We attended the Parks Canada orientation session at the new Gordon River Trailhead office at 1000 h. The ranger presented information on safety procedures, recent wildlife sightings, route conditions, and the weather outlook for our week on the trail. The advantage of hiking south to north or northbound (NOBO) is that more difficult terrain is completed in the first few days. Sitting off the west coast of British Columbia, Vancouver Island was long inhabited by aboriginal Canadians before being discovered and given the name “Quadra and Vancouver Island” in the early 1790s. Introduction to the West Coast Trail in British Columbia. However, the storms of the Pacific wrecked havoc on these vessels: throughout the next hundred and fifty years, more than 70 ships sank off the western shores of Vancouver Island. Welcome to our West Coast Trail Guide!
The beach of Cribs campground, where we’d be stopping on Day 3 of the West Coast Trail. We spotted harbour seals lounging off Owen Point. We pulled the cable car over the Klanawa River and had a break at the campsite.
Our group wandered down the beach to Chez Monique’s restaurant after a leisurely morning.
Another restaurant stop greeted us at the dock! The crab shack is at Nitinat Narrows (32.5 km), and the hamburger shack at Carmanah Lighthouse (44 km) (Nitinat Crabshack takes only cash, while the burger joint near Carmanah Lighthouse takes debit/credit, so plan accordingly). We committed to the beach route and made excellent time, enjoying more tidal shelves and sea stacks. Thrasher Camp was not as crowded as past trips. A friend of, our signed up at 7:10 and only got his third choice!
Despite the organ-shaking journey, we fell asleep until arriving at the junk food stop in Youbou. Mystical Rainforest Tour: Forest Bathing... Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites. Instead, we saw more sea lion friends. We did an 8-day, south to north route, just the two of us (husband and I). He was running the trail in one day as a poacher (no fees).
Fill your water bottles and bring snacks for the ride. Here, an overgrown rock face provides a backdrop for the ocean shore, with sand stretching away from the base of the cliffs for nearly 200 feet. The calls of ravens echoed down the sandstone cliffs as we dried. Massive colonies gathered near the mouths of all the big creeks. This can be done via ferry (from the USA and Canada), seaplane, or airline. Mike and I were totally in the coastal backpacker groove by this point, and the trail was getting easier each day. We’ve stayed at the less crowded north and south ends of the beach. We did an 8-day, south to north route, just the two of us (husband and I).
The Parks Canada website isn’t full of practical information, so in this blog and in the upcoming ones, I will try to fill in the blanks..
Yes this sounds obvious, but there are many stops along the way and we observed lots of confused passengers. There were a bunch of seals resting on Owen Island, brown and furry. The morning tides were again in our favour, so we forded Walbran Creek and took to the beach route. Access to all trailheads is by vehicle (Pachena Bay and Gordon River) or vehicle plus ferry (Nitinat Lake). Optional ‘comfort’ camping (a luxurious tent with a bed) is now offered in a few locations. Still, it’s nice to not be in the “bewildered” group. On trip we check weather daily with a satellite messenger. Mike found the small fresh water spring that Monique shared location details about.
Valencia Bluffs (18 km), named after a famous shipwreck, offered a huge panoramic cliff vista. With a few hours to spare, we found some chips and pop at the little camp store and dried our gear on the lawn. Stone P. Coastal Hikes: A Guide to West Coast Hiking in British Columbia and Washington State. Hundreds of gulls squared and bathed well into the evening.
We collected water far upstream of the sea gull swimming pool. Whenever possible, I prefer to hike on the beach rather than in the forest. If you like ocean beauty and a simply wonderful walking trail, you will like this one. Wildlife viewing included: seals, river otters, sea lions, black bears, eagles, ravens, crows, herons, thrushes, jays, and lots of marine life like sea anemones, starfish, and molluscs in the intertidal zones. The air was fresh and fragrant. He dropped us off with some candies for our pocket…but only for the ladies! We’ve stopped at gorgeous Bonilla Creek Camp for snack breaks. December 18, 2019 Filed Under: Coastal, Trail Guides, Trip Reports Tagged With: Backpacking, British Columbia, Canada, Pacific Rim National Park, Vancouver Island. Our group took a break at one of the nicest transition spots on the trail, Beach Access A. Orcas swam by as we snacked. For a breakdown of my days, check out my, ne is Chez Monique’s, a West Coast Trail institution for the last 27 years on the Aboriginal reservation south of the.
They had an excellent dinner, beers, and breakfasts there as well. Read more about us. It was strange to see this camp almost empty, as it is a popular stop in the evenings.
While difficult, the most important aspect of a successful West Coast Trail experience is to be in shape and take your time.
Here are a few extra tips to make your shuttle journey flow well: Port Renfrew is close to the Gordon River Trailhead and Bamfield is close to the Pachena Bay Trailhead. It was an opportunity to disconnect with the buzz of reality with no cell service, to reconnect with myself.
We ate dinner under the tarp, stowed our food in the locker, brushed our teeth, and dove into our sleeping bags.
