Travel – Port Alberni – Hole in the Wall

Lifestyle / Friday, August 12th, 2016

A Hole in the Wall

I love that I make it over to Vancouver Island to visit my mom once a month. Gregory goes to visit his Grandma for a few days, which is very important. And when I come to pick him up, I stay the night and go exploring with my mom. Today I wanted to share with you our adventure to Port Alberni to check a Hole in the Wall.


Travel to Port Alberni on Vancouver island and visit the not so best kept secret of Port Alberni, Hole in the Wall


To find Hole in the Wall, you’ll want to drive up Alberni Highway, passing through Cathedral Grove along the way. Don’t forget to check this place out! You’re going to think you’ll miss the pull off, and you might. Driving North, the pull off is on your left, the driver’s side. It’s just a  steep bank that drops into the bush.

Keep a look out on the passenger side (while driving North) for Coombs Country Candy. You can pull in there for a turn around and park on the side of the highway with the trailhead. If by chance you pass this pull off, I believe you’ll find another place to turn around in town.

Trailhead for Hole in the Wall in Port Alberni. A great 30 minute hike

Trail Markers

Right off the bat you’ll find a sign stating you are headed towards Hole in the Wall. it’s a fairly straight forward pathway, and where there is a fork in the road there is another sign. Very easy to follow, I really don’t think you can get lost along your way.

Oh, where the large fork is along the trailhead, it’s large. Large enough for vehicles. There is a cliff like feature to the left that is quite impressive. I, the oh so adventurous one, took it upon myself to climb up for the experience to share. I climbed up through the bush along the right side and found myself dealing with my fear of heights as I sat up top for a photo.

There is a very easy trail on the left side of this that you can walk, so you aren’t hiking through the bush. Literally. This left trail is a biking trail and will lead you to the top lookout where you might be able to see me in this photo. It’s blurry, I am still saving for that DSLR. It’s coming!

Hole in the wall, Port Alberni's not so best kept secret. Come check out this 30 minute hike on Vancouver island

Hole in the Wall

I found this site which shares a bit of facts on Hole in the wall, I thought I’d share some main points and if you wanted to read more you can head on over there. It’s a goodie, and with photos before it became known to more than just locals. Not as touched by humans in recent years.


  • Served as towns water supply pre-1967
  • The wall is made of Volcanic Shale
  • If you continue past the cairns you will come upon a waterfall… apparently
  • There is another waterfall too, apparently.

Okay so those last two facts are pretty loose. I literally just saw an instagram post while I posted my photo and had to do some deeper research. I will update this information and let you in on the details when I get them. I’ve already told Momma Bear we’ve got to  make another trip in the future.

Hole in the Wall, Port Ablerni. Perfect for families and those who want to take a quick swim in some beautiful fresh water


This is a well known area to locals, so don’t hesitate to jump in the water. Chances are you’ll see several kids and an adult or two swimming, climbing the logs and up the waterfall. I even saw a boy slide down the waterfall. How? I have no idea. But he made it possible. Kids, they think in ways we cannot. I love it.

Found my new swimming hole to adventure to, #HoleInTheWall Port Alberni, here I come! Click To Tweet

Climbing Through

I climbed through the hole, which is easier said than done. Our little group arrived before the local swimmers, so I had several minutes of me thinking I will make it through. Then, I watched these kids go up and down like nobodies business. Then I was like ‘yeah, my turn.’ and then the struggle came.

I took of my socks and shoes for better grip, and to preserve them from getting wet. The shale is slippery and slips away if you aren’t careful. Also, when you get to the water, it is rushing rather fast. The rocks are slippery with slime so I recommend moving slow unless you have no fear of a waterfall slip and slide down a shale rock wall. Your choice.

Rear View of Hole in the Wall, Port Alberni.

The Other Side

Looking back through the hole is cool, and everyone looks further away than they are. Maybe the hole creates a tunnel vision type of thing. I dunno, maybe my eyes are going bad.

When I return to find the waterfalls, I also want to explore more of the backside of the hole. There were more vehicle-sized trails and smaller trailheads. I couldn’t go far, shoe-less. And I couldn’t go far abandoning my mom and son. So there is much still to discover here, let me know what I can expect if you explore before I do in the comments.

Building cairns and inukshuks at Port Alberni's Hole in the wall. Come build one yourself and leave your mark

Cairns and Inukshuks

If you follow the trail past the hole in the wall (not through, keep to the trail) you’ll come across rocks set up in many formations. A table and a few chairs along the riverbed. Just further along after those are about a billion cairns and inukshuks. There were tons, it was awesome to see, and it was quite the attraction. So many people came to view this as we were. No longer Port Alberni’s best kept secret.

Gregory knocked one over and you can see me putting it back together. It’s been the  only time I have ever made an inukshuk. Thank you Bean! What a momentous occasion. Build your own, take a photo with the taller ones, and continue as far as you can manage to see them all. Both sides of the water have them, so keep a keen eye.

RAD Photo Dump

And, the best part of any travel post, the photo dump. Check out some of my favourite photos we took on our first adventure to Port Alberni.

Trail signs to Hole in the Wall. A perfect, easy and family friendly 30 minute hikePort Alberni's not so best kept secret, Hole in the Wall, has a great cliff to scale and feel like a tiny speck. Check it out!Look at all the cairns people have made at Hole in the Wall, Port Alberni. A definite must do hike if you're in the area!!!Presenting: HOLE IN THE WALL. come visit this volcanic shale wall with a holeNeed a quick outdoor family activity on Vancouver island? Check out hole in the wall up around Port Alberni. A must seeHole in the wall, Post Alberni. a must do hike for everyone.inukshuk that is over 5 feet tall at Hole in the Wall, near Port Alberni.Wendy walking in the woods towards Hole in the Wall, Port Alberni. Come see this wall of volcanic shaleGregory and mom walking to Hole in the Wall, a perfect family hike in Port AlberniHole in the Wall, Port Ablerni. Check out this wall of volcanic shale with a large hole in the middle. a must see!Gregory and mom love going on hikes, check out this easy family hike in Port Alberni on Vancouver IslandClimbing up hole in the wall, Port Alberni. How do you get back down? It's an adventure you must go on! Check it out hereClimb into the Hole in the Wall by Port Alberni. This must do Vancouver island hike is short, but epicWendy made it to Hole in the Wall, Port Alberni. Will you? Check out this hole in a wall of Volcanic shale today!

Before You Go

I really enjoyed our adventure to this Hole in the Wall. Even though we didn’t see all that we could see, I didn’t realize that until just recently. The experience was still fulfilling just as much. It was a real great time, and Momma Bear treated us to ice cream at Coombs Country Candy afterwards. Gregory will soon learn that Grandma’s always spoil grandchildren.

If you’re looking for another adventure on the island, check out the Wacky Woods in Fanny Bay. It’s a quick walk through an artfilled forest, worth the stop. Don’t forget to check out Coombs where you can see Goats on the Roof. Literally. We’re all about being real here on the island. Ahhh, it feels so good to be home. #IslandGirl

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