Day 2 Darling to Tsusiat on the West Coast TrailThe route from Darling River to Tsusiat Falls is just under 12 kilometres and quite a lot of that distance can be hiked on the beach. From Darling River you can take an inland route or walk along the beach. The beach route is very nice and few people hike the challenging inland route. Don't forget to jump in the pool at Darling Falls before you start hiking, you'll feel amazingly energized for the start of the trail!

When you get to Tsusiat Falls you can jump in there too. To start and end your hike by swimming under waterfalls on the West Coast Trail makes for a pretty memorable day! There is quite a lot of interesting sights on this section. You can touch a big wall of rusting metal from an unidentified shipwreck near Tsocowis Creek at 16k.

At 18k you will have a magnificent view from the top of Valencia Bluffs. This is of course where the famous Valencia disaster occurred and was the final impetus to create a the West Coast Trail. You can look down on the swirling torrents of white water crashing onto the unforgiving, rocky shore below. Further along the trail, just past the 20 kilometre mark you will nearly trip over the huge anchor on the rocks. This, we can be fairly sure came from the Woodside, a ship that provided a regular ferry service up and down the coast of Vancouver Island. At 23k you come to the mighty Klanawa River and your first cable car crossing on the West Coast Trail. After Klanawa River you just have a couple kilometres of hiking through the forest before descending the astonishingly tall network of ladders down to Tsusiat Falls.

Day 2 Map Darling to Tsusiat - West Coast Trail

Orange Juice Creek at 15k

Orange Juice Creek Campsite Rating - West Coast TrailJust a kilometre past the Darling River campsite you will come to another beach campsite at Orange Juice CreekOrange Juice Creek is not terribly pretty and gets its name from the intensely, orange juice coloured water that crashes through a tangled morass of driftwood logs. If you aren't keen on swimming and/or washing at Darling FallsOrange Juice Creek is a good alternative. Much quieter than Michigan Creek and a bit quieter than Darling River, you will find a more relaxed surrounding at the campsite at Orange Juice Creek. Another less obvious aspect of Orange Juice Creek that makes it worth camping at is the small, but very livable sea cave. Some find it charming, others find it spooky. At the very least it is worth a look. A small fire in the middle, surrounded by driftwood logs for seats, in horribly, wet weather, this cave is paradise!

Orange Juice Creek on the West Coast Trail

Tsocowis Creek at 16.5

Tsocowis Creek Campsite Rating - West Coast TrailThe Tsocowis Creek campsite at 16.5k has a decent beach with an excellent water source. There is plenty of room for tents along the beach amongst the driftwood logs. You have the same amenities here as other West Coast Trail campsites such as deluxe outhouses and animal proof food storage boxes. Tsocowis is home to one of the West Coast Trail guard cabin's. In 1940 the survivors of the Varsity shipwreck survived by crawling their way to the shelf below what is now called Valencia Bluffs. They now found themselves on a steep shelf that they could not climb. Out of the wreckage they managed to survive exposure and construct a ladder up the cliff and found the trail that hikers now call the West Coast Trail. The three survivors made their way to Tsocowis Creek and found the Tsocowis cabin occupied by lineman who fortunately was there. The three were later picked up from Tsocowis Beach. Today the shipwreck's huge metal winch rusts in a crevice at the foot of Valencia Bluffs. Hikers tend to pass this campsite and push on to the end of the trail(or the next campsite if heading south). 

Tsocowis Creek on the West Coast Trail

Varsity Shipwreck at 17.5k

The Varsity Shipwreck - West Coast Trail Graveyard of the PacificVarsity Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailJust 4 kilometres past the Uzbekistan shipwreck you will pass by the final resting place of the Varsity. The Varsity was a small fishing boat of 90 tons, returning to Puget Sound from California on February 5th, 1940. In bad weather and stormy seas, she abruptly struck the shore, just a kilometre past, what is today, Tsocowis Creek on the West Coast Trail. The Varsity had overrun her position due to the fast northerly current. The crew were so hopelessly lost that they believed their position to still be in American waters, instead of way up on the coast of Vancouver Island. Unfortunately their distress call gave their position as several kilometres south of their actual position. Of the crew of seven, three survived by crawling their way to the shelf below what is now called Valencia Bluffs. They now found themselves on a steep shelf that they could not climb. Out of the wreckage they managed to survive exposure and construct a ladder up the cliff and found the trail that hikers now call the West Coast Trail. The three survivors made their way to Tsocowis Creek and found the Tsocowis cabin occupied by lineman who fortunately was there. The three were later picked up from Tsocowis Beach. Today the shipwreck's huge metal winch rusts in a crevice at the foot of Valencia Bluffs.

