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. 

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 CampgroundCape

Many are flushed out of the forest in flooding rivers and creeks into the ocean where they are churned in the sea for a while, then tossed back on land by some magnificent storm. You find the most extraordinary examples of this all along the West Coast Trail. Huge, ocean polished deadfall sprawled across the beach or laying in a riverbed, hundreds of metres from the ocean. Deadfall is the more generalized term, however there are other words to describe more specific forms of deadfall. Windthrow and blowdown refer to trees that were blown over and uprooted. A tree that has not been ripped out by its roots, but instead snapped along its trunk is called windsnap. Windsnap is often the most impressive type of deadfall you see as you can't quite get your head around how a storm could be so powerful as to snap a massive tree in half. What an amazing sight to see and hear, the snap must be incredibly loud. Every year storms topple a huge number of trees across the West Coast Trail and the trail crews have a considerably amount of work repairing and clearing the trail. Many trees come crashing down on boardwalks and a gap has to be cut through the tree and the boardwalk rebuilt. Often you see boardwalk still crushed under some fallen giant and a new boardwalk constructed around or over it. Sometimes deadfall is used as a bridge over a creek or ravine. Much of the deadfall you see on the West Coast Trail is so bizarre that you have trouble figuring out how it came to be in the position it is in. Deadfall is just one of many features that makes the West Coast Trail such a wild and incredible place!

Deadfall and Windsnap Across the West Coast Trail

This deadfall and windsnap appears near the start of the West Coast Trail at about KM4. Laying across the trail just high enough to crouch under and continue down the trail. These two trees disappear into the rainforest on either side and you can't even tell which direction they fell from.

Deadfall and Windsnap West Coast Trail

Deadfall Art Near KM8 on the West Coast Trail

This mystifying couple of trees appear to have fallen together and are now holding each other up. They look like a deadfall art exhibit as you pass under them near KM8 on the West Coast Trail.

Deadfall West Coast Trail

Darling River Deadfall Driftwood Giants

Darling River between the beach and Darling Falls always seems to have a collection of enormous deadfall driftwood laying in and across it. With the beach a couple hundred metres away it is hard to imagine how they could have gotten thrown this far up the river. The winter storms must be colossal to toss monsters like this so far. The perfectly idyllic Darling Falls just a few metres away must look like a war zone during the stormy winter months.

Darling River Deadfall Driftwood

Darling River Upside Down Deadfall Roots

The variety of deadfall in and along Darling River is bizarre and beautiful. This upside down tree in the middle of the river makes you stare in wonder for a while. Is it deeply sunk into the river bed or is it flat and just balancing there?

Darling Falls Deadfall West Coast Trail

Stunning Darling Falls

Darling Falls is beautiful, perfect and serene. In the calm weather summer months you have to imaging what it must look like during winter storms that are capable of launching huge trees this far from the ocean. Much of the year Darling River swells to a torrent and too fast and violent to cross. After heavy rain in the summer is sometimes prevents modern day hikers from crossing and forces them to wait until it calms down to a reasonable level to walk through.

Darling Falls Deadfall West Coast Trail

Deadfall Crossing Over Orange Juice Creek

Just up the beach from Darling River you have to cross this hilarious pile of deadfall driftwood to get over Orange Juice Creek with Orange Juice Falls pouring down like a fire hose. The variety of ways to cross rivers, creeks and ravines along the West Coast Trail is fantastic.

Orange Juice Creek Deadfall Crossing

Deadfall Smashed West Coast Trail Boardwalk at KM17

Numerous deadfall trees have obliterated this section of boardwalk near KM17 turning it into another marvelous deadfall wreckage exhibit. You can only imagine what the West Coast Trail would look like if it wasn't cleared and cut through every year. Before the West Coast Trail was established and regular trail clearing was done, shipwreck survivors characterized the forest as impenetrable.

West Coast Trail Deadfall Damage

Colossal West Coast Trail Deadfall 

Incredibly huge giants lay along the beach routes on the West Coast Trail. This monster lays high up on the reef waiting for the next big storm to yank it back out to sea.

West Coast Trail Beach Deadfall Driftwood

Deadfall Crisscrossing the West Coast Trail

A gap was cut out to open up this pile of deadfall across the trail near KM24. Dozens of trees must have come down during one winter as the carnage continues for hundreds of metres and despite lots of work done was evidently to clear it, it is still a hilarious tangled mess.

