Victoria Hiking Trail ChallengingVictoria has no shortage of challenging hiking trails.  From the steep, yet relatively short hikes in Goldstream Park and East Sooke Park.  To the tough and often brutal hiking along the West Coast Trail.  Juan de Fuca Trail is a wonderful taste of the West Coast Trail.  Less remote, less brutal, yet still takes you along Vancouver Island's spectacular coast.

Victoria Hiking Trails

  Victoria Hiking TrailAvatar Grove Victoria Hiking TrailBear Hill Victoria Hiking TrailEast Sooke Park Victoria Hiking TrailElk/Beaver Lake Victoria Hiking TrailEsquimalt Lagoon Easy Pay Hiking Trail VictoriaFort Rodd Hill Victoria Hiking TrailFrancis/King Victoria Hiking TrailGalloping Goose Victoria Hiking TrailGoldstream Park Victoria Hiking TrailGowlland Tod Victoria Hiking TrailGrass Lake Victoria Hiking TrailJohn Dean Park Victoria Hiking TrailJuan de Fuca Trail Victoria Hiking TrailLone Tree Hill Victoria Hiking TrailMill Hill Victoria Hiking TrailMount Doug Victoria Hiking TrailMount Tolmie Victoria Hiking TrailSooke Potholes Victoria Hiking TrailSpectacle Lake Victoria Hiking TrailThetis Lake Victoria Hiking TrailWitty's Lagoon VictoriaVictoria VictoriaAttractions VictoriaAttractions VictoriaEssential Hiking Trails VictoriaEasy Hiking Trails VictoriaModerate Trails VictoriaChallenging Trails Day 1 Pachena to Darling Day 2 Darling to Tsusiat Day 3 Tsusiat to Carmanah Day 4 Carmanah to Walbran Day 5 Walbran to Cullite Day 6 Cullite to Camper Day 7 Camper to Thrasher

The West Coast Trail is incredible.  Everything about it is amazing.  From its wildly, incomprehensibly enormous trees to it's endless jaw dropping views.  And it's tough.  Very tough.  It is a trail that shouldn't exist.  Trails always form out of the easiest route worn down over the years.  This trail was formed out of necessity.  And the route is the only route.  Hemmed in by steep cliffs on one side and the ocean on the other, the route evolved where it shouldn't have.  Always wet, always up and down, thousands of creeks and canyons.  Even with all the construction of suspension bridges and ladders it's brutal.

And yearly, winter storms blast down impossibly enormous trees.  It's difficulty can be measured by its relatively short distance of 75km yet it takes 4-7 days to complete.  This is for two wonderful, spectacular and telling reasons.  First it is a jigsaw of a trail, up and down over endless chasms tangled with rainforest.  It just takes a long time to snake through.  The second reason is just too good to be true.  It's so beautiful.  Wildly beautiful.  And this is a phenomenon that the West Coast Trail is alive with.  It's unbelievably beautiful at every glance.  Everywhere you look. This alone would secure this hike as one of the worlds best.  But there is another thing that combined with its beauty, makes it what it is.  The West Coast Trail.

This is a phenomenon that is seldom understood or explainable.  It's tough.  The trail is brutal.  It's invariably raining.  So you are always wet.  This makes you soggy and crabby.  Tired and exhausted.  The treacherous trail in this wet is muddy, slippery and requires your full attention at every step.  This mesmerizes you as you hike.  You focus completely on your next step and your mind relaxes into a meditative state.  This is when it happens.  You look up, catch a glance of what's around you. And it's marvellous. This is it.  The West Coast Trail is a perfect combination of brutal difficulty and spectacular wildness and beauty.  The West Coast Trail, originally called the Dominion Life Saving Trail was built out of necessity because of the enormous number of shipwrecks that gave this stretch of ocean from Tofino to Victoria the brutal name, The Graveyard of the Pacific.  With at least 484 shipwrecks, this trail formed to facilitate survivors walking to Victoria and rescuers hiking to help them.  It inevitably became a recreational hike in the last few decades.  It's difficulty, once it's worst trait, now it's defining feature.  It lies within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve which represents and protects three beautiful, coastal lowland forests.  Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail.  The West Coast Trail is one of the most amazing hikes in the world.  It has an extraordinary history.  It is brutally challenging and the trail and coastline is constantly changing.  Everyday is tough, yet always a surprise.  Climbing rickety, decades old, slippery and wet ladders that are frighteningly high and certainly dangerous gives you a sense of adventure that you don't get just walking a trail.

