Cullite to Camper is Brutally BeautifulDay 6 on the West Coast Trail is another short, yet brutally challenging day hiking between Cullite Cove and Camper Bay. The ladders and mud sections are numerous as you snake your way through the thick rainforest. It is sometimes funny and sometimes worrying to see hikers coming toward you with a look agony and determination. A very fit person will find the trail difficult.

An out of shape hiker must find the trail exhausting at every turn. Between Cullite Cove and Camper Bay you pass northbound hikers on their second or third day hiking, and the look they give you in passing reveals a hint of doubt that they can make it. Everybody knows that the trail from the Gordon River trailhead starts off extremely difficult, then gradually gets easier.

By the time you reach Walbran Creek at the 53 kilometre mark, you return to beach hiking and escape the maze of ladders and mud pits. One thing that is very endearing about the West Coast Trail is the alternating sections of beach hiking and forest hiking. You emerge from the forest, muddy, sweaty and sometimes bloody and find yourself on a stunning west coast beach. Wild and beautiful, with nobody for miles and the Pacific Ocean stretching beyond the horizon. Before long you will encounter a river or stream to dunk yourself into. Or better yet find one of many waterfalls along the West Coast Trail. There are a few big ones and dozens and dozens of smaller ones tumbling off of short cliffs. These ones require a trick to find because the thick forest tends to hide them back from the beach.

If you hike high on the beach away from the ocean you will have to work harder with every step as you sink into soft sand instead of the harder, moist sand at the water's edge. You will, before long hear the wonderful sound of a waterfall. You follow the faint sound through the curtain of forest and there it is. A channel of water flowing off a rock face just a couple metres above your head. Often the water amounts to a little more than a shower in your house. But when you are exhausted, sweaty, dirty and thirsty, these little waterfalls are terrific to find. Back on the beach hiking for a while on a beautiful sunny day you find yourself in paradise. Every section of beach is quite different. Some are nice sand, some are rocky. Some are filled with life and others you see little life stirring in the shallows. After an hour or two you find yourself longing to get back in the forest. It is the West Coast Trail way of changing the channel and it never gets old.

Day 6 Cullite to Camper on the West Coast Trail Map

On Day 6 hiking Cullite Cove to Camper Bay you don't have any opportunities to walk along the ocean. It is a brutal, yet always entertaining barrage of rainforest obstacles. Ladders, giant fallen trees to crawl over and under. Fallen trees that have been modified to become part of the West Coast Trail by chainsawing steps or flat sections into them so you can walk the length over some chasm. These test your balance and bravery as one slip and you crash down into the forest below. Only a couple metres to fall, but there is always one bit in the middle where the drop is 3 or 4 metres and you have to remind yourself to focus on your next step. There are lots of these on the West Coast Trail and some are a bit more tangled.

Natural(almost) Bridge and Steps on the West Coast Trail

Some crossings are done by crawling over a tangle of trees sprawled over a creek. These are the ones that when first seen you think, they mustn't have had time to clear this crossing yet, busy fixing other parts of the trail. Then you hike the West Coast Trail a year, or two, or three years later and it is still the same! Then you realize the wisdom in leaving it the way it is. A tangled, spider web of fallen trees to be your way across a chasm or creek bed, is pretty amazing. You start to appreciate the rainforest trail carnage and it becomes one more aspect of your love affair with the West Coast Trail.

Cullite Cove Campsite at 58k

Cullite Cove Campsite Rating - West Coast TrailCullite Cove is a wonderful campsite on the West Coast Trail at the 58 kilometre mark. If you are starting your day, waking up here, you won't want to leave. Cullite Cove is one of the best campsites you will find on the West Coast Trail. It has everything, a lovely wooded area with clearings for tents and campfires. Stunning views all around. A terrific, rocky beach, beautifully hemmed in by towering cliffs on either side. Cullite Creek pours into the cove, making for a stunning, albeit freezing swim into the surf. Cullite Cove is a close to perfect as a campsite can get. Cullite Creek is beautiful, crystal clear green, big and slow moving into Cullite Cove, a picture perfect beach hemmed in by majestic cliffs on both sides.  Just off the beach, several campsites are laid out, hidden in the trees.  Your first thought on seeing this site is to want to stay for a week.  The campsite here is often very quiet as everybody seems to camp at Camper Bay just 4 kilometres away and doesn't even drop down the short detour off the main trail to Cullite Cove

