John Dean Provincial Park is in the municipalities of Central Saanich and North Saanich, two of the municipalities that are part of the thirteen which form the Capital Regional District of British Columbia. Located on the Saanich Peninsula of Vancouver Island, Mount Newton rises three hundred and twenty meters above sea level. Notably it has the large white sphere, a doppler radar often called a large soccer ball used for traffic control. The parkland is one hundred and seventy four hectares and was formed in nineteen twenty one. Only a small part of John Dean Park lies in the District of Central Saanich. This area can be access through Haldon Park. ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱ is the coastal Salish name for the hill pronounced Tlay-will-nook. There is a wonderful legend about this place of escape and refuge. The cedar, fir and oak trees were selectively logged in the early nineteen hundreds by Mr. John Dean who built a cabin in this area and donated the original thirty two hectares for the park. Four additional donations have enlarged the parkland to its present size. There are picnic day use areas with a pit toilet and information shelter.
The pathways in the park are well delineated with logs or rocks; encouraging hikers to please stay on the six kilometers of hiking and walking trails. The trails vary from easy to more difficult with a few that are very steep. Trail maps are posted throughout the park. A viewing platform is located at Pickles Bluff with views over the eastern areas of the Saanich Peninsula and the Salish Sea.
This is park to visit in all seasons. Springtime flowers are common along the trails throughout the park and include camas lilies, common red paintbrush, shooting stars, and sea blush. An orchid, Calypso orchid are found in the parkland with fungi, mosses and ferns. Keep an eye out for Pileated woodpeckers, owls and migratory birds. Amphibians and mammals can be seen among the arbutus, Douglas fir, Western red cedar, Garry oak, western hemlock, black cottonwood, and grand fir trees. As the parkland was only selectively logged there are some big old trees in this park. This is great place to walk in your back yard; be sure to come in all the seasons.
Geographical location N48º 36’ 48” W 123º 26’ 47”
You can reach John Dean Park from the Patricia Bay Highway, Highway 17 which head north form the Trans-Canada Highway Highway 1. Exit the Highway 17 onto Mount Newton Cross Road and travel through Saanichton to reach East Saanich Road. Turn right onto East Saanich Road and look the signs for John Dean Park via Dean Park Road. There is parking area near the summit that is closed seasonally. For further information please see the North Saanich parks booklet, the BC Park website and the Friends of John Dean Park https://friendsofjohndeanpark.org