8 West Coast Trail RatingThe 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, wide, sandy beach with the ever present tangle of driftwood logs scattered along its length. The sand is powdery and soft and the salt smell of the ocean is wonderfully invigorating.

  • West Coast Trail ProBeautiful Canadian west coast beach
  • West Coast Trail ProLook across the the start of the WCT!
  • West Coast Trail ProVery convenient to the WCT
  • West Coast Trail ProAlways friendly fellow campers
  • West Coast Trail ProSomeone always has a seafood BBQ going!
  • West Coast Trail ProOrganized campsite layout
  • West Coast Trail ProSalmon fishing is unbelievable here!
  • West Coast Trail ProCrab fishing is easy & amazing here!
  • West Coast Trail ConOften busy, poorly staffed, dirty & messy
  • West Coast Trail ConLocals steal from campers(eg:shoes outside tent!)

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

This beach and campground is popular with a variety of recreational users. From West Coast Trail hikers gearing up to start the trail or bedraggled after finishing it. To obsessed fishermen with their array of recreational devices, including deluxe campers and bewilderingly extravagant fishing boats. Salmon fishing, you quickly realize is extraordinarily good and popular here. Sixty pound Chinook salmon are caught near here quite often! The Chinook is the largest species of Pacific salmon. The largest Chinook salmon ever recorded caught, was a 126 pound(57kg) monster!

In fact, there is so much life under the waves here that you can row a boat out in front of the beach here, drop a crab trap, and come back a couple hours later to a bonanza of crabs. You often find groups of stereotypical Canadians along the beach here, surrounding a fire with an enormous pot full of crabs and drinking huge amounts of beer. Enjoying themselves very much in this wild corner of paradise!

One aspect of the Pacheedaht Campground that surprises most is how huge, spread out and varied it is. You can get a campsite on the beach, or back from it. You may get lucky and get a bit of privacy from your neighbours, or find yourself jammed in, close to others. Some sites are not on, or particularly close to the beach, but rather along the lagoon. Often your campsite is luck of the draw, although you can often get placed somewhat close to your requested site.

Pacheedaht Campground Near KM75 West Coast Trail

Pacheedaht Campground - Port Renfrew

Owing to the spread out nature of the campsite, many have difficulty finding where to check in. You are supposed to check in before heading to your campsite. Don't look for a lot of direction signs, but orient yourself by the drive in. After you cross the single lane bridge, you should drive past the the first campsites and when you see the large marina sign(pointing right), you will also see a smaller sign for the Pacheedaht Campground(pointing left). Follow the Pacheedaht signs to the little check in office. You can just drop in to get a campsite or reserve ahead online. There doesn't seem to be an advertised phone number or website for the Pacheedaht Campground, though there is an email address: Email: [email protected]  Address: Pachidah Road, Port Renfrew, BC.

Pacheedaht Campground Map

The Pacheedaht Campground is located almost directly across from the Gordon River trailhead for the West Coast Trail.  The campsite runs along the beautiful beach which looks across Port San Juan to the heavily forested coast with the West Coast Trail hidden inside.

Pacheedaht Campground Map v2

Shipwrecks Near Port Renfrew Along the West Coast Trail

The Cyrus Shipwreck Near KM75

The Cyrus Shipwreck -West Coast Trail Graveyard of the PacificThe shipwreck Cyrus is located just down from the West Coast Trail's Gordon River trailhead. If you stand at the wonderful, long, sandy beach that spans the width of Port San Juan and look out over the ocean on your right, you will be looking over the patch of ocean where the Cyrus met her end. The Cyrus was a 213 ton, two masted ship, built in 1832. The Cyrus was sailing from Steilacoom, Washington with a cargo of lumber heading to San Francisco. She had sailed this route many times, however on December 23rd, 1858 she ran into a storm off Cape Flattery. Her cargo shifted causing her to list and the crew struggled to sail her into Port San Juan to escape the storm. She managed to limp to safety and anchored along the beach in front of present day Port Renfrew. After the storm had let up, the Cyrus set sail, however was unable to catch enough wind to maneuver and she was forced to anchor again. While at anchor, a southerly squall hit her and snapped the anchor chain. Another anchor was dropped, but it was too late as the Cyrus dragged the anchor until she was driven onto the beach near the mouth of Gordon River. The ship slowly came apart during the following days, her rigging, sails and cargo were mostly salvaged. 

Cyrus shipwreck continued here...

