47 km of WOW! wilderness

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Becky Simrose

3-6 day wilderness backpacking adventure through lush (often muddy) temperate rainforest and along rugged coastline with sounds of crashing waves never far away.Sea lions, sea otters, bald eagles, maybe even a pod of whales to spot along the way. Perhaps a black bear. You won't see the cougars, but they are in the area too.

Juan de Fuca trail is a 47 km rugged wilderness trail along the SW coast of Vancouver Island, between China Beach, by Jordan River and Botanical Beach at Port Renfrew. There are 2 additional trailheads at Sombrio Beach and Parkinson Creek, giving access for shorter family trips, day hikes, and for surfing on Sombrio Beach

An alternative to taking 2 vehicles is using the trail bus, which runs from Douglas Street in Victoria every day during the Summer, and every other day (odd days) in the Fall (www.trailbus.com).

We started at Botanical Beach, and lingered there for a while. It is beautiful! The trail starts out though old stand forests, across boardwalks crowded by ferns, never far from the sound of waves crashing on the rocky coast.

From Payzant Creek to Sombrio Beach the trail is more rugged, with more elevation gain (and lost) and a couple short scrambles with a fixed knotted rope for assistance.

Along the way are 2 campsites- Payzant and Little Kuitshe are both beautiful campsites in the forest. Food storage lockers (bear-proof) and outhouses, fresh water from creeks, everything you need.

We missed low tide for the beach access to Sombrio...and the climb over the headland felt long at the end of the day. We camped at East Sombrio, right on the beach, full ocean view. We fell asleep with the crashing of waves at high tide and woke to the sound of foghorns. The morning was misty with a light drizzle.

The day was rainy, drizzle to more than a drizzle. The toughest part of the trail is Sombrio to Bear Beach, with an undulating trail that drops down to creek valley, climbs, drops to next creek valley, and climbs again, and again. I'd recommend 4 days instead of 3 and breaking up this part of the trail. (Next time). Bear Beach is camping right on the rocky beach.

Bear Beach to Mystic Beach is easier. The sun shone on us at Mystic Beach, a gorgeous sandy beach with a small waterfall, (and lots of people, given proximity to trail head).

An easy 2 km to the trailhead...and done.

The trail is always slippery, logs roots, rocks. The "Juan de Fuca trail rule" is that the first person to fall buys beer for the rest of the group. Time to collect! (It wasn't me). Hoyne beer and Prima Strata pizza back in Victoria. Life is good!


Easy Parking

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