• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Surfing, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    3.7 Miles

Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River
Scenic

This is an area with a ton of reasons to visit including incredible blue water, excellent surfing, small crowds, sandy beach, perfect for swimming, and great spots to camp (free!).

Far on the west coast of Vancouver Island, accessed only by a harrowing dirt road, is a wild and rugged coast begging to be explored. Bamfield is about a 3 hour drive from Nanaimo, half of which is on the gnarliest (and most active) logging road I've ever been on - and I grew up driving on logging roads on Haida Gwaii. Let me tell you: it's worth it. I can't even count how many times I've made the drive over the last year. Twenty? Thirty? Fifty? Whatever the number, it's going to keep growing. This summer was my first time going to Keeha Beach, one of the most desired yet unfrequented surfing spots on the island. The trail head is right in Bamfield, where you park and start walking through immediate lush forest.

The trail is about 6km, and it took us less than an hour at a medium pace. It was a fairly straightforward hike, but it felt longer than it really was because there was a lot of leaping and scrambling over mud pits and logs.

NOTE: make sure that you wear proper footwear. Even though we went in the heat of summer, the trail was super muddy and a few soakers were unavoidable, even with hiking boots.

DIRECTIONS: Assuming that you've already made your way to Bamfield, getting to the trail head is super easy and doesn't leave paved road. Drive all the way down South Bamfield Road and you'll see a parking area and a sign indicating the start of the trail. This is also where the trail starts to hike to Cape Beale, which has a manned lighthouse that you might even be lucky enough to get a tour of.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Lunch (you're going to want to spend all day here!)
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Camera!
  • Extra layer because the beach is quite windy
  • Wet suit and goggles for swimming
  • Backpacking gear if you want to make it an overnight
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Recently camped at Keeha beach over the long-weekend. It's a pretty brutal hike in. It's not long or hard, but EXTREMELY muddy so you'll spend a lot of time and energy maneuvering shin-deep mud pits. I wish I brought a hiking pole to help with this--would have saved myself a fall or two. When we reached the beach I was shocked that there were only three other groups of campers here for the long weekend, and apparently that's busy for Keeha. The beach itself is a long sandy shore that rivals Tofino. We set up our tents in the sand and relaxed by a campfire for the next two days. Being so close to the tide definitely woke me up a few times though.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Jessica Reid

I am a graphic designer and avid adventurist. I love rain, wine, wind, coffee, and looking at the stars.

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