A to Z West Coast TrailThere are quite a few books about West Coast Trail shipwrecks, though many of them are tough to find and written decades ago. Here is a list of the ones we have found with the best information on the often scarce history of many of the lesser known shipwrecks along the west coast of Vancouver Island. One of the books, "Breakers Ahead!" was actually written in order to influence the creation of what would become the incredible West Coast Trail.

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A to Z West Coast TrailOwen Point, at about the 67km mark on the West Coast Trail is home to a stunningly colourful and well hidden area of sandstone caves carved out by the ocean. Centuries of crashing waves have gouged out huge, circular openings in the cliffs jutting out into the ocean. If the tide is low enough you can walk through a gap in the rock face and walk in behind one of the huge openings, like a giant window to the Pacific Ocean.

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A to Z West Coast TrailCape Flattery Lighthouse is located on the United States side of the entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait. Began operation in 1857, the lighthouse tower is 20 metres tall and standing on a cliff the tower’s light stands 50 metres above the water. Cape Flattery Lighthouse was decommissioned in 2008 when a modern, battery and solar powered tower light was installed.

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A to Z West Coast TrailThe Pachena Point Lighthouse is an interesting bit of west coast history that you can visit. You can only see the grounds outside and not in the lighthouse itself. The view down from the 100 foot cliffs surrounding the lighthouse are beautiful and a vivid look at how powerful the crashing waves are. Pachena Point is the menacing point of land out to the left if you are standing next to the lighthouse.

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A to Z West Coast TrailJuan de Fuca Strait is the 154km long and 16km to 32km wide stretch of ocean that separates Vancouver Island from the northwest corner of Washington State. The international boundary between Canada and the United State runs down the centre of the strait. It was named in 1787 by the English explorer Charles Barkley for Greek navigator Juan de Fuca, who sailed in a Spanish expedition in 1592 and was possibly the first western explorer to encounter the strait.

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A to Z West Coast TrailAlong the West Coast Trail you encounter countless deadfall around, over and along the trail. Deadfall is the name for dead and fallen trees and in a West Coast rainforest you see some magnificent examples. The West Coast Trail runs down the stormy West Coast of Vancouver Island which topples giant trees for six months of the year. 

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A to Z West Coast TrailThe Cape Beale Lighthouse was built in 1873 and lit up the southern tip of the entrance to Barkley Sound. Barkley Sound is the huge gap in Vancouver Island filled with islands, with Ucluelet at the north end of the gap and Bamfield and Cape Beale at the south end. The West Coast Trail's Pachena Bay trailhead begins just south of Bamfield and 6 kilometres east of Cape Beale.

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A to Z West Coast TrailCarmanah Point Lighthouse is located near the 44km mark of the West Coast Trail. It guards the entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait opposite the Cape Flattery Lighthouse 24.5km across the strait in the United States. Operational in 1891, the original structure was built out of wood. In 1920 the tower was rebuilt out of concrete and this is the one we see today. 

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A to Z West Coast TrailWilliam Philip Daykin was the first lightkeeper of the Carmanah Point Lighthouse from 1891 to 1912. In books and newspapers he is either written as Phil Daykin or W.P. Daykin. He and his wife Helen Strelley Marriott Daykin had five sons, Charles Thomas Daykin, Edward "Ted" Daykin, William Taber Daykin, Roby Strelley Daykin and Philip Culme Daykin. He kept a meticulous lighthouse diary in which he recorded every ship sighted from his commanding view from the lighthouse tower.

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West Coast Trail Guide

The West Coast Trail is incredible. Everything about it is amazing. From the wildly, incomprehensibly enormous trees to endless jaw dropping views. And it's tough.  Very tough.  It is a trail that shouldn't exist. Hiking trails always form out of the easiest route worn ...
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There are lots of options to getting to the West Coast Trail. The trail is linear so you have to arrange to get to the trailhead as well as from your exit trailhead. Most West Coast Trail hikers drive to one trailhead then bus to the other and hike back to their car. ...
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There are 13 established campsites along the West Coast Trail. They are fairly well spaced out and all are located near fresh water creeks and rivers.  Amenities are kept to a minimum to keep the trail wild and beautiful, so you rarely see any signs or markers to ...
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The West Coast Trail hiking season is confined to just five months due to the dangerously stormy weather during the winter months. In the winter the days are short, tides are high and heavy rain and strong winds are frequent. Hiking the trail in the summer is tough ...
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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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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 shipwreck on ...
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The Valencia Disaster

The Valencia was a 252-foot-long passenger steamship built in 1882 in Philadelphia. She served as a passenger ship down the eastern coast of North America until 1898 when she was sold to the Pacific ...
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The Valencia wrecked just before midnight on Monday, January 22nd, 1906.  Nearly 34 hours later, at 9am Wednesday morning the situation on the Valencia was horrific.  Battered by waves, the ship was ...
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This is a much more accurate list of the victims of the Valencia shipwreck than all the other lists currently found online and in print.  The passenger and crew list given by the owners of the ...
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West Coast Trail Campsites

Cullite Cove is a wonderful campsite on the West Coast Trail at the 58 kilometre mark. One of the nicest campsites that has everything, a lovely wooded area with clearings for tents and campfires, stunning views all around. A terrific, pebble beach, beautifully ...
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One of the most popular and beautiful campsites along the West Coast Trail is Tsusiat Falls. Tsusiat 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 ...
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The Tsocowis Creek campsite at 16.5k has a decent beach with an excellent water source. Most hikers pass through the beach here on their way to Michigan if heading north or Tsusiat Falls if hiking south. The beach at Tsocowis is fairly decent and there is plenty ...
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Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail was created after decades of brutal and costly shipwrecks occurred along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  One shipwreck in particular was so horrific, tragic and unbelievable that it forced the creation of a trail along the coast, which ...
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Victoria Hiking Trails

Victoria has a seemingly endless number of amazing hiking trails.  Most take you to wild and beautiful Pacific Ocean views and others take you to tranquil lakes in beautiful BC Coastal Rainforest wilderness.  Regional Parks and Provincial Parks are everywhere you turn ...
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Whistler Hiking Trails

Whistler is an amazing place to hike. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous thing about Whistler is that Garibaldi Provincial Park ...
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