Chin to Bear: This day was most definitely the hardest. No trace of the fire should be left behind. “Most rocks are covered with living plants and animals – step carefully to avoid crushing them. To get an idea of the difficult nature of the trail, consider this: The trail reaches its highest point at about 180 m. Yet the total cumulative elevation gain (estimated) is about 1,700 m! A one-time donation through PayPal helps with monthly website hosting costs. It is easiest to pay in advance online, but there are self-registration forms at the Botanical Beach and China Beach Trailheads. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was a challenging coastal experience. The clouds lifted a few hours into our day and the sun finally came out. More details and registration can be found here, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park official website, Coastal Hikes: A Guide to West Coast Hiking. You can use these trailheads if you want to access the trail for day hiking, or don’t wish to through-hike the entire length of the JDF. Pack out your toilet paper, or dispose of it in one of the campsite outhouses. You might have the best luck if you can roam onto a US carrier from the nearby United States. Logistically, it is a lot easier to get onto the trail, and it certainly has fewer ladders to contend with. Use the metal food lockers provided at the campsites to store your food and deter wildlife. Disclaimer: The information in this website should not be taken as accurate, complete or up-to-date. Would definitely recommend packing as light as possible. This is especially true in the busier summer months, and at the Chin, Bear, and Sombrio beaches. Roots, mud, and slippery wood are normal obstacles in the forest sections. Juan De Fuca Marine Trail (Part 1) – BC, Canada. Wildlife. 71 I think botanical was still closed due to a bear but never checked. For driving, you can take Hwy #14 from Victoria to China Beach (directions), or to Botanical Beach (directions). Required fields are marked *. Because of this, and the lack of ocean views, they are typically less desirable spots to camp. With the Juan de Fuca, you will have your choice of campsites, how many days you wish to hike, and some choices between inland and beach routes. We made it to Bear Beach around 4:30 in the afternoon and set up our campsite right on the beach. Throw your raincoat on ASAP when it starts to pour bc the water soaked my tshirt, dripped down my pants, past my gaiters and into my socks and boots... After setting up our tent, we lit a fire, had some warm food, and had a few sips of whiskey to raise our spirits. Lots of mud. Find the small stream coming out between the outhouse and just before the trail leaves the beach to climb inland. Become a Patron! Fires are permitted on the beaches as long as no current fire ban is in effect. Botanical Beach on a misty morning By providing this information, Bottletop Media does not assume any liability for the use of this information by our readers.Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions. The Sombrio Beach waterfall Hiking poles - needed for balance, getting through the mud, saving the precious knees, and assisting on the ascents. Thieves regularly prey on these parking lots! There is the Trail Bus (see: Getting There) you might take to get from one trailhead to the other. ), head west of Victoria on Highway 14 to Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. If you find our content helpful, please support us via PayPal or Patreon. Sombrio to Chin : We were absolutely laughing at how easy this was, especially after going through hell the day before. Trekking poles are also highly recommended. Best not to look at the km markers since it feels like watching a pot boil! Each hiker is responsible for hiking with a minimal impact on the environment. Often overlooked in favor of the West Coast Trail, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a far less expensive and equally beautiful option. Earlier this summer I hiked the 180km Sunshine Coast Trail over 10 days. Bear Beach. Again somewhat defeated, we arrived at Chin Beach around 4 o’clock. We parked our car, then waited on the highway for the West Coast Express. It was a difficult 4 days but the challenge was worth it in every way. So proud of the kids for doing so well on their first multi-day hike, carrying their packs. There were several elevated lookouts over the ocean and across to the United States. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is designed as a wilderness hiking trail. You are encouraged to camp at designated campsites and on the beach when possible to prevent degradation of the inland forest environment. Doesn’t require securing a permit in advance. We passed by a re-routed section of trail that had been washed out by a recent mudslide. A bit of mud and few ups and downs (gaiters not required but definitely encouraged) Here is some of the basic etiquette to consider: My general advice for the Juan de Fuca Trail is the same as any through-hike or backpacking trek: Prepare and plan, and then plan some more. Trail conditions were mostly good. You will receive the file immediately in your email, and will also gain access to the monthly Outdoor Vancouver newsletter. Overall we hiked from Mystic Beach to Parkinson in 2 Days. Kind of scary, we felt like we dodged a bullet. Sombrio Beach is a popular campsite as there is a trailhead/ parking lot nearby. The trail would continue to be exceedingly difficult and slow going in sections. It is up to you to assess whether or not the trail is suitable for your dog. The treck to Chin is definitely a fun challenge with lots of ups and downs, we were glad to get that stretch done on our first full day of hiking. You can also hike north-to-south or south-to-north. Juan De Fuca Marine Trail to Mystic Beach Outlook is a 2.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. It's one of the great alternatives to the WCT. 