Hike the West Coast Trail

  Day 1 Pachena to Darling Day 2 Darling to Tsusiat Day 3 Tsusiat to Carmanah Day 4 Carmanah to Walbran

Day 5 Walbran to Cullite Day 6 Cullite to Camper Day 7 Camper to Thrasher

West Coast Trail Campsites

 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

Mt Finlayson & Goldstream Train Trestle

Goldstream Provincial Park is an amazing place to see for several reasons.  Huge coastal rainforest trees all around.  Scenic trails, cute golden stream, an abandoned gold mine, spectacular waterfall, incredibly frightening train trestle, and one of the highest mountain viewpoints in Victoria.  As soon as you leave your car you can feel the wonderful forest alive around you.  Goldstream Park is home to the annual salmon spawning run in October.  The rest of the year the park is a world of centuries old Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedars.  Trails run all over the park, but the challenging trail to Mount Finlayson takes you up to beautiful views of Victoria.  It's a relaxing trail that only gets tough and challenging near the summit.  The trail is only 2 kilometres, about an hour from from the parking lot to the top.  Across the highway there is still more to this beautiful park.  Spectacular waterfalls are just a short hike away and the amazing train trestle is a challenging, but short hike up above the falls.  Getting across the highway to Niagara Falls is half the fun.  An ancient tunnel under the highway takes you to the Lord-of-the-Rings style forest valley that leads to the falls..  Finding this tunnel is easy, though it is not marked on Goldstream Park mapboards as it is not officially for hikers.  It is a tunnel to channel water under the highway, however, it is an amazing and beautiful way to get to the falls.  From Niagara Falls to the train trestle involves hiking up past the top of the falls.  If you backtrack to the tunnel under the highway you will see trails on both sides of the valley you are in.  If you have your back to the tunnel and are facing the falls, look to your right and you will see a trail that goes up then branches left and right.  Follow the left branch as the other trail takes you to the highway.  Follow this very steep trail for about 5-10 minutes to the top of the falls, then another 10-20 minutes to the train trestle.

East Sooke Regional Park

East Sooke Regional Park is a convenient and easily accessible way to experience the wild, west coast of Vancouver Island.  Weather blasted rocky cliffs, sandy beaches and deep coastal forest trails run throughout the park.  Every few minutes along the coast you come to another startlingly desolate ocean vantage point.  Everything about East Sooke Park is just great and should not be missed on a trip to Victoria anytime of the year.  The sheer size of this park and number of trails, over 50 kilometres of them.  The Coastal Trail, almost 12 kilometres long, stretches out linearly in an array of pocket beaches, rocky viewpoints and fantastically alive tide pools.  It hugs the cliff, ducks into the forest and back out to another stunning ocean viewpoint.  It does this over and over again.  Dozens of times, and not once does it get boring.  The Strait of Juan de Fuca and swirling mass of green and blue stretches out toward the Olympic Mountains in the United States.  East Sooke Regional Park has three main access points and trailheads.  This allows the huge park to be divided up into three manageable parts, each one with very different attributes.  The Aylard Farm trailhead is the easy, family friendly and relaxing way to see East Sooke Park.  A few short, 5 minute trails take you down to beaches, tidal pools and picnic areas.  The Anderson Cove trailhead is popular with hikers tackling the more challenging trails to Babbington Hill and Mount Maguire.  The Pike Road trailhead is the furthest west access to East Sooke Park with an easy, 1.5 kilometre trail leading down to Iron Mine Beach.  East Sooke Regional Park is a rugged and remote park that takes you along a beautiful stretch of Vancouver Island's coast.  Numerous, well laid out trails interconnect several sights in the park, allowing for a staggering variety of hiking routes.  For an easy family outing to a nice, sandy beach, East Sooke Park is perfect.  For a challenging trail run or long coastline hike, this park is hard to beat.

The Juan de Fuca Trail

The Juan de Fuca Trail is an incredible part of Vancouver Island.  Wild, beautiful and accessible.  All along the 47km length there are convenient access points.  It's wild, and beautiful, and varied, and deep in the wild rainforest of the coast.  From the beautiful flowers of Victoria to the wild and majestic forest of the Juan de Fuca Trail, the drive just to get to it is beautiful.  There are four main trailheads for the Juan de Fuca Trail.  Driving from Victoria, the first trailhead you come to is to China Beach(70k from Victoria), Sombrio Beach is the next at 95k, then Parkinson Creek at 100k and finally Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew at 110k.  The trail can of course be hiked from either end or in parts.  Starting at Botanical Beach and timing the tides correctly allows for a great way to start the trek as you can see the first five or so kilometres at the wonderful beach level.  There are several nice campsites along the route.  There is an excellent BC Parks trail map here.  For the most part the Juan de Fuca Trail is designed for short and only moderately challenging day-hikes.  If you want to do larger sections or even all of the trail it becomes much more challenging.  The section of trail from China Beach to Sombrio is one of the most challenging sections.  From the trailhead to Mystic Beach is pretty relaxing, but the further you hike beyond that the more difficult the terrain gets.  29 kilometres of trail separate China Beach and Sombrio Beach and most do it in 3 days/2 nights.  Bear Beach campsite and Chin Beach campsite are strategically located along the route.  Well laid out and organized sections of tough and beautiful wilderness hiking.  You can hike a section of the massive 47 kilometre trail as a day-hike, or over several days via the different trailheads.  Each section is wonderfully different.  Suspension bridges, waterfalls, deep wilderness, tidal pools and endless, beautiful ocean views make the Juan de Fuca Trail an amazing place to hike.

