trails which can be pretty interesting to photograph!
With a bit of searching you can find what remains of the cabin where John Dean lived in the early 1900’s named “Illahie”. Not much left now but a few rocks and logs from the original building. There is a plaque at the site with a photo of the house and company back in 1917. It looked like a wonderful retreat!
From the top of Mount Newton you can watch as ravens, red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, and turkey vultures put on a display of soaring techniques. The summit of Mount Newton is also regarded as an excellent location to watch some of the best sunsets on Vancouver Island.
Park Size: 174 hectares
**The park is closed to traffic from November – March ** You can walk up the road, but it’s a long walk to the trails and there’s no on-street parking! Bummer!
Activities Available at this Park
Not really ‘bike friendly’ as bicycles must keep to roadway. No biking on trails.
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
- Park Map [PDF 116KB]