Ammonite Falls is one of three significant waterfalls in Benson Creek, in Mount Benson's northwestern foothills. This is a vertical place, its cliffsides are studded with oceanic fossils.

Why's it called Ammonite Falls?

Ammonite Falls is named for the fossils that inhabit the stack of sedimentary layers of rock kept slick by the falls. A brief foray into the rock matrix in the Benson Creek Falls Regional Park reveals a vast number of concretions, ball'o'fossils that can be broken open to reveal ancient life. Most concretions contain merely a protean speck, while others house ammonites, snail-like creatures similar in shape and form to the modern nautilus. These were very common in Paleozoic and Mesozoic oceans, 400 to 65 million years ago. Many large shells are embedded in the stone of the riverbed (one at least is as big around as a vinyl record, and a meter-across fossil was newly found in the area sometime around 2012).

Nearby Neighbourhoods

Where to Park

You can also approach from the Doumont Rd side, but orientation is more difficult, and so is the terrain.

Back to Nanaimo hiking spots