Cullite Cove on the West Coast Trail

Duchess of Argyle Shipwreck at 58k

The Duchess of Argyle Shipwreck - West Coast Trail Graveyard of the PacificThe Duchess of Argyle met her end at the mouth of Cullite Cove back at the 58 kilometre mark of the West Coast Trail. She was a huge, four masted barque with an iron hull and watertight bulkheads. She was sailing in ballast from San Francisco on October 13th, 1887, bound for Vancouver. She would pick up lumber and sail for Melbourne, Australia. Sailing up the coast from San Francisco, the good weather turned bad on October 16th. For almost two weeks a powerful gale hammered the Duchess of Argyle. When the storm finally let up, Cape Flattery was sighted about 20 miles away. The ship, unable to find wind, floated with the current, inching towards Juan de Fuca Strait. Soon a small tug boat arrived to assist the enormous becalmed ship through the strait. They lowered sails and got the hawser aboard to connect the ships. The captain of the tug quickly realized that his vessel was too small to manage such a huge ship rolling in the seas. Cape Flattery was still about 14 miles distant and concealed by fog much of the time. The Duchess of Argyle wallowed in the current until midnight when a strong eastward gale gripped the ship once more. They sailed for Cape Flattery until the wind died again and on November 1st the fog lifted revealing Cape Flattery just 3 miles away. Suddenly the fog returned again, thicker than ever. They crawled forward slowly hoping for the fog to lift again. The fog didn't let up and at 315pm on November 3rd, breakers were heard...

Camper Bay Campsite at 62k

Camper Bay Campsite Rating - West Coast TrailCamper Bay is beautiful, similar to Cullite Cove there are cliffs on either side.  The downside is crowding.  It's the first really good campsite from the Port Renfrew direction. Still, it's spacious.  Another downside is the proximity of Port Renfrew.  It's hard to get the wilderness feeling when you can see boats pass every minute and cruise ships in the distance. Camper Bay is often home to quite a number of campers. You always find the campsite lined with tents along the treeline packed so close together as to hear each others conversations. A bit too cozy, but on the other hand, Camper Bay is a great place to socialize with fellow campers. The linear tent site arrangement make it necessary for you and others to walk past several tents to do almost anything. So you get fairly well acquainted with your fellow West Coast Trail hikers. The trail from Camper Bay in both directions is pretty brutal with ladders and erratic terrain, so you and your fellow campers with be exhausted.

Camper Bay Campsite on the West Coast Trail

Camper Bay Campsite on the West Coast Trail

Camper Bay Campsite Map West Coast Trail

The John Marhshall Shipwreck at Camper Bay at 62.2k

The John Marshall Shipwreck - West Coast Trail Graveyard of the PacificThe John Marshall shipwreck is located under the waves just outside the mouth of Camper Bay at the 62 kilometre mark of the West Coast Trail. Owing to the great difficulty and slow progress hikers are forced to take on this section of the West Coast Trail, nearly everyone camps at Camper Bay. If you do, you will be sleeping near this shipwreck that occurred here in 1860. The John Marshall was an old eastern built, 3 masted ship of 321 tons. Sailing in from San Francisco with a crew of 10, she was heading to Seabeck, Washington in ballast to pick up a load of lumber. Off Cape Flattery the John Marshall met a raging storm that left her beached in front of Camper Bay. There seem to be few details of this shipwreck, however, local natives reported that two ships came ashore from the storm that night. It had been assumed that she foundered off Cape Flattery with no survivors. So it was quite a surprise to find her ashore at Camper Bay, with her hull visible at low tide and her masts, spars and rigging scattered on the beach. There are no details of deaths from this shipwreck, so it is assumed that there was no loss of life.

  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 CarmanahHiking 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

 

West Coast Trail Shipwrecks

The Alaskan was a small, wooden hulled steamship of 150 tons built in Oregon in 1886. She was ...
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The Soquel shipwreck, which lies just past Seabird Rocks, was a much larger ship than the ...
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Built in 1864 the 1376 ton, 3 masted ship, Becherdass-Ambiadass was wrecked on the rocky shore ...
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The Uzbekistan was a steel steamship of 2569 tons. Built in 1937 in France and became a ...
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The Varsity was a fishing boat of 90 tons, returning to Puget Sound from California on February ...
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The Janet Cowan was a steel sailing vessel, four-masted, bark rigged, of 2498 tons built at ...
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The Robert Lewers was a 185 foot, four masted schooner of 732 tons, built in Port Blakely, ...
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The Uncle John was a 138 foot, three masted barkentine of 314 tons. Built in Eureka, California ...
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The Raita shipwreck is located off the reefs at about the 33 kilometre mark of the West Coast ...
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The Skagit, a 3 masted barkentine of 506 tons was wrecked on the reef in front of Clo-oose on ...
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The Puritan was a 4 masted schooner of 614 tons sailing inbound from San Francisco in ballast. ...
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The Duchess of Argyle shipwreck lays at the bottom of the sea at the mouth of Cullite Cove near the ...
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The John Marshall shipwreck is located under the waves just outside the mouth of Camper Bay at ...
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