Hike the East Sooke Coast Trail
Canada › Aylard Farm
Added by Gemina Garland-Lewis
The East Sooke Coast is one of Vancouver Island's best day hikes. Explore rugged coastal trail with lots of variety: temperate rainforest, cliffs, beaches, tide pools, and even petroglyphs all await you. You'll also see incredible views across the Juan de Fuca Strait to the Olympic Mountains.
The East Sooke Coast Trail is a great way to get a taste of the rugged coastline on this part of Vancouver Island. Given the challenging nature of the trail, it's best to do this as a point-to-point and leave a car at each trailhead. You can start either at Pike Road (hiking south) or at Aylard Farm (hiking north) for this adventure.
From Aylard Farm, walk past the picnic tables towards the water and you immediately come upon Becher Bay. Follow the trail signs to the right for the Coast Trail. The trail is well-marked but occasionally you come across multiple paths - one of the many nice things about this trail is that is mostly sticks exactly to the coastline so it's easy to route find if needed. You'll soon come to old petroglyphs made by the Coast Salish people at Alldridge Point before continuing on towards Beechey Head.
About a kilometer past Beechey Head you'll come across a picnic table and a shelter, should you need it. The trail twists and turns over the many roots of the forest and climbs up and down along the coast, providing a wide array of views of both the Juan de Fuca Strait and the forest of East Sooke Park. Continue on high on the coast line looking straight across to the Olympics in Washington State as you make your way to Cabin Point, about the half way mark on this trail. Continuing north, you'll come across O'Brien Point a little over two kilometers further, then Iron Mine Bay and Pike Point will await you as your reward another kilometer on at the end of the coast trail.
Keep in mind that this generally takes hikers up to 6hrs to complete due to ups and downs and twists and turns of the trail forcing you to move slower. There are multiple paths you encounter along that way that head east/southeast back to Aylard Farms that shortcut through the forest should you run out of time or energy. Stop by the Smokin Tuna Cafe in East Sooke on your way back for a tasty meal!
The park is located on the East Sooke Peninsula, about 35 kilometres west of Victoria. Take Highway 1 out of Victoria and then exit for Highway 14. Stay on 14 until you see a small sign for East Sooke on your left at Gillespie Rd. Turn left on Gillespie and then right on Rocky Point Road, which becomes East Sooke Road, and leads to park entrances at Aylard Farm, Anderson Cove, and Pike Road.
- Hiking boots with good ankle support: this trail can be extra hard on your footing
- Lots of water (there's more up and down than you'd think on this trail!)
- Wet weather gear
- 10 essentials
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I didn't get the chance to hike the whole trail as the weather was turning a little rough and I started rather late in the evening. Started from Aylard Farm and spent some time at the beach looking at the inter-tidal pools before hitting the trail. Walked to the petroglyphs (about 1.8km). Gave this prairie girl the perfect chance to explore the coast. Easy hiking along the trail, potential to walk directly along the beach for some portions. Got the chance to see plenty of wildlife both in the ocean and in the forests; This included me seeing my first sea otter!
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