Valencia Shipwreck at 18k

The Valencia Shipwreck - West Coast Trail Graveyard of the PacificThe Valencia is usually regarded as the worst shipwreck disaster in the Graveyard of the Pacific and the final impetus for the creation of the West Coast Trail. The SS Valencia was an iron-hulled, 1600 ton passenger steamer built in 1882. Originally built for service between Venezuela and New York City, she later became a coastal passenger liner on the West Coast of the United States. In 1906 she was wrecked off Cape Beale, near Clo-oose, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The captain did not take into account the strong northerly current that caused ships to overrun the Juan de Fuca Strait by a considerable distance. Blinded by the weather and battered with strong winds and currents, the captain turned the Valencia toward the coast for its run into the strait. Just before midnight on the 22nd of January, she The Valencia Shipwreck on the West Coast Trailcollided with the reef near Pachena Point on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. The high number of fatalities are estimated to have been between 117 to 181. Varying sources and speculation has resulted in a fair bit of uncertainty on those figures. According to the government report at the time, the official deaths numbered 136. Only 37 men survived the shipwreck and all the woman and children perished. The Canadian government rapidly began work on what would result in the West Coast Trail. A lighthouse was was constructed and regularly spaced shelters along the newly constructed trail. The Valencia shipwreck disaster happened in 1906, the Pachena Point Lighthouse was finished in 1908, and in 1911 the West Coast Trail was completed.

Janet Cowan Shipwreck at 19k

The Janet Cowan Shipwreck - West Coast Trail Graveyard of the PacificThe Janet Cowan was a steel sailing vessel, four-masted, bark rigged, of 2498 tons built at Glasgow in 1889. She was wrecked at about the 19 kilometre mark on the West Coast Trail with several lives lost. The Janet Cowan shipwreck shone a light on the necessity of building more lighthouses and constructing a coastal lifesaving trail. Little was done, however, and just 10 years later, and less than a kilometre away, the Valencia met a similar fate. Considerably more loss of life and media attention spurred the Canadian government forward and the West Coast Trail and the nearby Pachena Point Lighthouse were born. The Janet Cowan was named after the maiden name of the wife of the first owner. Unlike most other shipwrecks in the Graveyard of the Pacific, a good record of the ship as well as at least a couple photographs of her still exist. The Janet Cowan sailed from Cape Town on September 11th, 1895, bound for Royal Roads(near Victoria) on Vancouver Island. With 1100 tons of ballast and a crew of 29. The long voyage went very well until the evening of December 30th, 1895. Approaching Juan de Fuca Strait, under easy sail and with moderate weather, attempts were made to signal for a tug or pilot. They received no response. With daylight gone, she was sailing blind into the Graveyard of the Pacific. The captain decided to wait for daylight before sailing further. Just after 7pm the wind shifted suddenly and steadily increased into a gale. The Janet Cowan was brought around and attempted to run out for an offing to wait out the storm. At 845pm, Cape Flattery Lighthouse was spotted four or five miles away. The weather Janet Cowan Shipwreck on the West Coast Trailcontinued to worsen, with a violent gale blowing, heavy seas and thick snow falling, the Captain worried that their repeated wearing(a sailing technique of turning through the wind to shift the wind from one side of the boat to the other), would cause them to lose ground. This agonizing battle went on in brutal darkness as they charted their position based on their last sight of Cape Flattery and estimated speed. They pinpointed their position to be about seven miles off Vancouver Island, with the time now being well after midnight. Just before 1am, the second mate reported land on the starboard bow. The crew rushed to steer away, however the ship was caught in the trough of the sea and still inching towards the shore. At 130am the Janet Cowan was perilously inside the outside breakers and unable to escape. The ship was swung broadside on, with her head to the westward and the seas breaking over her fore and aft, she crashed into the shore. The captain ordered all hands aft and one of the crew, Thomas Chamberlain volunteered to swim ashore with a rope. The attempt failed when the rope became hopelessly tangled in the rocks. He had to let it go to save himself, clawing his way to the shore. They succeeded on their next attempt, though with tremendous difficulty, by using a lifeboat to get to the shore with a rope. Bitterly cold weather, tumultuous, swirling seas, and overall precarious situation made the lifeboat unusable in getting the crew to the shore. Instead they used the line suspended between the shore and the ship to clumsily bring people over one at a time. In the frantic chaos of that night three of the crew drowned, never to be seen again. It is assumed they drowned while attempting the crossing, however, they were only noticed missing after a muster of the crew by the captain on shore. One final crewman, too afraid to leave the crumbling ship, remained. He eventually made it to shore after daybreak. Cold, wet and desperate, it was decided to make an attempt to reach Cape Beale Lighthouse and obtain assistance. With this object in view, the crew divided, and the telegraph line being found, it was decided to follow it, the younger members of the crew pushing ahead, and others following as best they could. The captain, who appears to have been worn out from incessant watching before reaching shore, being unable to keep up, the chief officer telling the steward and donkeyman to stay by and assist captain, pushed on himself in the hope of obtaining help. After spending a night in the woods, and finding it impossible to make progress through the heavy snow and dense forests, had no alternative but to return to wreck. On the way back he passed the body of captain. who had died from exposure, also bodies of W. Selkirk, donkeyman, and Peberval, A.B., and other members of the crew; reported death of George Kinnear, cook, from same cause. The wreck being reached, and sea having moderated, crew were enabled to get on board ship, and proceeded to land provisions and sails for making tents, and then made camp on beach, meanwhile, doing all they could to attract attention of passing vessels. Almost two weeks passed and on the 11th day of January, the steam-tug "Tyee" arrived on the scene and rescued mate and 12 of crew who were in the immediate vicinity of wreck. Leaving nine men in camp higher up on beach, who at the time could not be reached, and after an unsuccessful attempt at reaching them, owing to bad surf and darkness, the tug proceeded to Port Townsend. The nine men were rescued by Canadian steamer Princess Louise on Monday following, and safely landed at Victoria, B.C. The official court documents of the shipwreck write the following as the cause of the disaster, "The ship appears to have been navigated with proper and seamanlike care, and every precaution taken for the safety of the ship and crew, but in marking the ship's position off on the chart at midnight of the 30th day of December, sufficient allowance does not appear to have been made for current, which, however, seems to have been stronger than usual, and to have set the ship rapidly on the Vancouver shore, the light draught of the vessel, combined with the violence of the gale, with the heavy sea, making it impossible to keep her off."

