Duration: 8 days

Level: Strenuous

Min Group Size: 2

Max Group Size: 5

Price: Adults $1796 CAD + tax

2016 Dates: July 6 (full), 27 (full)

Departs From: Vancouver and Victoria

Porters are available for this trip, see the Book Now page.

Please read our FAQs for more information about our tours.


Book Your Trip

Pay a deposit then fill out a booking form.

Date:
Payment:
Add To Cart
visa-mastercard-amex_logo.gif


What’s Included

  • All transport from pick up at your downtown hotel in Vancouver (or Victoria) and drop off at the end of your tour including ferry to Vancouver Island 
  • Water taxi from Port Renfrew to the northern trailhead at Pachena Bay
  • 1 night's accommodation at the 'hiker huts' in Port Renfrew
  • 6 nights camping accommodation
  • All camping equipment (tent, sleeping mat, sleeping bag, headlamp, eating utensils, etc.)
  • All meals on the trail i.e. 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners - see a sample menu
  • Soft beverages during car journeys
  • All park permits and fees
  • The services of one of our guides for the duration of your trip

What's Not Included

  • Breakfast and lunch on day one
  • Lunch and dinner on day eight

West Coast Trail 


The West Coast Trail is the grandaddy of all the coastal hikes on Vancouver Island. At 75km it is certainly the longest and best known. Frequently named as being in the top ten hikes in the world it is one that shouldn't be missed by any serious hiker or backpacker. Everyone should have this one on their list. The scenery and trail are varied, ranging from beautiful sandy beaches to sandstone shelving to slippery wooden boardwalks to dense coastal rainforest

Some say that the West Coast Trail has become more sanitised and less difficult but it should never be underestimated with approximately 100 hikers evacuated off the trail every season. It's long, it's tough and it's beautiful; it's an experience every hiker should have at least once in their lifetime. We keep our group size small on this one with a maximum of 5 clients.


Itinerary

Please bear in mind that this is a wilderness hike and the itinerary is only a suggestion and not set in stone.

DAY ONE - Pick up at your hotel in Vancouver from where we will take a short drive to Tswwassen to catch the ferry to Schwartz Bay on Vancouver Island. Once on the Island we head for Port Renfrew (via Victoria if anyone needs picking up there). Here at the southern end of the West Coast Trail we will take the mandatory Parks Canada orientation session at 2:00pm. We will then check in at our accommodation where we have can organise our packs for the beginning of our adventure. 

DAY TWO - A three hour journey by water taxi will take us to the northern trailhead at Pachena Bay from where we will start our hike. The northern section is the 'easiest' part of the trail and we will aim to make Darling River where there is a good campsite on a sandy beach, a distance of some 14km. Before we reach our camp we will see, among other sights, a sea lion haulout and one of the two lighthouses that protect this area of coast, the so-called 'Graveyard of the Pacific'.

DAY THREE - Today we hike the 11km to Tsusiat Falls where we will make camp at this incredibly scenic place, often thought of as the best spot on the entire trail. Along the way we will use the first cable car of our journey to cross the Klanawa River. In the evening we will make a campfire and watch for whales on their annual migration up the coast.

DAY FOUR - We will have a longer hike today as there are no campsites for 17km until we get to Cribbs Creek, another lovely sandy beach with good water access. At the Nitinat Narrows we will cross using a small water taxi run by the local First Nation. Crab and salmon are available here if anyone wants a feast.

DAY FIVE - An easier hiking day will see us move on to either Carmanah or Bonilla Creek, a distance of only 7 or 9km.

DAY SIX - The trail gets harder as we move south but our packs are lighter as our food supplies diminish. Today we will hike for 10km with the aim of reaching Cullite Creek at the 58km mark. We we be encountering the most serious ladder sections of the trail on the way.

DAY SEVEN - On our penultimate day we continue with the ladders and the walking in the rainforest as we reach Thrasher Cove only 6km from the end of the trail. Hiking will be a mix of rainforest inland and a wonderful section of tidal shelf and boulders that is exciting but slow going.

DAY EIGHT - Finishing off our adventure by hiking through the rainforest while also passing the highest point on the trail gives us a short but still hard and memorable last day. At Gordon River we wait for the water taxi to pick us up and then it's back to the car (an advantage of hiking back to where we came from - no long bumpy bus rides down forestry roads) and back to civilisation.


Wildlife Viewing

Chances of seeing:

  • Black Bears - possible
  • Wolves - less likely
  • Cougars -  less likely
  • Eagles - highly likely
  • Whales - probable
  • Sea Lions - highly likely
  • Sea Otters - less likely

Please see our FAQs page for an explanation of these ratings.