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.

Hike the West Coast Trail

 Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 1 Pachena to Darling Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 2 Darling to Tsusiat Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 3 Tsusiat to Carmanah Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 4 Carmanah to Walbran Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 5 Walbran to Cullite Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 6 Cullite to Camper Hiking Route West Coast TrailDay 7 Camper to Thrasher West Coast Trail CampsitesMichigan Creek at 12k West Coast Trail CampsitesDarling River at 14k West Coast Trail CampsitesOrange Juice Creek at 15k West Coast Trail CampsitesTsocowis Creek at 16.5k West Coast Trail CampsitesKlanawa River at 23k West Coast Trail CampsitesTsusiat Falls at 25k West Coast Trail CampsitesCribs Creek at 42k West Coast Trail CampsitesCarmanah Creek at 46k West Coast Trail CampsitesBonilla Creek at 48k West Coast Trail CampsitesWalbran Creek at 53k West Coast Trail CampsitesCullite Cove at 58k West Coast Trail CampsitesCamper Bay at 62k Thrasher Cove - West Coast Trail CampsitesThrasher Cove at 70k

The stretch of the Pacific from Vancouver Island to Oregon earned the name Graveyard Of The Pacific because of the shockingly frequent shipwrecks. To get that name. To earn such a horribly poignant name, a stretch of ocean had to have claimed a lot of ships in a small amount of time.

It did. And the reason it did is because of a unique set of circumstances.  In short, if you were to design a part of the world to devour ships. To pull them into an inescapable death. Well, you'd do well to design it very much like Juan de Fuca Strait.

Step 1: have a major port of trade centre itself in a place like Vancouver. Or better yet, create two cities, one like Vancouver, and another like Victoria.

Step 2: have them located at the edge of a relatively unknown continent in the biggest ocean in the world.

Step 3: have these major cities accessed by entering a strait with a fast moving current and brutal weather half of the year.

Step 4: and this is the master stroke.  Have the entrance to the straight be a lee shore with a brutally hostile, rocky shoreline, and as one last brutal stroke of evil.  Make the current in the strait move northward toward the destructive coast.  And make the current move faster as the weather gets worse, which it is a lot.

Juan de Fuca Strait is all of these.  It is a testament to how wonderful the cities of Vancouver and Victoria are.  Not only did they rise out of such a brutal history of shipwreck disaster.  But more importantly.  More amazingly.  They led to the creation of the West Coast Trail.  This fact may not sink in with suitable gravity with the average person.  But walk the West Coast Trail and it will resonate.  The purpose of the trail sticks in the back of your mind as you hike it.  It has to.  There are shipwrecks at every beach.  This is surely impossible, an exaggeration.  But it's not.

As you walk you are constantly reminded that it's a life saving trail.  But it's too hard.  Even with the deluxe, IKEA looking ladders and bridges it's hard.  How could survivors crawl off the beach and walk this trail.  The sobering answer is simple.  They did.  They had to.  They survived.  They crashed onto Vancouver Island.  These shores.  As their ship was bashed into the rocks, the made their way to the shore.  Some died, some lived.  We have an unbelievably detailed history of who did and didn't.  Then they set off on the Dominion Life Saving Trail.

West Coast Trail Prologue Continued at HikeWCT.com

Hike WCT West Coast Trail

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 VictoriaEasy Hiking Trails VictoriaModerate Trails VictoriaChallenging Trails 

Victoria Hiking Trails

The Elk & Beaver Lake Trail is one of many beautiful lakeside trails in Victoria.  From the convenient parking lot the trail is mostly flat, gravel or ...
Read more
Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park is a wonderful coastal park overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Located in Metchosin, a scenic and largely rural ...
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
Spectacle Lake Provincial Park is popular with hiking, fishing, canoeing and swimming.  Located north of Victoria, the drive to get there is very beautiful and ...
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

Clayoquot Hiking Trails

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 ...
Read more
The Wild Pacific Trail is a must see on any visit to Pacific Rim National Park, Ucluelet and/or Tofino.  Located in Ucluelet, the Wild Pacific Trail is ...
Read more
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
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