The West Coast TrailWhen 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 inland trail was realized. It would take decades, and many more brutal and costly shipwrecks in the waters leading to the Juan de Fuca Strait, to finally construct a life saving trail. The West Coast Trail has a wonderfully, horrifically, brutally, and certainly lengthy history.

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The West Coast TrailThe West Coast Trail is incredible. Everything about it is amazing. From the wildly, incomprehensibly enormous trees to endless jaw dropping views. And it's tough.  Very tough.  It is a trail that shouldn't exist. Hiking trails always form out of the easiest route worn down over the years to some worthwhile destination. The West Coast Trail evolved out of the need to get shipwreck survivors out of this this otherwise beautiful place.

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The West Coast Trail

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 are short, tides are high and heavy rain and strong winds are frequent. Hiking the trail in the summer is tough enough without these added challenges. To keep the trail from becoming overcrowded, overnight hikers are limited to 75 per day. 

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The West Coast TrailThere 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. The two main entry points are at Pachena Bay in the north(Bamfield) and Gordon River in the south(Port Renfrew). Port Renfrew is located a 2 hours drive from Victoria and Bamfield is quite a bit further and more challenging to get to and find.

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The West Coast TrailThere 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 trailhead. Most West Coast Trail hikers drive to one trailhead then bus to the other and hike back to their car. Others take the West Coast Express bus from Victoria to one of the trailheads and take the same bus back to Victoria.

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The West Coast TrailThe 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. By the time you are done preparing and registering, you laugh at how hiking got so expensive. Isn't hiking usually free?  All the costs are for saving people that don't make it, and for all the trail construction. And there is a lot. A lot of both. 

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Clayoquot Hiking Trails

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.  ...
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At 53 metres, Virgin Falls is quite an impressive sight.  You walk through the short, two minute forest trail to reach it and it fills your view.  It is ...
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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 ...
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Meares Island was the centre of dispute in the 80's when the Nuu-chah-nulth protested Macmillan Bloedel's intent to log the island.  The Nuu-chah-nulth ...
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Vargas Island Provincial Park is a popular Kayak camping destination due to its wonderful location close to Tofino.  It has wonderful, wilderness camping ...
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Victoria Hiking Trails

Lone Tree Hill Regional Park is a wonderful, hidden bit of paradise deep in the hills of Victoria has a beautiful panoramic view from its summit.  The hike is ...
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Sooke is a wonderful coastal town with amazingly deep and beautiful forests, lakes and rivers.  The Sooke Potholes is an extraordinary example of this.  Over ...
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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 ...
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Mount Tolmie is another beautiful, easily accessed mountain in Victoria with 360 degree ocean and city views.  On a clear day you can spot Mount Baker far ...
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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 ...
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