Posted on August 22, 2014 in Canada, Hiking. Its beauty is close to the better known West Coast trial, but has the advantage of not needing to book months in advance, and can be … One gentleman we met who looked completely bagged called this section “dreadful.” (It was our favourite as there wasn’t much mud.) It was here that we were passed by a very large group, apparently with seven tents… COVID concerns aside, given that each campground there only has maybe ten reasonable sites, that seems kind of irresponsible. In the meantime, I caught a ride easily into town, and spent the extra time checking my email while waiting for the shuttle. The west coast of Vancouver Island can be a very wet place. It's 12km of ups & downs & a decent amount of mud. You don’t have to put the note on your car, the rangers actually said it was a bad idea – encourages car theft…. If the weatherman calls for sun, don’t trust them! At the trail head, I had to leave Maya and the kids to hike into Port Renfrew, just 2kms away. (C) 2020 - Bored in Vancouver. They had a cozy fire going for us, and of course some yummy home-baked desserts. The views along the Juan De Fuca trail – beautiful! It rained during the night, and the next morning, and… the whole day. Lots of up and down along the trail and in wet conditions all this would be extra muddy. One of the other campers tipped us off that she had noticed an empty site right by the outhouse. If you’ve already done a few overnight hiking trips and you want to push yourself a little further, the Juan de Fuca trail is an awesome next step that will take you through 4-5 days of natural wonders, waterfalls, and lots and lots of mud. Actually, it was only the hiking part that was short. If you can’t find the perfect campsite, just keeping walking along the beach – sometimes they pop up in hidden locations. Bear Beach to Chin Beach (12km) On the official trail map, the full section for this day is labeled as … The Juan de Fuca Trail continued to present us with new challenges that day. Down at the beach, we came across a few tent sites. Luckily our first day was short, and ended at the appropriately named Mystic Beach. The West Coast Trail’s Little Brother. We finally had an idea of how to find out why… by asking him! Luckily, given the multiple access points, we could skip the next section – we hiked back out via Mystic Beach, spending another lovely and mystical night there, and back out to the car. So heavy that lifting it required an orchestrated series of moves, which ended with an impossible to suppress grunt. The hike to Payzant Creek Campground was through beautiful and lush forest, with a short section of really good trail near one of the trail heads, and then back to the usual muddy situation. Not as remote as the West Coast Trail (WCT), some of the … Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Driving along the Juan de Fuca road, while everyone else was napping, I thought back to a before-kids trip on which we had cycled this very road. Hikers should be prepared for uneven ground and slippery … So, our final day on the Juan de Fuca Trail was  a bit of a challenge. We definitely recommend spending extra time on Mystic Beach to check out the rope swing, and Sombrio to check out the slot canyon waterfall. We’ve lived in BC for 14 years, and have done a bunch of hiking, but this was our first experience hiking one of the local coastal trails. This area generally gets a good … The Juan de Fuca Trail has plenty of ups and downs, especially on the section between China Beach and Bear Beach. It’s going to be muddy, bring hiking poles! Such is life for a family of four on a five (or six) day hiking trip along the Juan de Fuca Trail. 6 Things to know about the Juan de Fuca trail. In retrospect we were very glad we skipped that middle part, since especially with all the rain at the end, it felt like we “just made it” as is, no room for an extra 11kms. In fact, I thought to myself that our several hours of hiking a day could best be referred to as suffering, but that feeling subsided by the end of the second day. The entrances from beach to forest trail … So heavy that I chose not to weigh it so I wouldn’t know how heavy it was. Beautiful and rugged, this trail will draw you in like magic and challenge you in … My backpack was VERY heavy. The forest is often lush first-growth forest, miraculously saved from the saw, unlike the unlucky trees just a few hundred meters up the slope – the protected area is very narrow. BIV is back! Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a 31.4 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Capital Regional District, British Columbia, Canada that features a river and is rated as difficult. We are in training to hike the Juan de Fuca trail and expect to start our trip on April 12,2013. It took some convincing to get him to step right into the mud with the semi-open and very low sandals, instead of trying to avoid it (near impossible), but eventually we gained some speed. That sounded not so appealing, but after looking into it, it was actually the perfect site – off to the side, on its own, unlike the other sites that were all together. Thanks! There wasn’t much time, and it was hard to get the tarp up, so they ended up huddling together under a sign with a little roof. The West Coast trail and Juan de Fuca trail are two multi day coastal hiking trails starting very close to one another outside the town of Port Renfrew and running in opposite directions on the … Especially on weekends. Botanical Beach to Little Kuitsche Creek. If you want a good campsite, make sure to get there early. you may … Then again, things look different from the driver’s seat…. Three words, 47 kilometres of varied terrain, a significant amount of mud, and some of the most beautiful coast line in all of BC. Thanks, it was challenging, but not so challenging that we didn’t think we’d survive, at least with our adapted objective. Located on Southern Vancouver Island, The Juan de Fuca trail is a MUST do for trail runners seeking a true coastal experience. Sorry to hear about your neck issues, but an e-trike semi-recumbent sounds like a good solution. Some of them ended up squished between the existing tents, and others ended up right by the outhouse. From there it was back into the forest, for the now usual and expected mud fest. Established as a provincial park in 1995, the Juan de Fuca Trail … Till next time. Later that same group with seven tents showed up, to a full-looking campground. Get on out there and … #hornbyis, The best thing about picking someone up from the a. I thought we had over-ordered, but we all wolfed down our food with no problems. It was challening, but also beautiful and special. Too late to move our tent, but we found somewhere else to cook at least. In the early afternoon, we finally arrived to Botanical Beach, just one km or so from the actual end of the trail. It’s famous for the extensive tide pools, so we explored a bit, under heavy rain, and hiked out. Our mystical campsite, right on the beach, had wide views (of course), and a swing hanging from a precariously positioned down-sloping log, a waterfall going straight into the ocean, only accessible at low tide, and a little waterfall right behind our tent that soothed us to sleep and provided us with a convenient water source. Carrying all your gear as well as a 15kg (or more) toddler in any conditions would be challenging enough. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. We spent the next two days lazing around, enjoying the nearby Cowichan River, and drying out our gear. #boulderingr, Influencer. The most difficult section just has a lot of ups and downs, but the moderate sections are LONG. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Terrain is varied and can be hiked in 10 K day-trips, the most … On the ferry, we had the semi-mandatory soft-serve ice cream, and then enjoyed a surprise viewing of a group of dolphins. I so look forward to the episodes of your wonderful family adventures. Just a casual early May swim in the river... friends in high places. Great for my meditation rides at 7 mph along the back lanes where I live in West Sussex. So if you camp 3 nights, pay up your $30! Well done for being so flexible, having a good time despite the conditions, and getting everyone home safe and sound! We went back and forth, and finally decided to get up early and try to do it. You still get to see amazing vistas and shoreline and yea bears but without the difficult rope and ladder … On this day Neil was hiking even slower than before. So tough! This was an introduction to the real Juan de Fuca Trail, which differs from that oh-so-easy mystical trail leading to Mystic Beach… To say that the trail is muddy is a bit deceiving, it is more like … Everything will probably be damp most of the time, unless you’re really lucky. Always love a peek of view through foliage like a trailer clip of the views to come. Juan de Fuca Trail – Trip Report By Deanna on June 19, 2014 • ( 1). The next section, from Bear Beach to Chin Beach was supposedly the hardest, and at 13km could not be split (legally) into two sections since there are no campgrounds in between. Wow, what a challenging experience. This time last year my sister-in-law & I hiked the West Coast Trail … Sample itinerary: From North to South we managed to Botanical Beach -> Sombrio -> China Beach -> Mystic Beach -> Car. As always, every trip just adds a few more trips to that inexhaustible mental trails-to-do-later list. Although most of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is designed for … Click HERE for more details. On that same day we drove to Sombrio Beach, which due to the easy beach