The Revere Shipwreck Near KM69

Shipwreck Icon West Coast TrailThe Revere shipwreck lays at the bottom of Port San Juan between Thrasher Cove and Owen PointThrasher Cove is the first or last West Coast Trail campsite you will encounter. She was a large 3 masted barque of 829 tons, built in 1849 in Medford, Massachusetts. She became a victim of the Graveyard of the Pacific on September 9th, 1883. The Revere spent much of her life sailing back and forth from Liverpool in the 1850's. In 1883 she was sailing from Honolulu in ballast for a port in Puget Sound. She was carrying a crew of 13 plus 4 passengers. Nearing Cape Flattery, the Revere found herself in thick fog and calm winds. Unable to see, she was carried by the notorious Juan de Fuca Strait current, across the strait. On the morning of Sunday, September 9th, 1883 the crew heard breaking waves and rushed to drop an anchor. It was too late, however, as the Revere slid around and hit the reef broadside. Breakers pounded her against the rocky coast of Vancouver Island as the crew escaped in lifeboats. The Revere was battered by the waves and broke up in the coming days and weeks. The crew was ferried to Victoria by the local Indians in canoes.

Revere shipwreck continued here...

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 From Gordon River Trailhead

If you are camping at the Pacheedaht Campground, you likely just finished, or are about to start the West Coast Trail.  If you are starting the West Coast Trail from the Gordon River trailhead, the kilometre markers along the trail start at KM75 and count down to KM0 at the Pachena Bay trailhead at the opposite end of the trail.  Starting from the Port Renfrew end of the trail at the Gordon River trailhead, you will come to the first campsite at Thrasher Cove near KM70.

 Gordon River Campsite Map v8

Thrasher Cove Campsite at KM70

4 West Coast Trail RatingThrasher Cove at KM70 has a lot of good aspects as well as some bad. In terms of good, the beach is very pretty and quite interesting. Not a broad and long beach, the beach at Thrasher is quite varied with rock outcrops and constant bends. You can easily keep yourself amused by wandering down the beach, poking your head around every new corner. Back at the campsite, the beach tent sites are backed by an alarmingly abrupt ascent to the main trail. The outhouses at Thrasher Cove are perched up in the trees above the beach and looking around, you feel the embrace of the trees all around giving just narrow glimpses of the ocean. As for bad, Thrasher Cove is generally crowded with fellow campers, and you may find yourselves elbow to elbow with a dozen or more tents in an increasingly confined area. The problem, of course is the narrow beach and abrupt cliff at your back. This does, however, give you a wonderful feeling of how the West Coast Trail truly is. Wild rainforest behind you with ladders attached to the steep terrain and a beautiful ocean in front of you.

Thrasher Cove Campsite West Coast Trail

Thrasher Cove Campsite Map v9

Thrasher Cove campsite continued here...

Camper Bay Campsite at KM62

6 West Coast Trail RatingCamper Creek is beautiful, similar to Cullilte Cove there are cliffs on either side. The downside is crowding. It's the first really good campsite from the Port Renfrew(Gordon River trailhead) direction. Still, it's spacious and well laid out with the creek cutting along the edge and around to the ocean. 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. Cullite Cove is a wonderful campsite on the West Coast Trail at the 58 kilometre mark. One of the nicest 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 beautiful cliffs on either side. Cullite Creek pours into the cove, making for a stunning, albeit freezing swim into the surf. The campsite here is often very quiet as everybody seems to camp at Camper Creek just 4 kilometres away and doesn't even drop down the short detour off the main trail to Cullite Cove.

Camper Bay Campsite West Coast Trail

Camper Bay Campsite Map v7

Camper Bay campsite continued here...

Cullite Cove Campsite at KM58

9 West Coast Trail RatingCullite Cove is a wonderful campsite on the West Coast Trail at the 58 kilometre mark. Yet another beautiful campsite 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 beautiful 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 Campsite

Cullite Cove Campsite Map v8

Cullite Cove campsite continued here...

Best West Coast Trail Sights & Highlights

Best West Coast Trail Sights

West Coast Trail Campsites

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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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, ...
Read more
Thrasher Cove is the first, or last West Coast Trail campsite you will encounter. It has a lot of good aspects as well as some bad. In terms of good, the beach is very pretty and quite interesting. Not a broad and long beach, the beach at Thrasher is quite varied ...
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West Coast Trail A to Z

Juan 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 ...
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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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There 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 ...
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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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