Derelict Grader and Donkey Engine at 19k

About one kilometre past Valencia Bluffs you will encounter two relics of the past. A derelict grader and a donkey engine. A donkey engine is the common name for a steam powered winch or logging engine. Cutting down a tree a century ago was hard enough, but you also have to pull it out of the forest to be transported. Their operation was quite simple. A line horse would carry the cable out to the felled tree, tie it around and the donkey engine would drag the log toward it. Invented in 1882, the donkey engine was the workhorse in the forest industry until the invention of the internal combustion engine and the diesel powered tractor crawler. Donkey engines suddenly became obsolete and now reside in museums and many more sit abandoned in forests. The West Coast Trail has two of these ancient donkey engines. There is another one near the end of the trail at kilometre 72, 3 kilometres from the Gordon River trailhead.

Grader and Donkey Engine on the West Coast Trail

The Robert Lewers Shipwreck Day 2 West Coast TrailRobert Lewers Shipwreck at 19.5k

The Robert Lewers Shipwreck -West Coast Trail Graveyard of the PacificThe Robert Lewers was a 185 foot, four masted schooner of 732 tons, built in Port Blakely, Washington in 1889. She was wrecked just past kilometre 19 on the West Coast Trail, just half a kilometre from the Janet Cowen shipwreck, and less than two kilometres from the Valencia shipwreck. The Robert Lewers entered the Graveyard of the Pacific on the 11th of April, 1923. The ship was heading for Bellingham, Washington in ballast from Honolulu with a crew of 14. The circumstances of how Robert Lewers became wrecked on this shore is a depressing tale of unfortunate mishaps. As she entered the Juan de Fuca Strait she found little wind and was forced to wait for a tug boat. A tug boat finally arrived to tow her into port. While passing the hawser line from the tug, it became tangled in the masts and rigging, tearing away the Robert Lewers jib boom and head gear. Another attempt was made with hopeful success, until the tow rope snapped. In the confusion, the tug hit a rock and was forced to limp back to Seattle for repairs. Through this ordeal the ship creeped perilously close to shore so the port anchor was released. Moments later the stern of the ship was dragging along the bottom. As the situation became desperate a call was sent out for another tug. An hour and a half passed, waiting for rescue as the ship continued to grind on the reef. When the second tug arrived, it could not get in close enough to attach a line. The wind was picking up so the captain decided to pull the anchor and try to sail out. The wind was far too weak to pull the massive ship away from the rocks and she fell broadside on the beach. The crew abandoned ship and the Robert Lewers remained, battered by waves and in the next few hours, she broke in two and became a permanent part of the Graveyard of the Pacific just offshore of what would later become the West Coast Trail.

The Woodside Shipwreck Day 2 West Coast TrailWoodside Shipwreck at 20.5k

The Woodside Shipwreck -West Coast Trail Graveyard of the PacificJust past the 20 kilometre mark of the West Coast Trail you will find an anchor of the Woodside on the beach. The Woodside, an 87 foot long steamer built in Sooke, BC in 1878. The Woodside provided regular service between Victoria, Port Renfrew, Barkley Sound(sometimes spelled Barclay Sound), and the Albernie Canal. On March 12th, 1888, the Woodside lost her rudder and drifted into the rock shelf in front of Trestle Creek. Just past the 20 kilometre mark on the West Coast Trail, the anchor of the Woodside still sits in the middle of the beach. The ship was a total loss, disintegrating over the years with little left but the hauntingly vivid reminder of the wreck, laying rusting on the beach. The improbably located anchor on the beach is a stunning representation of how cool the West Coast Trail is. Emerge from the deep forest and difficult trail, to a desolate feeling, rocky coastline with a huge anchor left here from a shipwreck that happened over a century ago.