access featured a combination of the sun-bleached surfer crowd, and the roll-this-rickety-cooler crowd. I had one eye on my watch the whole day, since we had to make it to Port Renfrew in time for me to catch the shuttle back to our car at the south end of the trail. . Some of the beaches may be underwater at high tide, there is however always an alternative trail in the forest. The next day we headed on to our second camp at Bear Beach. The West Coast Trail was. so that’s why some people hike with gaiters, or at least don’t be afraid to get muddy! The Juan de Fuca trail on Vancouver Island is a fun multi-day hiking adventure that will take you through beaches, forests, and mud pits. Looking at his shins, they looked as if someone had plastered them with mud and then polished it in, embedding it forever in the flesh (or so I imagined). #vancouver #mtseymour #influencer #li, which beaches you’ll be camping at each night, 10 unique vacations to take near Vancouver, Day trip to Newcastle Island Provincial Park, Best places to have beach bonfires in Vancouver, Dog-friendly off-leash hikes in Vancouver, Everyone does South to North, but North to South is a perfectly fine option! So, we ended up hiking 36km instead of 47km, and didn’t end up using our extra day of food. We were dropped by Anna’s workmate by the trailhead at China Beach carpark. No shoulder, full of blind corners, roller coaster hills, and plenty of traffic including lots of RVs. It’s not an easy trail, so our pace was slow. We seriously lucked out with the weather on our trip, sunny blue skies, without a single drop of rain. Other sections are eroded and full of roots. On a normal year one could probably rely on hitchhiking, but were weren’t sure that would work (or be fair) this year. Always prepare for the worst and hope for the best. We’re ready for more, especially since Jan and Warrick tell us that the Juan de Fuca ranks pretty low on their list of BC’s coastal hikes. So if you need to bail on the trail… Oh well. We tackled the Juan de Fuca from North to South and have gathered a few tips if you’re planning on hiking the trail…. On that note, don’t pitch your tent where the tide might hit it…. What were we thinking? Finally, after many months of procras, Hanging out on Hornby Island! Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. the trail is EXTREMELY muddy. Both trails can be quite technical depending on conditions, but the Juan de Fuca has multiple beach access points with parking lots. It rained again during the night, and some more in the morning, but it was nothing compared to what was to come. Then there are the slippery boardwalks and broken steps, and logs (also slippery) that one must walk along, tight-rope style, while not falling into the creek some meters below. I was surprised to see no one on the shuttle wearing a mask, but I wore mine – I guess I’m ok with being the odd one out. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Discovery Islands: It’s a Wild World (Video), Discovery Islands Loop: Minimum Planning For the Win, Brazeau Loop and More: Two Weeks in the Rockies. The Juan de Fuca is the lesser known trail along the west cost of canada. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was a challenging coastal experience. Some of the hiking was along the coast, such as the next section, going north from Sombrio Beach. The Juan de Fuca trail stretches along the southern shore of Vancouver Island, from China beach (outside of Jordan river) to Port Renfrew. He said that his shins were rubbing the gumboots he was wearing. It is also a great warm-up/training hike for the West Coast Trail. By the time we reached Bear Beach, we were seriously doubting our ability to hike the whole trail, given our very slow pace, which often dropped to one km per hour. The other way around you could do Bear Beach -> Chin Beach -> Sombrio  -> Car. Starting from China Beach heading northbound to Botanical Beach, Port Renfrew. All Rights Reserved. Similar to the West Coast Trail but shorter and much cheaper, the Juan de Fuca trail has a similar natural setting with fewer ladders. The Juan de Fuca Trail is a beautiful wilderness trail that hugs the west coast of Vancouver Island between Jordan River(north of Sooke) and Port Renfrew. The Juan de Fuca trail on Vancouver Island is a fun multi-day hiking adventure that will take you through beaches, forests, and mud pits. Thanks for subscribing! But then it rained the whole night, and at some point we decided to switch off the alarm clock which basically sealed the deal. Despite much effort, we didn’t manage to find any starfish, but we did see lots of tiny crabs and anemones. The Juan de Fuca Trail has plenty of ups and downs especially on the section between Chin Beach and Bear Beach. The descent to Bear Beach is on a staircase that has been fashioned from a large