West Coast Trail (Vancouver Island)

West Coast Trail (Vancouver Island)

Considered one of the top ten hikes in the world, the West Coast Trail is truly Canada’s most magnificent backpacking experience.  Established on the ancient paths and paddling routes used for trade and travel by First Nations, this trek is a part of our history and geography.

This trail offers 75 kilometres of rugged cliffs, majestic seas, old growth rainforests, sandy beaches, abandoned settlements, ocean wildlife and spectacular waterfalls. Experience all of this while hiking and camping with fantastic people and guides who are knowledgeable, inspiring and attentive. Truly Canadian. Truly memorable.

The trip, while challenging, is done over 7 days to allow time to adjust to the demands of the trail and to fully appreciate and explore the beauty.


July 14 – July 23, 2020

Tuesday July 14 – Arrival 7pm

Meet in Victoria at the Inn at Laurel Point (250) 386-8721 for final packing and a team “meet and greet.” Accommodation for this night is your own responsibility.

Wednesday July 15 – Day 0 – Preparation, 6am

Meet at the bus terminal in downtown Victoria (in front of the Royal BC Museum at #675 Beleville St.) with all of your gear. Bus leaves from Victoria at 6:45am. Take WCT shuttle bus to Bamfield at the north end of the trail (arrive at 12:45pm). Lunch in Bamfieldand then shuttle to the West Coast Trail (WCT) park office at Pachena Bay where we will have a mandatory park orientation. Set up camp that night at the Pachena Bay campground. This is a beautiful campground with beach access. This will be our first night camping and an opportunity to get introduced to the equipment (tents and stoves) and the LOLA camping system.

Thursday July 16 – Day 1 – Pachena Bay to Darling River (0 – 14km)

We begin our trek right from the campsite. The first challenge we encounter is a long ladder, one of the 70 sets of ladders on the trail. There are also 130 bridges to cross on the journey. This section of the trail winds mostly through the rainforest and is very well groomed relative to the rest of the route. This is one of the easiest sections of the entire hike and a nice warm-up with a heavy pack. Because of this, we will try to cover a good distance, from 14 to 17kms. Camp at either Darling River or Tsocowis Creek, depending on the weather and speed of the group.

Friday July 17 – Day 2 – Darling River to Tsusiat Falls (14km – 26km)

Travel from our campsite to Trestle Creek, a destination high on the rainforest trail, with spectacular views (if weather permits) overlooking the site of the SS Valencia wreck. In 1906 the SS Valencia went aground here in a violent storm. The battering waves eventually broke the ship apart and 126 passengers and crew lost their lives. This tragic event was the catalyst for the creation of the Life Saving Trail, which would later become the West Coast Trail. From Trestle Creek we can hike along the beach if tides allow where we’ll encounter our first cable car crossing over the Klanawa River. We will camp at the stunning Tsusiat Falls that night, having hiked a distance of between 8 – 12kms.

Saturday July 18 – Day 3 – Tsusiat Falls to Cribs Creek (26km – 42km)

We hike a total of 12 km on day 3, crossing Nitinat Narrows by small ferry, travelling along a beautiful beach and camping at Cribs Creek.

Sunday July 19 – Day 4 – Cribs Creek to Walbran Creek (42km – 53km)

This next section can be hiked by trail or, if the tides are right, by beach. There are some fabulous views high up on the trail as well as some great beach walking.We will hike on the beach from Carmanah Creek to Bonilla Point, where there is a refreshing waterfall nearby. From here we’ll hike the last remaining 5km to our campsite at Walbran Creek, the site of an excellent swimming hole.

Monday July 20 – Day 5 – Walbran Creek to Camper Bay (53km – 62km)

This day marks the beginning of the most difficult hiking. Thankfully, our packs will be lighter as we will have eaten much of our food. The trail for the rest of the hike is characterized by mud, ladders, bridges, board walk and sections of trail that seem to go up and down endlessly! We will travel a distance of 9kms and camp at Camper Bay.

Tuesday July 21 – Day 6 – Camper Bay to Thrasher Cove (62km – 70km)

From Camper Bay, we will travel 8km to Thrasher Cover. This is considered the most difficult day of hiking. It features a lot of elevation changes and, if we choose to take the beach route, some difficult (but spectacular) beach walking with access to sea caves. If the tides are right, we will attempt the beach route. This will be our last night on the trail. We’ll camp at Thrasher Cove.

Wednesday July 22 – Day 7 – Thrasher Cove to Gordon River (70km – 75km)

Last day on the trail. We’ll hike the final 5kms to the Gordon River where we will get a ferry over to the other side. Here we officially end our hike. After a team celebration in Port Renfrew, we’ll load into a vehicle and head over to see Big Lonely Doug, an old growth Douglas fir standing alone in a recent logging clearcut, 230 feet tall with a trunk as wide as a living room. We’ll give him a group hug and then get on our way to Victoria. We’ll arrive back in Victoria by early evening. The night is yours to enjoy.

Thursday July 23 – Departure

The trip is officially over on this day. People are free to make their own plans and/or depart from Victoria as they wish.

Trip Costs

$2,400 + HST. Details to follow

Please note that the cost does not include Airfare, insurance (medical and cancellation), and your accommodation in Victoria (first and last night).

September 29th, 2019: Non-Refundable Deposit $1,000 CDN

March 31, 2020: Full Payment $1,400 CDN + HST

Maximum # of Participants = 8

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