I prepared to hike the West Coast Trail on my own, therefore, I really did have to carry it all. After some grand beach hiking, we entered the forest and crossed the Cheewhat River bridge (36 km). There was a Trail Guardian Cabin at Tsocowis and a grand pile of rusty shipwreck debris. The day was a mix of cruisey trail, artifacts, beach, boardwalk, and a few ladders. We are home to the new Parks Canada third entrance to the West Coast Trail. After a few more beach kilometres, we set up camp east of Tsusiat Falls. Hitting those Vancouver Trails! Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. “You know,” he says conspiringly, with weather worn hands cradling his half-full glass, “There’s an even better beach hike than the Olympic Coast.” During my slideshow I’d boasted of a trail on Washington’s coast, declaring it the best around. The early morning fog made for nice cool hiking along the coastline.
Hikers stop at this dock to share meals and cold drinks before or after crossing Nitinat Narrows.
There is a cave across the Walbran pond that some people like to camp in.
Too many people and seagulls take a bath there. Otherwise it is a beautiful trail with an abundance of wildlife (hubby ran right into a bear). When we arrived at the trailhead in the water taxi, we were surprised to see our husbands and sons already waiting for us at the Crab Shack. Learn more about the Ditidaht First Nation. Parks Canada charges each person $194.81 in Total Fees to hike the West Coast Trail. We were intensely cold that night and the following night, despite hiking the entire trail with the same gear and never being cold in our small tents. After wolfing down lunch, he sprang off on what must have been pure adrenalin. After arriving at the trailhead, we finally saw our black bear! The trail is closed October through April and no services are provided during this time.
A bonus feature is pretty Bonilla Falls. The upland bogs and rainforest ecosystems looked wilted and crisp. Wild Isle Publications. After almost a full year of planning, preparation, and training, we finally met face-to-face for our shared coastal adventure. The Parks Canada website isn’t full of practical information, so in this blog and in the upcoming ones, I will try to fill in the blanks..
It' s is the perfect place for happy get-togethers with family and friends. Our tents had cots and wood burning stoves as advertised, but the stoves are a very poor design; they are hard to light, hard to keep lit, and there is poor ventilation in the tents, so could be very smoky.
If Cullite Creek is low, you don’t need the cable car. more. We study the weather before our trip using a few different resources. This trail is no fun in rain Read everything online you can. Or better yet, take the shuttle bus and enjoy a six-hour ride with fellow hikers. The maintenance of these structures is a never-ending job. We often see humpback whales to cheer us along this section, but no spouts were visible. You must go.”. This can be a crowded site, so setting up camp further north will guarantee a bit more solitude. The only creatures braving the water were seagulls. Growing up in British Columbia, hiking the West Coast Trail had always been on my, Unknowingly, I was also signing myself up for 7 days of physical torment, mud, and knowing that at any time I too could become one of the many, In this post, I will discuss what the West Coast Trail is, as a general guide. Makes sense, right?
9th ed. Our team also got an abrupt introduction to West Coast Trail ladders.
Permits must be obtained in advance (see more information below). After visiting Pachena Light Station, we took the side trip to view the sea lion haul-out.
As for a dart striking the coast of British Columbia: my newly acquired friend now motions me in, and with a hint of secrecy in his voice declares, “The West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island is the best beach hike anywhere. Foster D, Aitken W. Blisters and Bliss – A Trekker’s Guide to the West Coast Trail. We passed Bonilla Creek (48 km) and Carmanah Creek (46 km), two excellent camps for a future trip. Air pressure was between 1013 and 1021 hPa. Reservations are required. With the hardest sections of trail behind us, we had a relaxed departure from Walbran Creek. We have had pole breakage on every trip thus far!
The shoreline section from Walbran to Cribs Creek is one of the most spectacular on the whole trail. We were part of a grand fellowship, participating in a legendary and historic challenge.
After entering the rainforest and turning LEFT we encountered broken boardwalks, mud, and ladders.
If it beams central British Columbia, I’d make you promise to paddle the 117-kilometer Bowron Lakes Circuit. Rushing on the West Coast Trail may result in injury. Guests are happy to finally arrive at our first camp! Reservations open around the beginning of January each year.
The day’s highlight was hiking the side trail at Clonard Creek to the beach. After visiting the whale skeleton at the Carmanah Light Station, we hiked to Cribs Creek.
8 of the Best Breweries in Vancouver: Take a Self Guided Tour of ‘Yeast Van’! We were practically skipping with glee when we encountered our final ladder of the trip above Pachena Bay.
We arrived at Camper Creek (no cable car required) and found good sites under the trees and on the sand.
We made it to Darling River (14 km) super early and considered spending the night here. Chez Monique’s was almost deserted when we arrived, so we enjoyed a picnic in the sun. It is an introduction to the incredible man-made structures found throughout the trail, features unlike any I’ve witnessed elsewhere. They were hiking from Gordon River, and were supposed to join us at the Comfort Camping site, 2.5 kilometres north of the Nitinat narrows, but because of heavy rain the day before had stay in the very comfortable cabins at the Crab Shack.
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