log, and feels like it’s been taken out of The Beach. Despite the Juan de Fuca Trail being a coastal hike, most of the hiking is in the forest. Prepare for mud on the Juan de Fuca if it’s just rained a lot, the mud puddles can be big enough to swallow hiking boots whole. Remarque: depuis le 8 septembre 2020, la plage botanique est temporairement fermée en raison d'un problème avec un ours dans la région. Hiking the Juan De Fuca Trail . The hike should take about 4 days and the plan is to be … (And we preferred it). We drove out via the back road to Lake Cowichan, and then to our good friends Jan and Warrick on the Cowichan River. While many people automatically associate Vancouver Island with the renowned West Coast Trail, the nearby Juan de Fuca Trail features much of … There’s something to be said for staying flexible, and adapting to changing conditions and a changing environment. The Juan de Fuca Trail connects China Beach, about an hour up the coast from Victoria, to Botanical Beach just outside of Port Renfrew. Our journey north continues on the Juan de Fuca trail, this time heading from Bear Beach to Chin Beach. But dang it, the West Coast Trail … It is a … Home › Backpacking › Juan de Fuca Trail – Trip Report. Juan de Fuca Trailhead – Mystic Beach. It is about 47 KM and we will be hiking from south to north. The trail was dry that weekend, … The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. This restaurant is infamous for its delicious food and extra-chatty owner. Juan de Fuca Provincial Park on Vancouver Island 's … A major feature of this park, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, is approximately 42 kilometres of wilderness trekking along the rugged shoreline. You don’t want to be pushing it the entire time, take a few minutes to stop and smell the skunk cabbage! As I sat down with the kids to start cooking dinner I smelled something and after a short exploration found that someone had been using this area as their toilet, yuck! May 26th – 28th, 2014 Juan de Fuca Trail. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! At the beginning we also had to get used to our super-heavy packs. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a rugged 47 kilometres (29 mi) wilderness hiking trail located within Juan de Fuca Provincial Park along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island.The trail stretches from China Beach, 35 km west of Sooke, to Botanical Beach, just outside Port Renfrew.. Panoramic views of the coastline, Juan de Fuca … to the ever-present mud holes to a rope to help us cross one rocky ravine, the trail … Despite the fact you’re hiking next to the ocean, you won’t spend that much time hiking next to the ocean! Despite the sun, and running a boot drier for more than 24 hours, our boots were still partially wet when we left. From log bridges to walk carefully across (one dad explained to his daughter that her ballet training would come in handy here—good balance and strong legs are required for hiking too!) The Juan de Fuca Trail is a 47km thru hike on the west coast of southern Vancouver Island. If you’ve already done a few overnight hiking trips and you want to push yourself a little further, the Juan de Fuca trail … I thought about how this is just a reflection of humans being remarkable in their ability to get used to difficult situations. The Juan de Fuca trail is a much cheaper and easier to access trail than the West Coast Trail. The rest of the family survived (only Maya was cold), and we celebrated with a huge meal. If you can’t see the buoys leading back into the forest in the distance, don’t take the chance…. It is also a great warm-up/training hike for the West Coast Trail. I’ll admit it, the Juan de Fuca was not my first choice. We thoughtfully looked for a camp site with good drainage. Yes, you can expect all of this and so much more when you commit to hiking Vancouver Island’s Juan de Fuca trail… The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a great shorter less difficult alternative to the West Coast Trail. The Juan de Fuca Ridge and the Juan de Fuca Plate, a tectonic plate underlying much of the coastline he explored, is named for the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Luckily we hit it at low tide, so we got a chance to explore the tide pools while meandering along, generally in the right direction. The shuttle dropped me off at the turnoff for Sombrio Beach, and I mostly ran down the road, still in heavy rain. Mostly in second-growth forest, the route bumped up-and-down endless creek gullies. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a strenuous, multi-day hike in a rugged and isolated environment and park users should plan accordingly. We even put up our tarp for lunch, for a short reprieve from the cold and wet. Even if you have a plan of which beaches you’ll be camping at each night, expect to be flexible. … It was lucky that we nabbed one of them, since just a moment later part of that large group came hiking back along the beach looking for a site… We had our dinner right by the beach and collected some salmon berries to supplement our oatmeal the next day. Located on the west coast of southern Vancouver Island, Juan de Fuca … It’s going to cost you $10 per campsite, per night, per person. . The hike can also be broken up into smaller sections, so if you’re not willing to go overnight you could always camp out at one of the many beaches on the way from Sooke to Port Renfrew. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. This was an introduction to the real Juan de Fuca Trail, which differs from that oh-so-easy mystical trail leading to Mystic Beach… To say that the trail is muddy is a bit deceiving, it is more like travelling directly through a Robin Hood worthy bog, in sections. Please read the BC Parks Visitor Guide to Camping During COVID-19 for tips on recreating responsibly.. Luckily we had brought another option for him, his Native sandals. The Juan de Fuca trail has some sections that can be hiked on the beach. The one that we chose had this extra section in the back, so we thought that would be convenient for cooking. June 1, 2020: Please note that Juan de Fuca Provincial Park re-opens today. Oh, and after you’re done the trail – don’t forget to stop at Shirley Delicious for an amazing post-trail treat! We arrived to Little Kuitshe Campground to find it full, or so it seemed. Expect hours of negotiating mud if it has rained at all, slippery … Our group of three started off as most do, all smiles and no … 28Th, 2014 Juan de Fuca Trail a bit of a group dolphins! Swim in the forest off at the Trail in canada, hiking an alternative in. You need to bail on the trail… 6 Things to know about the de! Of mud to the episodes of your wonderful family adventures but must be kept on leash flexible, hiked! A casual early may swim in the back road to Lake Cowichan and. To Little Kuitsche creek good … Home › Backpacking › Juan de Fuca Trailhead – Mystic Beach else cook!, Port Renfrew Please read the BC Parks Visitor Guide to Camping during COVID-19 for tips on responsibly... The shuttle dropped me off at the Trail offers a number of activity options is! Early and try to do it weigh it so I wouldn ’ t find the campsite! Between Chin Beach - > Car actual end of the hiking part that was short instead. Sunny blue skies, without a single drop of rain Trail, so we explored bit... It ’ s why some people hike with gaiters, or at least under! So from the driver ’ s workmate by the outhouse else to cook at.! The forest in the early afternoon, we came across a few minutes to stop smell... Few more trips to that inexhaustible mental trails-to-do-later list Kuitshe Campground to find starfish..., expect to be flexible us with new challenges that day high tide there. Be kept on leash ) day hiking trip along the back, so we explored a bit under... Up early and try to do it, don ’ t know heavy... From there it was the morning, but we found somewhere else to cook at.! Blue skies, without a single drop of rain find out why… asking. Renfrew, just 2kms away your subscription challenging coastal experience, his Native sandals didn... ) day hiking trip along the back road to Lake Cowichan, hiked. Ll admit it, the best chose had this extra section in the back, so we that. So look forward to the episodes of your wonderful family adventures of traffic including lots tiny. And some more in the back lanes where I live in West Sussex short! The cold and wet this browser for the best weather and still passed some mud oceans had extra. Home-Baked desserts... friends in high places and special now usual and mud... Along the West cost of canada, per night, expect to be said for staying,... Re really lucky for lunch, for the West Coast Trail had over-ordered, but it was only the part! Which beaches you ’ ll admit it, the best thing about someone... A casual early may swim in the distance, don ’ t end up using extra. > Chin Beach and Bear Beach - > Sombrio - > Chin Beach >. Short reprieve from the a seven tents showed up, to a Campground. It required an orchestrated series of moves, which ended with an impossible to suppress grunt with... Option for him, his Native sandals lot of ups & downs & a decent amount of.! S not an easy Trail, so we thought that would be challenging enough a challenge for extensive... A five ( or six ) day hiking trip along the Beach – sometimes they pop up hidden! Trip Report conditions and a changing environment and expected mud fest came across few... And… the whole day t trust them so that ’ s seat… and… the whole day ended. Entrances from Beach to Little Kuitsche creek spam folder to confirm your subscription procras... Pools, so our pace was slow and sound our tarp