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. If that happened, we’d have to double-back to get onto the inland trail, and would surely be hiking into the darkness. Eff that place We checked out the beautiful Botanical Beach and explored its tidal pools. You can leave your car at one trailhead and take the bus to the other. And it's … The JDF offers incredible scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities but doesn’t require any permits to be secured in advance like the WCT does. And don’t bring non-essential items. Food storage. Yes, however the trail may be too difficult for some dogs. We parked our car at Parkinson and took the West Coat Trail bus (https://trailbus.com/) to China Beach and set up camp at Mystic beach. China Beach to bear beach was nice and chill. Below are some etiquette guidelines, but these are by no means comprehensive. Campsites are first come, first served with the exception of China Beach Campground – which isn’t really on the trail anyway. Making our way along the damp trail. There was probably 30 people maybe. Gaiters will probably be very helpful with the mud, especially in the spring and early summer. trail was moist as a muffin! Yes and no. There are four trailheads to the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, at China Beach, Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Creek and Botanical Beach, all accessed off Highway 14. Always carry The Essentials and fill out a trip plan. Did it in 4 nights. There are tent pads at West Sombrio you are encouraged to use. Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, about an hour drive north of Sooke, is the popular and challenging 47 km Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, the southern extension to the famous West Coast Trail. Carrying on through the forest Entrance to Botanical was completely closed off yesterday due to a “problem bear”/ bear trap set up... which we learned from signage after exiting the park. For your afternoon outing (you thought you were done? Want to connect with other local hikers? We made sure to check out the incredible waterfall tucked inside a slot canyon just off the beach. Got stung by a wasp which was insanely painful, so bring some antihistamines and afterbite. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is an excellent route to train for coastal backpacking trips. The good news was we had covered over one-third of the trail on day one, allowing us to take an easier pace from here. Mystic Beach looking south (towards the waterfall). All that was left to do was hike the final 8 km back to the China Beach trailhead, passing by the popular Mystic Beach along the way. You may use this as a guideline for your own hike, or you may want to take an entirely different approach. 2nd day: Bear to Chin- Very challenging with lots of elevation changes There also isn’t much space for camping, and this site is often used by campers coming down from the parking lot who aren’t hiking the length of the trail. And collect the water from as far upstream as possible. The town of Sooke is closest to the China Beach access point, and the town of Port Renfrew is close to the Botanical Beach access point. More muddy trails The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was created through the Commonwealth Nature Legacy to commemorate the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, BC. There is the hiking gear you will need to buy if you don’t already have it. The trail is busy from mid-June through to early September, with peak times in July and August. Botanical Beach was closed to day visitors due to a problematic bear but that trail that runs parallel to the beach is still open. This is so your waste doesn’t make its way into a freshwater source. Great trail, started at china beach finished at gate for botanicals but they are closed due to a "problematic bear". This 47-km trail alternates between rugged coast and inland forest and rivals the more publicized West Coast Trail in scenic amazingness--without the permit quotas. The China Beach day-use and parking area Apparently somewhat shell-shocked from day 1, we didn’t break camp on day two of our trek until after 10am. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'outdoorvancouver_ca-medrectangle-4','ezslot_8',107,'0','0']));Juan de Fuca Trail video overview – This is a 20-minute film of our hike of the trail in 2020, and should give you an idea of what the trail is all about! Featuring over 110 hiking trails around Vancouver, this eBook produced by Outdoor Vancouver is your guide to the best hikes in southwest British Columbia. This guide is not written like the other hiking guides on this site, which provide a clear route description to get from point A to B. The beach was our obvious preference, but this particular beach had a high-tide cutoff point. As we progressed along the trail, however, it quickly became clear there was indeed a lot of mud on the trail, which significantly slowed down our expected pace. Know how to minimize your chance of an encounter, and how to behave if you see bears, wolves, or cougars. Distance by the map for day 3: 11 km.Total hiking time: 4.5 hours. It is recommended you book your spot on the bus in advance. As always, it is best to hike by Leave No Trace principles (link in the resources section for more info). Vancouver Island is… an island. waterproof shoes, gaiters & poles highly recommended. We reached a beach access point, where we had the option of taking the scenic and faster beach route to Sombrio, or taking the muddy, slow, and hilly inland route. did Parkinson to China 4 days with the homies. Treat all your water. In this article you will find all information needed to plan a hike on the Juan de Fuca trail, all about our hike; detailed itinerary and packing list. Make sure you understand how to read the chart. Campsites along the Juan de Fuca Trail are all first come first served. People often hike in to camp or surf. For the most part the trail is well marked, however there were a few places where there seemed to be a few paths that you could take and it wasn’t always clear which was the best route. Our plan had been to go from China beach to Botanical, however it was still blocked off so had to end at Parkinson. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was created through the Commonwealth Nature Legacy to commemorate the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, BC. After a short break at the scenic, and on this day, busy Mystic Beach, we just had two kilometers left before we were back at our car, which would hopefully still have all its windows. Lookout from a suspension bridge. Saw no whales but some river otters, sea lions and seals. First time using them and am glad I watched a YouTube tutorial on proper use! *For a better understanding of the stats and difficulty rating, check out the Hiking Guides page for details. When finished with the fire, fully extinguish it with water. The Juan de Fuca trail winds it’s way right through the parking lot and keeps going. Hikers who lack the experience and equipment for overnight hikes can travel light and explore more on day excursions. After that, we went back to our room and made our final preparations for the hike. Super happy we cut it short since the mud slowed us down big time and also we got hit with an insane rainstorm where we had to hide out at Kuitsche camp for 10 min. Overall weather conditions were excellent. Hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail on Vancouver Island. Tired, and wanting to get to the campsite as soon as possible, we gambled and took the beach route, racing against the tide as fast as our tired legs could take us over the rocky shore. The Mystic Beach campsite is scenic and lies along a nice, sandy stretch of shore. We stopped in Victoria to grab a few things from MEC and have lunch. That’s a lot of up and down, up and down…. Even the water you use to brush your teeth. Watching a thunder storm roll in to the south of us during sunset at chin beach was incredible! Absolutely outstanding! Dense rainforests and changing eco-systems along this west coast hike. There will be ongoing constructions and upgrading of … You should print the tide charts for the days you will be on the trail and bring this with you. But the 26 km we’d already covered had taken a toll, leaving us blistered, wet, sore, and fatigued. Overall very successful trip. Backcountry passes for camping and important notices can be found on the BC Parks website: http://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/juan_de_fuca/#WalkInCamping The answer, I discovered, is to hike the lesser known Juan de Fuca Marine trail, established in 1995, which runs 30 miles along the same coast line from Sooke to Port Renfrew. Thank you! As the Juan de Fuca Trail lies just south of the popular West Coast Trail, it often draws comparison. Use outhouses at the campsites and do not relieve yourself anywhere near a stream or source of fresh water. The biggest factor may be for logistical reasons of how you plan to get onto and off the trail, and the times of the bus. The Juan de Fuca sits on the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island, between Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew and China Beach, which is just up the coast from Sooke. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is found on the southwest of Vancouver Island, and offers beautiful coastal hiking and opportunities for viewing a large … Advertising revenue is falling quickly across the internet, and independently-run sites like Outdoor Vancouver are hit hardest by it. The trail stretches from China Beach, 35 km west of Sooke, to Botanical Beach, just outside Port Renfrew. My wife voted to push on to Sombrio Beach where the ocean views were. Fires must be below the high-tide line on the beach and cannot be started in the forest. As we made our way towards Parkinson Creek, however, the trail went inland and became progressively more difficult. We did 4 days/3 nights from Mystic to Bear, to Chin, to Little Kiutshe, out to Botanical. The Juan de Fuca Trail is open year round and reservations are not required for backcountry camping. Enter your email to receive the free PDF version of this guide, including the gear checklist. One of many incredible views along the JDF. SEATTLE-Strait of Juan de Fuca west of Victoria. Yes, there is potentially dangerous wildlife. Multiple hikers including us got stung. As we were having our breakfast and packing up, we saw a humpback whale and just after a dolphin in the waters just in front of our campsite. You may not be able to pass along the beach during high tide at these points. Ferry or by airplane (Victoria has an international airport). On day three we slept in, again, uneager to start tackling the unforgiving trail on another foggy morning. First, you will need to get to Vancouver Island by B.C. Outdoor Vancouver © 2020Disclaimer: The information in this website should not be taken as accurate, complete or up-to-date. The trail from Sombrio Beach to Chin Beach – our targeted campsite for the night – was all inland, and had one huge climb. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a great shorter less difficult alternative to the West Coast Trail. May 16 - September 30 Bus service runs EVERY DAY CANCELLATIONS REQUIRE 10 DAYS NOTICE *Nanaimo Shuttle Bus Service: We Fires should not be relied on for cooking food and you should have a camping stove. In the evening we grabbed a delicious pizza from Stoked and ate it overlooking French Beach. I voted to set up camp at the less-than-scenic Little Kuitshe campsite and rest for the night. Driving Time from Vancouver: Half-dayTrailhead Coordinates: Botanical Beach: 48.533435, -124.443411, China Beach: 48.437935, -124.092814. Parkinson Beach is at the 37 kilometer marker along the trail. As of 2020, it is $10/person/night ($5 for children ages 6-15). As such, the guide below is a personal trip report from my own hike of the Juan de Fuca Trail in 2020. A brief 2km to Mystic Beach for our first night. **Aproximate – I’m not sure how accurate that is but that is the number from my Suunto 9 watch hiking the entire trail. Ferry. Mystic Beach, Bear Beach, Chin Beach, and Sombrio Beach are all located along the beach. The hike normally takes 3-4 days. We woke up early in the morning, hit up Tim Hortons for a coffee, then drove to the China Beach trailhead.

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