Hiking the West Coast Trail is an exciting and picturesque route, and without doubts hiking the West Coast Trail is an arduous experience, and is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Hiking this trail can be carried out between May 1 and September 30 of each year. This backpacking trail that follows the southwestern corner of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, offers an unforgettable experience.
Distance and Location
The West Coast Trail is a 75 km stretch starting from Port Renfrew found on the southern end as it extends to reach Bamfield found on the northern end. Hikers can get commence their hiking route from either Bamfield or Port Renfrew. The southern parts of the trail are more challenging than the northern counterparts, and for overnight hikers, permit is a must, and reservations must be made in advance.
The time required to hike the West Coast Trail in its entirety is generally 6 days, although a more leisurely trip would take 8 days. If the trek is planned well and enough time allotted to explore, you can enjoy a relaxing hiking trip along the WCT.
Sights along the West Coast Trail
While hiking along the West Coast Trail gets underway, the hiker experiences a variety of scenery. Wading mud bogs, climbing precipitous ladders, scrambling slippery ocean boulders, coming across surge channels that pose challenges, shipwreck relics, hauling your way up the rocky cliffs, riding the cable car suspensions and more delightful experiences await. The creeks and cliffs, beaches, coves, bays, the magic waterfalls and the storm-chiseled caves enhance your hiking experience. You also get provided with opportunities to explore the charming tidal pools, and the misty forest cathedral; Hemlocks, Douglas firs, the fragrant cedars as well as the Sitka spruces offer an enlightening experience. Your photographic instincts get the better of you, as temptation to click the gorgeous Pacific sunsets, the wildlife as well as the photogenic sea stacks. There are plenty of activities that lure your attention, but, extreme caution has to be exercised all along the challenging West Coast Trail.
There are many campsites to choose from, but some favored ones include the Thrasher and the Camper, as well as the Carmanah, Tsusiat Pt and Tsocowis.
The West Coast Trail is an extremely rugged trail that challenges even the most experienced of hikers, and in essence, it necessitates very high fitness levels, skill as well as knowledge to enjoy a hassle-free hiking trip.
For some thorough information on the West Coast Trail, check out an extensive guide here: West Coast Trail BC