West Coast Trail
Botanical Beach, just south of Port Renfrew, is the northern trailhead of the world-renowned 75 kilometre (46 mile) West Coast Trail. Part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the unspoiled wilderness of the historic West Coast Trail is an experienced hiker’s fantasy playground.
Covering more than 25,000 hectares, this vigorous multi-day hiking trail features a fascinating range of geography. The trail will lead you on a journey alongside crashing ocean shorelines and free-running waterfalls, through rugged, old-growth coastal rainforests, over rocky cliffs and under natural stone arches, along sandstone ledges, and around inhabited tide pools. In addition, some of Canada’s largest and tallest trees are found on or near the trail. Very few wilderness adventures compare to the diverse topography of the West Coast Trail.
Surrounded by old-growth spruce, hemlock and cedar, the trail primarily follows a one-time telegraph route from the 1890s. The West Coast Trail is positioned between the rural communities of Bamfield and Port Renfrew along the section of coastline southeast of Barkley Sound. Entrenched in history, the trail was established to aid the rescue of marooned mariners, and along this particular section of coast more than 65 vessels succumbed to the ruthlessness of what’s known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific". Experiencing the rugged terrain and relentless shoreline firsthand brings appreciation for this rich history of the West Coast Trail into the present.
Hikers require a mandatory trail-use permit, however the reservation system, while recommended, is voluntary.
For more information about the West Coast Trail, please visit the following, recommended websites: Parks Canada website
Offical West Coast Trail website
Vancouver Island Outdoors website