Klanawa River Campsite at 22.5k

Klanawa River Campsite Rating - West Coast TrailThe campsite at Klanawa River is quite nice because of its lovely, swimmable river, expansive beach and serenity relative to other West Coast Trail campsites.. Though the beach is a thick, tangle of driftwood, you can still manage to find cleared areas perfect for a tent. Klanawa River is just a couple kilometres from Tsusiat FallsTsusiat Falls is pretty impressive and hardly any West Coast Trail hikers don't camp there. This leaves few people at Klanawa RiverBeautiful beach and a wonderfully huge river, the Klanawa River campground is fantastic. And because it is close to the super popular Tsusiat Falls campground it is often quiet and serene.  Also, the main trail runs to the cable car crossing which diverts the crowds away. At Klanawa River you will find the water flowing past wide and slow. The river is deep enough to dive into from the riverbank. Which is the best way to get in as it is always surprisingly cold. There are several nice places in the morass of tangled driftwood logs to put up a tent. This gives you a nice feeling of having partial walls and you are never more than a metre away from a log to sit on. In the forest you will find a few more, very nice and also serene feeling clearings for tents. Always with a perfect little fire ring in the centre and sometimes with log furniture surrounding. It is hard to say where is better for your tent, in the wild, deep forest or the wild, driftwood scattered beach. The forest is a bit more cozy feeling and especially suited for a campfire in the forest. The beach, however has the benefit of a perfectly smooth, sand surface under your tent and the ever present river and ocean view. You have the same amenities at Klanawa River as you do at most other West Coast Trail campsites. Outhouses and animal proof food boxes. The water from Klanawa River is nice, clean and just steps away. Beware of skinny dipping in the river, the trail runs on the opposite side of the river behind a narrow band of trees! Possibly the most endearing feature of the campsite at Klanawa River is how beautifully quiet it is. Nobody camps here and everyone camps at the nearby Tsusiat Falls. Almost every hiker passes by without even a look at the beach. Camping here one night is recommended before or after a night at Tsusiat Falls.

Klanawa River Day 2 West Coast Trail

Tsusiat Falls Campsite at 25k

Tsusiat Falls Campsite Rating - West Coast TrailOne of the most popular and beautiful campsites along the West Coast TrailTsusiat Falls is one of the main highlights on the trail with its dramatically wide and beautifully picturesque appearance. You will find Tsusiat Falls at the base of an extraordinary array of ladders extending hundreds of metres up into the trees. Tsusiat Falls pours over an abrupt and wide cliff onto the sandy beach. The force of the water has dug out quite a large pool that flows in an ever changing channel through the sand to the ocean. It is quite common to see whales passing in the distance from the beach at Tsusiat. The beach is raised up a few metres from the ocean and affords you a better vantage point over the ocean than you get elsewhere. Tsusiat Falls campsite is wide and extends as far as you want to go down the beach. As everyone has seen pictures of it, everyone aims for it to spend the night. If you don't mind crowds then you'll love it. If you don't like crowds, you may have trouble finding a serene corner to camp. If you really want to find serenity, you might try camping at the far end of the beach where you will find quite a large sea cave. If you love waking up to whales in the distance and the beautiful roar of waterfalls nearby, then you will find that at Tsusiat. The campsite is well designed for crowds though as the hundreds of driftwood logs on the beach have fashioned partitioned areas randomly, where some sort of organized privacy exists. 

Tsusiat Falls on the West Coast Trail

Tsusiat Falls Campsite Map - West Coast Trail

  Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 1 Pachena to Darling Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 2 Darling to Tsusiat Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 3 Tsusiat to Carmanah Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 4 Carmanah to Walbran

Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 5 Walbran to Cullite Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 6 Cullite to Camper Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 7 Camper to Thrasher

 Michigan Creek at 12k Darling River at 14k Orange Juice Creek at 15k Tsocowis Creek at 16.5k Klanawa River at 23k

Tsusiat Falls at 25k Cribs Creek at 42k Carmanah Creek at 46k Bonilla Creek at 48k

Walbran Creek at 53k Cullite Cove at 58k Camper Bay at 62k Thrasher Cove at 70k

Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailPrologue Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail1: The West Coast Trail Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail2: When to Hike & Fees Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail3: Trailheads Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail4: Getting There

Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail5: Considerations Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail6: Campsites Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail7: Shipwrecks Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail8: Routes