7 West Coast Trail RatingDay 1 on the West Coast Trail hiking south from the Pachena trailhead is a fairly relaxing first day. Your first beach, Pachena Beach is a lovely, wide, sandy arch that stretches to a thick wall of forest on either end. As you look past the beautiful beach and size up the thick wilderness that hides the start of the trail, you can't help but be struck by the vast jungle rainforest. The trees are so thick that they spill over the ocean and you can't see even a few metres beyond the abrupt, rocky coastline.

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9 Rating IconThe route from Darling River to Tsusiat Falls is just under 12 kilometres and quite a lot of that distance can be hiked on the beach. From Darling River you can take an inland route or walk along the beach. The beach route is very nice and few people hike the challenging inland route. Don't forget to jump in the pool at Darling Falls before you start hiking, you'll feel amazingly energized for the start of the trail!

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8 West Coast Trail RatingDay 6 on the West Coast Trail is another short, yet brutally challenging day hiking between Cullite Cove and Camper Bay. The ladders and mud sections are numerous as you snake your way through the thick rainforest. It is sometimes funny and sometimes worrying to see hikers coming toward you with a look agony and determination. A very fit person will find the trail difficult.

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8 West Coast Trail RatingDay 7 on the West Coast Trail from Camper Bay to Thrasher Cove or further along to the Gordon River trailhead gives you two route options. After three kilometres of very challenging rainforest hiking from Camper Bay, you come to a beach access route that branches off the main trail. From this point near 65km you can hike along the coast all the way to Thrasher Cove, or hike this section completely inland.

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West Coast Trail Guide

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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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 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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West Coast Trail Shipwrecks

Built in 1864 the 1376 ton, 3 masted ship, Becherdass-Ambiadass was wrecked on the rocky shore ...
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The Varsity was a fishing boat of 90 tons, returning to Puget Sound from California on February ...
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The Duchess of Argyle shipwreck lays at the bottom of the sea at the mouth of Cullite Cove near ...
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The Uncle John was a 138 foot, three masted barkentine of 314 tons. Built in Eureka, California in 1881 and ...
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The Valencia Disaster

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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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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When the survivors on the second raft were rescued by the Topeka just five hours into their ordeal and so close to death that they could barely stand, one of them asked about the first raft.  It was ...
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The Valencia departed from San Francisco at 11:20am on Saturday, January 20th 1906, bound for Victoria and Seattle. She cruised roughly parallel to the coast at a variable distance that ranged from about 8 ...
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West Coast Trail Campsites

Camper Bay campsite at the 62km mark of the West Coast Trail is very nice, similar to Cullite Cove there are cliffs on either side and a large creek flowing through. The downside is crowding due to the difficulty of the trail making it an almost essential campsite ...
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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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Carmanah Creek slowly flows through this wonderfully massive channel that cuts deep into the sand out to the ocean. There is a cable car crossing that connects to the forest on either side of the creek. Most West Coast Trail hikers pass the campsite here without ...
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Cribs Creek at 42k of the West Coast Trail is a beautiful, clean, and surprisingly emerald coloured creek that flows through the messy, beach campsite. The pretty creek is about the only nice part about this campsite. The beach is not great, it smells of ageing seaweed, ...
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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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