We climbed the last kilometre to the Botanical Beach Trailhead (47 km), excited to have achieved this goal together. A teasing edge comes into Scott's voice. Hikers traveling in either direction must plan accordingly and use tide tables to pass the West Sombrio Bluff along the shoreline. Mission accomplished! You still get to see amazing vistas and shoreline and yea bears but without the difficult rope and ladder challenges on the WCT. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a remarkable multi-day hike along the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada, progressing over beautiful beaches and through spectacular indigenous forest. We hiked on and finally dropped to the sand for a walk along the best beach of the trail (27 km). This is the place to stay for more than one night if planning an extended trip. It was a wonderful break to hike freely along the ocean. There are six major tide problems along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. After photos, we walked along the hot pavement to Port Renfrew for French fries and cold beverages. The trail is primarily used for … "Next time it takes us back to the coast let's stick to the rocks.". Spencer Spit State Park is a 200-acre marine and camping park on Lopez Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Swallows and other birds swooped for bugs while we devoured salty food. Camping: The C$6 per-night fee covers a group of four or a family of any size. Arrived at East Sombrio 1430 and only a half dozen camps on all of Sombrio Beach. 1st ed. High tide was at 1439h, so we got moving to tackle the boulder field (29 km) and solve our last tide problem of the trip. But we recommend neighbouring Juan de Fuca Marine Trail precisely because it is not the WCT. As we took a break to photograph the waterfall, a trail runner slipped and fell hard on the slime-covered rocks. In severe windstorms, the forest can become dangerous because of falling branches and trees; a sheltered spot on the coast is a better bet. A few folks braved the ocean for a cold, splashy bird-bath. Shoreline access gave us the chance to hike a massive tidal shelf for about one kilometre. Still had a fun few days of hiking, camping, and testing gear and food. Bear Beach east (west of Rosemond Creek): 8.7 km2. High tide was predicted at 0034h. Scott and Kristin are sipping coffee on a driftwood bench at our beachside campsite as I poke among the rocks and peer intently at tidal pools. Smooth sailing back to the trailhead. Twice-daily pickup and return-to-car service can be arranged with the Pacheedaht First Nation bus service for C$8 (Canadian) per person with a four-person minimum: (250) 647-5521. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was a challenging coastal experience. 2007. Only 11 other hikers on trail. Past only two hikers of day heading the opposite way. This coastal adventure is a Vancouver Island essential along with it’s wilder counterparts: the West Coast Trail, the North Coast Trail, and the Nootka Trail. "No," I say, "not nearly long enough.". Woke to a foggy morning. Finally, the weathered sandstone layers of Botanical Beach (45 km) came into sight, and we took a moment to rest on a log. There were excellent views of Juan de Fuca Strait on the high points. Old-growth spruce, hemlock, and cedar mostly, with an occasional fat-barked Douglas fir thrown in, show us what primeval really means. There were a couple of empty tent areas close to a pit toilet and food cache, but these did not appeal. Note: The West Coast Trail may stay closed though the 2020 season. Broke camp and departed Payzant Creek at 0900. The best wildlife of the day was hearing an eagle family in a tall tree near the ocean. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a great shorter less difficult alternative to the West Coast Trail. Spotted a fisher at Bear Beach campsite! Beautiful forest. It was closed until June 1, 2020 due to COVID-19. Where would they go? May 1 - 15 Bus service runs on ODD NUMBERED DAYS ONLY (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) Wildlife viewing included lots of birds, especially eagles, a fisher, seals, and few other humans between Mystic and Chin. By contrast, our newfound walk requires nothing more than a trailhead payment of C$6 per night for camping privileges, good for a party of four. I wonder how old they are? However, the main tent area is not very inspiring in the thin, dark, brown forest. Gaiters are highly recommended. Self-registration envelopes and safes are located at each trailhead on the Juan de Fuca Trail for depositing your camping fee. A few day hikers coming up from Botanical Beach. The C$70 (Canadian) per-person cost (including reservation fee and required ferries) also is nothing to sneeze at. Check out our route on CalTopo for more detailed topographical map layers. I have a confession to make. The park brochure labels the walking on our second day "Most Difficult," which I interpreted to mean rough terrain, especially when that information was reinforced by a Canadian hiking magazine that spoke of 70 or so stream crossings and reported that the Juan de Fuca was more demanding than the West Coast Trail. Surely, a premium spot awaited! Some folks pitched tents right on the main trail. At high tide, we exited the tent to watch a molten silver ocean swell and crash. Please contact the park prior to arrival for information and appropriate permits. coastal hike of 47km (29mi) sharing one of the WCT trailheads – Port Renfrew Maps and guidebooks: The West Coast Trail and Other Great Hikes, by Tim Leadem ($10.95, The Mountaineers Books; 800-553-4453) covers the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail in depth and includes a map. "Oh my," she offers, "have you been out long? Botanical Beach Provincial Park: Walk through the woods to the beach, not many people about. The detour rewards us richly but leads us nowhere, so we retreat to the woods-bound path. When it was time for dinner, we reluctantly visited the main camp to collect water. The East Sombrio waterfall was beautiful in the glistening light! The trail was closed beyond East Sombrio Beach. The most famous is the West Coast Trail, although the most visited is possibly the Wild Pacific Trail, but you can find interesting hikes from one end of Vancouver Island to the other. The section from the China Beach Trailhead (0 km) to Bear Beach is one of moderate difficulty. Because of quirks of topography and an abundance of big trees, loggers sometimes left scattered patches not worth the hassle of cutting down or transporting. Despite the elevation changes, we made excellent time that day and were over-confident about camp. Sky was obscured, no wind, temperature 13ºC and pressure steady at 1022 hPa. Even the two sorry tent sites near the pit toilets were crammed with unsmiling hikers scraping noodles out of pots. December 2, 2020 Filed Under: Coastal, Trail Guides, Trip Reports Tagged With: Backpacking, British Columbia, Canada, Juan De Fuca Provincial Park, Vancouver Island. The trail stretches from China Beach, 35 km west of Sooke, to Botanical Beach, just outside Port Renfrew.. Another option would be to shuttle a second car to the opposite trailhead. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a great shorter less difficult alternative to the West Coast Trail. Juan de Fuca East Trailhead (China Beach): Located at Kilometre 0, the Juan de Fuca East Trailhead is the eastern terminus of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. In fact, we were able to easily ford the Sombrio River on stepping-stones. Fares range from $30-140 per person depending on distance between shuttle stops. Had good momentum and pushed through to end of trail, arriving at Botanical Beach Trailhead by 1535. This trail is not as remote or untouched as other Vancouver Island coastal routes; however, it was still on our bucket list to complete together. Soon we reached a dry ridge that ultimately descended down to gorgeous Sombrio Point and beyond. Cloudy, cool, and windy on days two and three. China Beach Trailhead to Mystic Beach was clear with minimal mud. Port Renfrew (#8525) 7 Days Tidal Predictions. We scramble around a low-tide passage and suddenly we're among the crowds at Botanical Bay, the famed provincial park where intertidal life is on display minutes from the road. The car was there, lonely in the vast empty parking lot. Summer (July through September) is comfortably warm and often dry. Botanical Beach offers one of the richest tidal areas found along the west coast, and … The Juan de Fuca Trail is open year round and reservations are not required for backcountry camping. The extended partial trail closure from East Sombrio to Mystic faded any hopes of a thru-hike until after Jun 30. Route was mainly dry until 1km east of Chin, where it became overgrown and muddy. Saw only one other hiker all day! After many hours on the trail, we were happy to arrive at the emergency cabin that marked the east entrance to Chin Beach. Our strategy is not without risk, since if we foolishly allow ourselves to be trapped by tides the consequence could be deadly. Be sure to check us out on Facebook From here visitors can either start the forty-seven kilometre hike or take a two and a half kilometre day trip to beautiful Mystic Beach. A bottle-neck of hikers climbing a headland gave us the chance to find the sea lion barking for his breakfast. This resource includes information and tips to help plan your adventure in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. Interim restrictions have been implemented for custodial groups kayaking or canoeing in Pacific Rim's marine waters. During the next two days of hiking we alternate between loyally staying on the forest trail and gambling on following the coast. Parks, South Vancouver Island District, 2930 Trans Canada Highway, Victoria, BC, Canada V9E 1K3; (250) 391-2300; http://www.bcparks.gov.bc.ca. A major feature of this park, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, is approximately 42 kilometres of wilderness trekking along the rugged shoreline. Cedars with flared trunks and hollow cores. There are tide problems at the east end (20.6 km) and the west end (21.3 km) of Chin Beach. There are six established campsites along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. The Juan de Fuca Trail is a beautiful wilderness trail that hugs the west coast of Vancouver Island between Jordan River(north of Sooke) and Port Renfrew. The trail from West Sombrio Beach to Little Kuitshe Creek was bushy and muddy, with overgrown salal through the clear cut. . Started late in the day at 1730. Although most of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is designed for strenuous day or multi-day hiking in this rugged and isolated area, some easy to moderate day hiking opportunities to the beach, or along the trail, are available from any of the four trailheads. The food cache was out of reasonable “walking-in-the-dark-and-disturbing-people” range so we did a bear hang. The secret tent spot was available along the eastern beach access trail. Hikers were recently swept to their deaths by such waves along the nearby West Coast Trail. It was time to get my trail legs back in shape. There were lots of boardwalk sections and high bluffs to view the ocean. Both of us woke at midnight to the sound of waves loud and close. Spring vegetation was bursting! For much of this distance the trail is slightly inland, following the abandoned path of an old telegraph line installed for the safety of shipwrecked sailors. I had a family picnic and pickup scheduled for Botanical Beach and was already thinking about the picnic basket! There are many views looking across the Strait towards the state of Washington and marine wildlife can sometimes be spotted, such as orcas or seals. We ate a hot lunch on the fascinating tilted rock that dominates the area. Serious gear and serious fitness are required to complete the entire 47-kilometre trail … We look sheepishly at one another, then turn tail. There are also many on and off options so you can do shorter hikes if you like. Reservation information can be on found their website. Once again we don't get far before we're blocked, this time by a wall of brilliant green moss reflecting into shallow tidal pools. Even though the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is relatively close to Highway 14, there is lots of marine wildlife to observe and secluded pockets to explore. The biggest hazard was the air quality, as the smoke of many campfires billowed into the trees. 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