West Coast Deadfall Trail

Boardwalk Altered Deadfall Ramp

This strange boardwalk ramp appears to have been crushed by one tree and jacked up near vertical, then another tree fell in front of it, finally it looks like trail crews cut away the deadfall holding it up, leaving the boardwalk to fall over the other deadfall and is now suspended like a ramp. 

West Coast Trail Smashed Boardwalk

Tsusiat Deadfall Forest Embrace 

This crazy deadfall tree near Tsusiat Falls looks like it may have fallen off the cliff or was blown in by a winter storm. However it got in this interesting position it is now being absorbed by the forest. The top half is wrapped in forest growth and bushes are growing out of it.

West Coast Trail Tsusiat Deadfall

Obliterated Boardwalk by Driftwood Deadfall

Another hilarious dead end on the West Coast Trail. This boardwalk was evidently crushed and buried by deadfall driftwood from some winter storm. You can see some of the wrecked boardwalk in the midst of the driftwood.

Boardwalk Driftwood Deadfall

Deadfall Wall on the West Coast Trail

This amazing deadfall wall is particularly funny. It looks like two big trees uprooted in a storm and it looks like the trail maintenance crew found the KM52 signs and pounded them into the ground of the crater left by the trees.

Deadfall Wall 52km West Coast Trail

A Perfect Deadfall Bridge

Sometimes deadfall crashes down in a perfect way, like this one to cross a creek. West Coast Trail maintenance crews modified it into a bridge.

Deadfall Bridge West Coast Trail

Deadfall Ramp Over a Pile of Deadfall

This deadfall ramp is a wonderful way to get across a pile of deadfall. Another crafty modification by the inventive West Coast Trail crews.

Deadfall Ramp KM63 West Coast Trail

Deadfall Creek

This amazing little creek has this crazy deadfall tree suspended awkwardly over it. You can tell the upper level the creek reaches by how sanded down the lower half of the tree is. How perfectly this scene represents the West Coast Trail. It is surreal, unexpected, unbelievable, wild and you have to assume that this wouldn't have ever been seen if there wasn't a trail running past it. How many thousands of similarly beautifully wonderful sights occur beyond the West Coast Trail. Expectation of something new and probably wonderful around the next corner is part of the magic of the West Coast Trail.

Deadfall Creek West Coast Trail

Never Ending Deadfall Exhibits

Just when you thought you have seen the most bizarre deadfall art on the West Coast Trail, you come to this at KM64. At T shape formed, after some thought, by a pile of deadfall, with one pressed on to another in a T shape. After a few years they fused together and eventually the top of the T rotted and broke off leaving this. There still must have been a time where the upper part was suspended somehow and that part is gone now too. 

Crazy Deadfall KM64 West Coast Trail

Beach Deadfall on the West Coast Trail

You can't help but marvel at the size of these giants laying across the reef. You can tell by their worn off roots that they have been sanded off by swirling in the ocean for weeks before getting tossed up on this reef for a few months, then pulled back out into the stormy sea in the winter.

Deadfall Driftwood West Coast Trail

More West Coast Trail Glossary A to Z

William 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, ...
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The 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 ...
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Owen 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 ...
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Shortly after 3pm on Tuesday afternoon on January 23rd the Valencia’s owners in Seattle received a message that the Valencia had gone ashore somewhere west of the Carmanah Lighthouse on Vancouver ...
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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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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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When shipping in and out of Juan de Fuca Strait rapidly increased in the mid 1800's and an alarming and costly number of ships were lost, the need for a inland trail was realized. It would take decades, and many more brutal and costly shipwrecks in the waters leading to
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The West Coast Trail

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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When to Hike & Fees

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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There are three entry/exit points for the West Coast Trail, however the midway entry/exit point at Nitinaht Narrows is for hikers only hiking part of the trail. The two main entry points are at Pachena Bay in the north(Bamfield) and Gordon River in the south(Port ...
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Getting There

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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The West Coast Trail is a very tough hike. About one out of one hundred hikers don't make it, they need to be rescued. That's why there are so many fees. By the time you are done preparing and registering, you laugh at how hiking got so expensive. Isn't hiking usually ...
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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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Sights & Highlights

West Coast Trail has a dizzying array of beautiful sights to see.  Unfortunately due to the difficulty of the trail, weather, or just too much focus on finishing the trail, many amazing things are missed, or simply glossed over quickly.  Darling Falls, for example, is a ...
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