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.

  • West Coast Trail ProCullite Cove is wonderful to wake up to
  • West Coast Trail ProJump into the Pacific steps from your tent
  • West Coast Trail ProExplore up the lovely shore of Cullite Creek
  • West Coast Trail ProJump in Cullite Creek before a hard day hiking
  • West Coast Trail ProLadders & hard rainforest hiking are rewarding
  • West Coast Trail ProLots of fun natural bridges & crossings
  • West Coast Trail ProBrutalized rainforest is entertaining to hike
  • West Coast Trail ProThe toughest hiking is soon behind you
  • West Coast Trail ConBrutally challenging rainforest hiking
  • West Coast Trail ConCamper Bay is always packed with hikers

Hike the West Coast Trail

  Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailPrologue Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail1: The West Coast Trail Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail2: When to Hike & Fees Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail3: Trailheads Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail4: Getting There Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail5: Considerations Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail6: Campsites Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail7: Shipwrecks Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail8: Routes Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 1 Pachena to Darling Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 2 Darling to Tsusiat Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 3 Tsusiat to Carmanah Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 4 Carmanah to Walbran Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 5 Walbran to Cullite Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 6 Cullite to Camper Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 7 Camper to Thrasher Michigan Creek at 12k Darling River at 14k Orange Juice Creek at 15k Tsocowis Creek at 16.5k Klanawa River at 23k Tsusiat Falls at 25k Cribs Creek at 42k Carmanah Creek at 46k Bonilla Creek at 48k Walbran Creek at 53k Cullite Cove at 58k Camper Bay at 62k Thrasher Cove at 70k

An out of shape hiker must find the trail exhausting at every turn. Between Cullite Cove and Camper Bay you pass northbound hikers on their second or third day hiking, and the look they give you in passing reveals a hint of doubt that they can make it. Everybody knows that the trail from the Gordon River trailhead starts off extremely difficult, then gradually gets easier. By the time you reach Walbran Creek at the 53 kilometre mark, you return to beach hiking and escape the maze of ladders and mud pits. One thing that is very endearing about the West Coast Trail is the alternating sections of beach hiking and forest hiking. You emerge from the forest, muddy, sweaty and sometimes bloody and find yourself on a stunning west coast beach. Wild and beautiful, with nobody for miles and the Pacific Ocean stretching beyond the horizon. Before long you will encounter a river or stream to dunk yourself into. Or better yet find one of many waterfalls along the West Coast Trail. There are a few big ones and dozens and dozens of smaller ones tumbling off of short cliffs. These ones require a trick to find because the thick forest tends to hide them back from the beach.

If you hike high on the beach away from the ocean you will have to work harder with every step as you sink into soft sand instead of the harder, moist sand at the water's edge. You will, before long hear the wonderful sound of a waterfall. You follow the faint sound through the curtain of forest and there it is. A channel of water flowing off a rock face just a couple metres above your head. Often the water amounts to a little more than a shower in your house. But when you are exhausted, sweaty, dirty and thirsty, these little waterfalls are terrific to find. Back on the beach hiking for a while on a beautiful sunny day you find yourself in paradise. Every section of beach is quite different. Some are nice sand, some are rocky. Some are filled with life and others you see little life stirring in the shallows. After an hour or two you find yourself longing to get back in the forest. It is the West Coast Trail way of changing the channel and it never gets old.

Day 6 Cullite to Camper Map v7

Leaving Cullite Cove at 58km

Leaving Cullite Cove starts with a ridiculously huge set of ladders up into the forest. One tall ladder leads to a platform, then another ladder, then another platform, then another ladder. 

From Cullite Cove up into the Rainforest

Cullite Cove Ladders Up

Day 6: Lots of Difficult Rainforest Hiking

On Day 6 hiking Cullite Cove to Camper Bay you don't have any opportunities to walk along the ocean. It is a brutal, yet always entertaining barrage of rainforest obstacles. Ladders, giant fallen trees to crawl over and under. Fallen trees that have been modified to become part of the West Coast Trail by chainsawing steps or flat sections into them so you can walk the length over some chasm. These test your balance and bravery as one slip and you crash down into the forest below. Only a couple metres to fall, but there is always one bit in the middle where the drop is 3 or 4 metres and you have to remind yourself to focus on your next step. There are lots of these on the West Coast Trail and some are a bit more tangled.