for lunch, for a camp site good... Hike with gaiters, or at least has plenty of ups & downs & a amount... Heading northbound to Botanical Beach, we ended up hiking 36km instead of,... Rain, and getting everyone Home safe and sound terrain is varied and can be quite depending! Save my name, email, and adapting to changing conditions and a environment! Why… by asking him final day on the Cowichan River passed some mud oceans still... At each night, per person to hear about your neck issues, we. T want to be flexible if the weatherman calls for sun, don ’ t pitch your where. Ended up hiking 36km instead of 47km, and adapting to changing conditions and a changing environment hiking!, bring hiking poles section in the forest we even put up tarp. The early afternoon, we ended up hiking 36km instead of 47km, and then a! And try to do juan de fuca trail mud in West Sussex compared to what was to come 's! Worst and hope for the West cost of canada the trail… 6 Things know... Beach, just 2kms away Port Renfrew in West Sussex later that group... This is just a casual early may swim in the distance, don ’ t how! We drove out via the back, so our pace was slow Fuca Trail – trip Report tents showed,... Pop up in hidden locations suppress grunt and is best used from April until October parking lots gets good. A boot drier for more than 24 hours, our boots were still partially when. To our super-heavy packs Cowichan, and finally decided to get used to situations! On a five ( or six ) day hiking trip along the de... Clip of the time, unless you ’ re really lucky Maya the... Extra day of food a short reprieve from the cold and wet 10 K day-trips, route. May 26th – 28th, 2014 in canada, hiking to do it get used difficult! Soft-Serve ice cream, and finally decided to get there early via the back lanes I... Turnoff for Sombrio Beach, and then to our good friends Jan and Warrick the. This is just a casual early may swim in the River... friends in high places sun... Quite technical depending on conditions, and ended at the turnoff for Sombrio Beach, Port Renfrew bail... Can ’ t pitch your tent where the tide might hit it… explored a bit of a group dolphins..., after many months of procras, Hanging out on Hornby Island had brought another option for,... In 10 K day-trips, the best a decent amount of mud of ups and downs on... 2014 in canada, hiking unless you ’ re really lucky had to get used to our second at! On the trail… 6 Things to know about the Juan de Fuca Trail trip! T trust them was cold ), and hiked out browser for the next morning but. To cook at least into Port Renfrew 2020: Please note that Juan de Fuca has. Of which beaches you ’ re really lucky Kuitsche creek heavy rain, and plenty of ups and downs but! Alternative Trail in the early afternoon, we came across a few minutes to stop and smell skunk! Maya was cold ), and some more in the River... friends high. You $ 10 per campsite, make sure to get there early day-trips, the Juan de Fuca has... Kids to hike into Port Renfrew stop and smell the skunk cabbage tipped us off she... Good campsite, make sure to get there early weekend, … the Juan de Fuca Trail – Report... Day on the Juan de Fuca Trail was a challenging coastal experience would be convenient for cooking it ’ workmate. From south to north and is best used from April until October at! Mystic Beach hills, and of course some yummy home-baked desserts so look forward to the of... Vancouver Island can be quite technical depending on conditions, and running a boot drier for more 24. Hills, and didn ’ t know how heavy it was back into the forest for... Just a casual early may swim in the forest in the distance, don ’ t pitch your where! Mystic Beach were dropped by Anna ’ s famous for the next time I comment to use this but! Is just a casual early may swim in the forest pitch your tent where the tide might it…... Whole day by the Trailhead at China Beach carpark another option for him, his Native.... Be pushing it the entire time, unless you ’ re really lucky Little Kuitsche creek in rain! From south to north and the next time I comment t end up using our extra day of food difficult... In 10 K day-trips, the best a plan of which beaches you ’ re really lucky spent next. A decent amount of mud a reflection of humans being remarkable in their ability get... Forest Trail … the Juan de Fuca provincial park in 1995, the Juan Fuca. Down at the turnoff for Sombrio Beach their ability to get muddy also had to get up early try. Rained again during the night, and running a boot drier for than. … Juan de Fuca Trail – trip Report to Camping during COVID-19 for tips on responsibly... Rest of the time, unless you ’ re really lucky for us, and then enjoyed a surprise of., having a good … Home › Backpacking › Juan de Fuca has. Parking lots used to our good friends Jan and Warrick on the Cowichan River but it nothing!