West Coast Trail Vancouver Island
Photo courtesy of Pat Jensen

West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail is located on the southern west coast of Vancouver Island, BC Canada and stretches 77 kilometers from Port Renfrew on the south end to Bamfield on the north end. Thousands of hikers travel all or part of the trail each year. To address the concern over environmental impact on the trail and hiker safety and enjoyment the Canadian Parks Service has instituted a reservation system. We hope that this system will provide you with a more satisfying wilderness experience.

Over the years the stretch of coastline encompassing the West Coast Trail has been many things to many people. Here, the influence of the ocean on the human history has been dramatic. Native people, lighthouse keepers, shipwreck survivors, homesteaders, prospectors and missionaries all have traveled along these trails and beaches. Today, visitors come to experience the beauty of the coastal environmental and the challenge of hiking one of the most arduous hiking trails in North America.

The West Coast Trail is one of three components of the Pacific Rim National Parks system to protect the outstanding natural features of this area, both terrestrial and marine. The beauty of this craggy sea stacks; dramatic rocky headlands; wide, sandy beaches and lush rainforests all intertwined with a vibrant cultural history, are but a few special features on the West Coast Trail.

Balancing environmental protection and visitor use of this national treasure present a continuous challenge to the Canadian Parks Service. Travel lightly on this trail, enjoy your time and keep your eyes open for the many remaining signs of the past.

The West Coast Trail is open for hiking from May 1 to September 30. Travel during the off-season is hazardous and not recommended.

The West Coast Trail Information Centres are open daily, from 9am to 5pm during this period.

Some Photos from the West Coast Trail

Download the West Coast Trail Preparation Guide
(Updated for 2004)

West Coast Trail Reservation Information

You Can Download a great free Tide Calculator here

Canada Fisheries and Oceans Tide Charts

Return to Sooke Recreation Index

Return to Sooke Community Website

For Accommodations before or after your hike, check out the
Southern Vancouver Island Bed & Breakfast and Accommodation Guide

Here is a link to the Mudhounds website.
A group of hikers who have been there and done it, and relate their experiences.

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All photos have been ©Digimarced

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