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

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

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

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

Darling 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 ...
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The 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. ...
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David Logan is one of the main characters on the origin and history of the West Coast Trail. Shortly after the West Coast Telegraph Line was constructed in 1889 to link the lighthouses at Carmanah Point and Cape Beale to Victoria, he was hired as a lineman to ...
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Cape 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 ...
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Day 5 on the West Coast Trail is a stunning, very difficult and tremendously enjoyable day of hiking. Walbran Creek is gorgeous campsite to wake up to. Your tent will open up to a sweeping view of ...
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The second, or second to last campsite on the West Coast Trail is at Darling River. Located just 1.6 kilometres(1 mile) from Michigan Creek, the Darling River campsite has an alright, sandy beach and a truly wonderful waterfall. Darling Falls pour into a ...
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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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Walbran Creek at 53k is home to possibly the best, and most unappreciated campsites on the West Coast Trail. The Walbran Creek campsite encapsulates so much that makes the West Coast Trail truly wonderful. The expansive beach which seems purpose built for ...
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