Big Trees: The Harris Creek Spruce Tree

Port Renfrew, British Columbia

Big Trees: Harris Creek Spruce in Port Renfrew, BC

While exploring the 255 kilometer Pacific Marine Circle Route on our road trip on Vancouver Island, we enjoyed a quiet stop at the base of the giant Harris Creek Spruce Tree. Located northeast of Port Renfrew, BC, this massive tree somehow managed to escape the saw blade in the 1800s.

This giant Sitka spruce tree towers above the surrounding 2nd growth forest. The original old growth forest in this part of Vancouver Island is long gone. It's puzzling to see this giant tree, so easily accessible from the road, continue its growth skyward. At the time of our visit, it was over 80 meters tall and wider than our car! The thick mossy branches are larger than most trees.

The Harris Creek Spruce is well over 200 years old and will probably live for hundreds more. Even though it's not currently in a protected area, it is well-known by the locals and often visited by tourists - hopefully it's enough to allow this natural wonder to continue to live peacefully.


View Harris Creek Sitka Spruce Tree in a larger map

 

The Harris Creek Sitka Spruce tree is located along the roughly paved Harris Creek Road between Port Renfrew and Cowichan Lake. The roadside turnoff is well marked and the hike to the tree takes less than 1 minute along a well-groomed trail.

This was the second giant tree we saw along the Pacific Marine Circle Route. The San Juan Spruce - the largest Sitka Spruce tree in Canada! - is located about an hour away in the San Juan Recreational site south of Port Renfrew. Walking amongst these ancient forests is a unique and unforgettable experience!

Discover more about British Columbia, including awesome hikes and other things to do, spectacular scenic stops, and interesting (and sometimes wacky) roadside attractions.