Extension Ridge & The Abyss in Nanaimo BC


I was surprised to find that the Abyss is not in any of the Nanaimo guidebooks. Especially as it comes up pretty early in Trip Advisor. But armed with the helpfulness of the reviews here, my husband and our two girls (7 & 11) set off to find the Abyss on a lovely but cool fall afternoon. I followed the advice to follow Harwood Mines Rd and park under the powerlines. We found the trailhead marker, and then soon after the stairs to the right. We were almost deterred by the notices about cougars and bears and the presence of a very large, very fresh poop on the side of the path near the trailhead that was not made by any dog! But we pressed on. 

Extension Ridge is a large area with lots of hiking trails for walking, biking and dog-walking. The highlight is The Abyss, a foot-wide earthquake fissure. Finding it is difficult because it is not marked but there are some directions online. The hike to it is steep but short and well worth exploring but hold on to your young kids.

Well, most of the reviews don’t give you details or distances on finding this interesting crack. Yes, it is worth the climb and the adventure.First, you will use the trailhead on the east side of the road. I’ve included a pic of the trailhead.Second, climb the stairs to the top and then stay right. You will come to a Y and always stay to the right of the trail.You will walk almost a mile along the edge of the area that has been clear cut. You will go up and down just at the edge of the trees. At about a mile, you will get a glimpse of the crack on you right hand side. The crack goes from one end to the other on the cleared area.Very interesting. Hope these details help you find your way.

source: Tripadvisor

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