PORT ALICE PHOTOGRAPHY, IMAGES BY DOUGLAS BRADSHAW Check out Devils Bath and the many other scenic sites along the Alice Lake Loop route.​

Dip your sense of adventure in Vancouver Island’s Devil’s Bath

What’s reputed to be Canada’s largest cenote can be viewed near Port Alice

North Island forests have gone quiet this summer due to the ongoing Western Forest Products strike.

So with chances low of meeting up with a fully-loaded logging truck on the backroads near Port Alice, there may never be a better time for dipping your sense of adventure into the Devil’s Bath.

The star attraction of the Alice Lake Loop — a remote gravel road-accessed wilderness area between Port Alice and Port McNeill — the Devil’s Bath is reputed to be Canada’s largest cenote.

RELATED: Wrap up your summer on one of Vancouver Island’s best beaches

Associated mostly with Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, cenotes are essentially large, waterfilled sinkholes formed in limestone where cavern roofs collapse to form natural pools.

Port Alice landscape and wildlife photographer Douglas Bradshaw has taken some magnificent images of the Bath, which is 359 meters in diameter and 44 meters in depth.

“Last year I brought my drone to the cenote and photographed it from above. I think the view from above reveals a few details many may not know about,” he said. “Some of the trees near the water that have larger trees over top of them actually grow towards the reflection of the water in trying to gather more light.

“I like to walk down the trail towards the Benson River and check out the cave and river just below it. This trail is rough and should be executed with caution.”

According to sitesandtrailsBC.ca, the cenote connects to the Benson River, which is 200 metres to the northwest through a series of cave passages 80 metres below the water table. The cenote is a day-use recreation site not far off the ALice Lake road and has a viewing platform perched above which enables a great view into the dark waters below

The Alice Lake region is among the Island’s most notable examples of a landform known as karst. Named for a region in Europe’s Balkans where it was first studied, karst is a landscape largely formed by water action in soluble bedrocks, notably gypsum and carbonates such as limestone and marble.

Bradshaw travelled the Alice Lake Loop in July and reports the road had been recently graded.

“Now is a great time to check out Devils Bath and the many other scenic sites along the route,” he said.

RELATED: Winter Harbour: survival on edge of Vancouver Island

According to the vancouverislandnorth.ca tourism website, a full-loop circuit of the the Alice Lake loop takes approximately 2.5 hours. The Devil’s Bath and The Eternal Fountain — a nearby waterfall that appears out a rocky ledge and disappears into the ground below, and conceals a fascinating cave system — are both relatively close to the Port Alice end of the loop.

The feature karst sites have lots to explore and short hiking trails so make sure you give yourself enough time to explore.

— with a file from Tyson Whitney

Just Posted

Nanaimo man, allegedly drunk and high, arrested after climbing 100-foot tree

Man in sandals climbs fir tree, hurls obscenities at police below

Timeline pushed back for Tofino-Ucluelet highway construction project

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel said the ministry’s announcement came as “no surprise.”

Victoria Fire Department investigating explosion at supportive housing complex

The explosion blew out a window and caused damage to the frame of the building

Conservation: Two elk unlawfully shot in Northern Vancouver Island

‘The elk also did not have all of the edible portions of meat removed’

Greater Victoria survey shows third of respondents did not pay, or partially paid rent for April

Survey of 70 respondents says 40 per cent expect they will not be able to pay May rent

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

442 squadron to perform fly-by over Comox Valley hospital to salute COVID-19 workers

Cormorant helicopter will fly over the hospital at 7 p.m.

Escaped python found in Saanich building reunited with its owner

The little snake is at ‘home, safe and sound,’ CRD chief bylaw officer says

Police watchdog clears West Shore RCMP in altercation that led to man needing 82 staples

The man pretended he had a weapon he would use against the police

Victoria police seek public’s help finding man missing more than a week

Joel Diment 26 and has short brown hair and hazel eyes

Comox spring training cancelled for Snowbirds next month

The team announced that due to ongoing travel restrictions they will not be training in the Valley

Mid-Island Panago locations offer free pizza to first responders

First responder can get free pizza at Panago in Parksville, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Duncan, and Mill Bay

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Most Read