Hike in Victoria

  Victoria Hiking TrailAvatar Grove Victoria Hiking TrailBear Hill Victoria Hiking TrailEast Sooke Park Victoria Hiking TrailElk/Beaver Lake Victoria Hiking TrailEsquimalt Lagoon Easy Pay Hiking Trail VictoriaFort Rodd Hill Victoria Hiking TrailFrancis/King Victoria Hiking TrailGalloping Goose Victoria Hiking TrailGoldstream Park Victoria Hiking TrailGowlland Tod Victoria Hiking TrailGrass Lake Victoria Hiking TrailJohn Dean Park Victoria Hiking TrailJuan de Fuca Trail Victoria Hiking TrailLone Tree Hill Victoria Hiking TrailMill Hill Victoria Hiking TrailMount Doug Victoria Hiking TrailMount Tolmie Victoria Hiking TrailSooke Potholes Victoria Hiking TrailSpectacle Lake Victoria Hiking TrailThetis Lake Victoria Hiking TrailWitty's Lagoon VictoriaVictoria VictoriaAttractions VictoriaAttractions VictoriaEssential Hiking Trails VictoriaEasy Hiking Trails VictoriaModerate Trails VictoriaChallenging Trails Day 1 Pachena to Darling Day 2 Darling to Tsusiat Day 3 Tsusiat to Carmanah Day 4 Carmanah to Walbran Day 5 Walbran to Cullite Day 6 Cullite to Camper Day 7 Camper to Thrasher

Victoria Hiking Trails

Bear Hill Regional Park is a nice hill trail, just north of Elk/Beaver Lake in Saanich.  It is an easy 2k hike to the summit where the views are ...
Read more
Fort Rodd Hill is astonishingly beautiful and incredibly interesting as a tourist attraction in Victoria that most never see.  This fact is amazing as it ...
Read more
Avatar Grove and Canada's gnarliest tree is an amazing thing to see and finding it is half the fun.  The cute little town of Port Renfrew, know for it's ...
Read more
Mill Hill Regional Park is a well hidden though wonderfully short hike to amazing views of Victoria, Esquimalt and the Western Communities.  The hike is ...
Read more
Grass Lake(aka Grasse Lake or Grassie Lake) is a moderately difficult trail to a beautifully remote lake far in the wilderness of Sooke.  Popular for ...
Read more

Clayoquot Hiking Trails

The Nuu-chah-nulth (aka the Wickaninnish Trail), has the amazing distinction among all the other beach hikes in the Tofino-Ucluelet corridor, in that it is flanked ...
Read more
Radar Hill is absolutely one of the Tofino area sights not to be missed.  It's a quick and easy walk to the top and the views are beautiful.   Definitely one ...
Read more
Vargas Island Provincial Park is a popular Kayak camping destination due to its wonderful location close to Tofino.  It has wonderful, wilderness camping ...
Read more
Radar Beach is one of the countless places that makes this part of the world so amazing.  It is difficult to get to due to it having an unmarked trailhead, ...
Read more
Lone Cone is the wonderful cone shaped mountain that dominates the skyline in Tofino.  It is just 6k from Tofino on the north-western end of Meares Island.  ...
Read more

The West Coast Trail

When shipping in and out of Juan de Fuca Strait rapidly increased in the mid 1800's and alarming and costly number of ships were lost, the need for a ...
Read more
The West Coast Trail is incredible. Everything about it is amazing. From the wildly, incomprehensibly enormous trees to endless jaw dropping views. And ...
Read more
The West Coast Trail hiking season is confined to just five months due to the dangerously stormy weather during the winter months. In the winter the days ...
Read more
There are three entry/exit points for the West Coast Trail, however the midway entry/exit point at Nitinaht Narrows is for hikers only hiking part of the trail. ...
Read more
There are lots of options to getting to the West Coast Trail. The trail is linear so you have to arrange to get to the trailhead as well as from your exit ...
Read more
The West Coast Trail is a very tough hike. About one out of one hundred hikers don't make it, they need to be rescued. That's why there are so many fees. ...
Read more