A to Z West Coast TrailDarling Falls has to be the most overlooked and underrated feature of the West Coast Trail. It never even appeared in West Coast Trail guidebooks until recently and hardly any websites or blogs give it a mention. There are some good reasons for this. First, the falls are located just 14km from the start, or finish of the West Coast Trail

West Coast Trail Shipwrecks

 Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailAlaskan at 4k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailSoquel at 5k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailSarah at 7k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailBecherdass-Ambiadass at 8k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailMichigan at 12k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailUzbekistan at 13.8k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailVarsity at 17.6k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailValencia at 18.3k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailJanet Cowan at 19k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailRobert Lewers at 20k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailWoodside at 20.2k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailUncle John at 26.2k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailVesta at 29k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailRaita at 33k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailSkagit at 34.2k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailSanta Rita at 37k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailDare at 39k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailLizzie Marshall at 47k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailPuritan at 48.5k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailWempe Brothers at 49.4k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailDuchess of Argyle at 58k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailJohn Marshall at 62.3k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailWilliam Tell at 64.2 Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailRevere at 69k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailCyrus at 75k

West Coast Trail Campsites

West Coast Trail CampsitesMichigan Creek at 12km  West Coast Trail CampsitesDarling River at 14km  West Coast Trail CampsitesOrange Juice Creek at 15km  West Coast Trail CampsitesTsocowis Creek at 16.5km  West Coast Trail CampsitesKlanawa River at 23km  West Coast Trail CampsitesTsusiat Falls at 25km  West Coast Trail CampsitesCribs Creek at 42km  West Coast Trail CampsitesCarmanah Creek at 46km  West Coast Trail CampsitesBonilla Creek at 48km  West Coast Trail CampsitesWalbran Creek at 53km  West Coast Trail CampsitesCullite Cove at 58km  West Coast Trail CampsitesCamper Bay at 62km  Thrasher Cove - West Coast Trail CampsitesThrasher Cove at 70km

Though there is a good campsite at Darling River, most hikers choose the not so good campsite, Michigan Creek at 12km. Michigan Creek is the first campsite you come to if hiking from the Pachena Bay(Bamfield) trailhead. Hikers seem to choose the first campsite reflexively and because guidebooks and sites largely miss Darling Falls, hikers tend to as well. If you are hiking in the other direction, most hikers choose Michigan Creek to camp as it is the last campsite and they want to hike as little distance as possible on their last day. The reason for this is partly because the south end of the trail is considerably more difficult than the north end and much of the trail between Michigan Creek and the trailhead at Pachena Bay is comparatively easy. So, if you are hiking south to north and see the distance is 12km, you reasonably expect it to be more challenging than it is. Another reason Darling Falls is overlooked is its location once again. Hikers on their first day are gung ho and rush past it, heading down the beach. Hikers heading north are exhausted, nearing the end of the trail and rushing to their final campsite. 

Darling Falls West Coast Trail Map

Darling Falls Map v8

Easily Overlooked Darling Falls

Another big reason Darling Falls is missed by almost everyone is its location upriver, just out of site from the beach. So, if you are hiking along the beach, don't know it is there because you never saw it online or in a guidebook, you would never know to look. The first time I noticed it was when I happened to be standing next to Darling River and looking out at the ocean. I could faintly hear a sound behind me, so I wandered along the river toward it. I was shocked when I first saw it. To me it looked like paradise. A small waterfall, just a three or four metres tall, pouring over a rock ledge into a wonderful pool of green water. The place seemed like paradise surrounded by the most wildly beautiful forest. Darling Falls seemed to me like the perfect representation of the West Coast Trail. Evidence of brutal winter storms lay in the river in the form of huge trees polished smooth by months of rolling around in the ocean before getting smashed up into this river valley. 

Darling Falls Deadfall West Coast Trail

Such an amazing place closed in by the wildly beautiful rainforest. Located just far enough from the beach to remain unseen by unaware, passing hikers, Darling Falls is a hidden paradise. 

Darling Falls Deadfall West Coast Trail

These big driftwood logs are located a considerable distance up Darling River. On a nice day in May it hard to fathom how they got here. It takes a few moments of looking around and some imagination to figure out that this serene little river valley could be filled with water, crashing waves and giant logs like this tumbling in!

Beautiful Darling Falls

Looking back from the falls you can see the distant gap in the trees where the forest opens up to the beach.

Darling River from Darling Falls

West Coast Trail Campsites

The Pacheedaht Campground is a beautiful, and often bustling campground, quite close to the Gordon River trailhead for the West Coast Trail. Pacheedaht Beach is exactly what you would hope for in a Vancouver Island, west coast beach. It is a two kilometres long, ...
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The 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 ...
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The Bonilla Creek campsite at 48km on the West Coast Trail is easy to miss, as it looks very unassuming from the beach. Most hikers pass by Bonilla Falls, which is nestled against a small cliff at the edge of a suddenly deep forest. And the forest hides a nice ...
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The Valencia Disaster

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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The Valencia was equipped with six lifeboats and a smaller working boat. These seven boats could hold up to 181 people. Just enough to accommodate the estimated 178 crew and passengers aboard.  There ...
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After the McCarthy boat was launched successfully and cleared the breakers at around 9am Tuesday January 23rd the captain, crew and passengers on the Valencia confidently expected men to soon appear ...
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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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Best West Coast Trail Sights

The West Coast Trail by Day

Amazing Whistler Hiking Trails

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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