Mount Work is one of the largest regional parks, and is the dominant hill on the horizon from many vantage points in Saanich, Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula. This popular recreation spot offers a variety of landscapes and activities.
- Three freshwater lakes – Durrance, Fork and Pease – for swimming, canoeing and fishing (Durrance Lake is stocked with catchable Rainbow Trout)
- 11km of trails through forest to the summit (449m) of Mount Work
- Mount Work – Hartland, a separate area of multi-use trails open to mountain biking
- Accessible loop trail at Munn Road entrance
Trail Rating: Moderate to Challenging
Size: 696.86 hectares
Location: Ross – Durrance Road and Munn Road in the Highlands; Hartland Avenue in Saanich
Hours: sunrise to sunset
Things to Do
Visitors can hike to the mountain summit on a sometimes challenging trail that runs north and south, spanning the park’s entire length. The trails to the summit lead through natural glacial rock formations. Conditions in the park vary with the weather, and you’re fully exposed to the elements during the ascent, so plan accordingly. Please stay on the main trails, as the mossy groundcover is sensitive to damage from trampling.
Of the lakes within Mount Work Regional Park, Durrance Lake is the most accessible, and a favourite among families and picnickers. The water is cool and fresh for swimming. Nestled in a valley carved between the shadow of Mount Work and the neighbouring Partridge Hills, the lake is ringed with forested slopes.
A well-groomed path gives way to a narrow twisting hiking trail that circles the lake. Submerged logs and dead trees on the boggy south side of the lake provide important breeding habitat and a foraging area for a number of wildlife species. Durrance Lake is also a popular fly-fishing spot with a population of smallmouth bass and cutthroat trout with an accessible fishing float.
Multi-use trails open to mountain biking lie on the east slope of Mount Work, separate from the main park. These trails cover a range of terrain, from moderate, rolling hills to the most difficult grade for advanced mountain bikers. Use extreme caution, and be prepared for hazards or difficult sections on any trail.
For more information on the Mount Work-Hartland mountain biking trails, contact CRD Parks’ volunteer partner, the South Island Mountain Bike Society, at:
Accessible Munn Road Loop Trail
Visitors can enjoy an accessible 630-metre loop trail on a smooth gravel surface with gradual slopes in a forest. Take in a medley of evergreens and rich understory of native shrubs, ferns, mosses and woodland flowers at the Munn Road entrance to Mount Work. Travel clockwise from the main trail head.
Ross-Durrance has ample parking and room full and mid-size buses, information kiosk, and toilet.
Durrance Road has parking, boat launch, accessible fishing pier, accessible toilet and emergency phone. There is also a beach and picnic area.
Munn Road has ample parking, including 3 accessible parking stalls and room for full and mid-size buses. There is an accessible and an information kiosk.
Hartland has a parking lot, information kiosk, accessible toilet and emergency phone.
How to Get There
Follow the Pat Bay Highway from Victoria, and take the West Saanich Road exit. From West Saanich Road, turn left on Wallace Drive, and left again on Willis Point Road. Turn left on Ross-Durrance Road, which leads to the park entrance on the left. Allow approximately 40 minutes driving time from Victoria.
Durrance Lake Entrance
Follow the directions above to Willis Point Road. Turn right on Durrance Close, which leads to the park entrance.
Follow the directions above to West Saanich Road. Turn left on Hartland Avenue, which leads to the park entrance on the right.
Munn Road Entrance
Follow the Trans-Canada Highway from Victoria, and take the #14 exit to Highlands. Keep right at the fork. Turn right at Millstream Lake Road and slight right at Munn Road.
There is bus service to the Hartland Entrance only. Take BC Transit bus #83 from the Royal Oak Exchange to West Saanich Road at Hartland Road. Contact BC Transit for schedule information.
From the parking lot on Ross Durrance Road, you’ll find a trail leading down to a wonderful spot for picnicing or just gazing at wildlife – McKenzie Bight. It’s part of Gowlland Tod Provincial Park.
McKenzie Bight is a scenic beach area located along the eastern shore of Saanich Arm in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. The hike to the beach area can be completed via a loop by walking down the steep Cascade Trail past Cascade Falls and returning via the wider McKenzie Bight Trail.
Dogs are permitted in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park but must be kept on a leash at all times. There is wildlife in the park, including several cougar sightings annually, so it is important to be extra cautious for your and your dog’s safety. Please ensure to pick up after your dog and remove all excrement from the park.
Pit toilets are located in two places. There are toilets along the McKenzie Bight trail just down from the parking lot area and also near the beach area, just north and up the small hill from the where the trails access the beach area.
The trail is not bad, but it does lead down considerably to the shore. It’s about a half-hour walk down and a bit longer coming back up. Take your time and enjoy the scenery!