Bridge Near 59km West Coast Trail

Some crossings are done by crawling over a tangle of trees sprawled over a creek. These are the ones that when first seen you think, they mustn't have had time to clear this crossing yet, busy fixing other parts of the trail. Then you hike the West Coast Trail a year, or two, or three years later and it is still the same! Then you realize the wisdom in leaving it the way it is. A tangled, spider web of fallen trees to be your way across a chasm or creek bed, is pretty amazing. You start to appreciate the rainforest trail carnage and it becomes one more aspect of your love affair with the West Coast Trail.

Mud Pool and Missing Boardwalk at 60km

Some of the mud pools are very impressive and this one almost seems to be arranged this way as a joke. The boardwalk ends at a large pool of mud and the km 60 sign seems too perfectly arranged to be an accident. Such a funny spot on the West Coast Trail and a good snapshot of how the muddy rainforest trail looks like.

Mud Pool at 60km West Coast Trail

Ancient Boardwalk Near 60km

The cedar boardwalks are found all along the West Coast Trail. Resistant to rot, they last a long time. You do see wear and tear from thousands of hiking boots, but they are surprisingly solid and these ones have probably been here for decades.

Ancient Boardwalk Near 60km

Camper Bay Campsite at 62km

Camper Bay Campsite Rating - West Coast TrailCamper Bay is beautiful, similar to Cullite Cove there are cliffs on either side.  The downside is crowding.  It's the first really good campsite from the Port Renfrew direction. Still, it's spacious.  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 cosy, 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.

Camper Bay Campsite Map v7

Camper Creek West Coast Trail

Camper Creek West Coast Trail

Camper Creek Campsite West Coast Trail

Camper Creek Tent View West Coast Trail

 

Camper Bay Sunset

 

Camper Bay Sunset

The John Marhshall Shipwreck at Camper Bay at 62.2k

The John Marshall Shipwreck - West Coast Trail Graveyard of the PacificThe John Marshall shipwreck is located under the waves just outside the mouth of Camper Bay at the 62 kilometre mark of the West Coast Trail. Owing to the great difficulty and slow progress hikers are forced to take on this section of the West Coast Trail, nearly everyone camps at Camper Bay. If you do, you will be sleeping near this shipwreck that occurred here in 1860. The John Marshall was an old eastern built, 3 masted ship of 321 tons. Sailing in from San Francisco with a crew of 10, she was heading to Seabeck, Washington in ballast to pick up a load of lumber. Off Cape Flattery the John Marshall met a raging storm that left her beached in front of Camper Bay. There seem to be few details of this shipwreck, however, local natives reported that two ships came ashore from the storm that night. It had been assumed that she foundered off Cape Flattery with no survivors. So it was quite a surprise to find her ashore at Camper Bay, with her hull visible at low tide and her masts, spars and rigging scattered on the beach. There are no details of deaths from this shipwreck, so it is assumed that there was no loss of life.

West Coast Trail Day 7: Camper to Thrasher

The West Coast Trail by Day

Amazing Whistler Hiking Trails

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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Cullite Cove is a wonderful campsite on the West Coast Trail at the 58 kilometre mark. One of the nicest campsites that has everything, a lovely wooded area with clearings for tents and campfires, stunning views all around. A terrific, pebble beach, beautifully ...
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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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The Tsocowis Creek campsite at 16.5k has a decent beach with an excellent water source. Most hikers pass through the beach here on their way to Michigan if heading north or Tsusiat Falls if hiking south. The beach at Tsocowis is fairly decent and there is plenty ...
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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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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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All six boats launched in the first frantic 30 minutes after the Valencia wrecked were smashed against the ship or flipped and smashed against the base of the solid rock cliffs along the shore. ...
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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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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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