April 13, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Victoria - Hiking
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to hike the famous West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. For one week we were completely disconnected from everything. Just 75KM of nothing but rain forest, beach and the most awesome scenery imaginable.
We hiked the trail from Port Renfrew to Bamfield (south to north). It's supposed to be a little easier because you're still fresh when you do the hardest part first. Others argue it's better do start north so your pack is lighter near the end. The trail leads you along the ocean shoreline, either on the beach, or up on the cliffs. So the only climbing is up and down cliffs. This often involves wooden ladders, some very high and steep. And because you're in a rain forest, you have a fair chance you'll get (you got it) RAIN. That makes the ladders a little more challenging but after climbing a few of them we got the hang of it. we just took our time. We got our fair share of rain during the trip, but it didn't bring our spirits down at all. The scenery and the experience of being in the middle of nowhere made it all worth while.
You're allowed to camp almost anywhere so you can isolate yourself from all other hikers if you like. We chose the safety of the bigger campsites, equipped with bear locks and outhouses. We're not the most experienced multi-day hikers so we liked to stay close to people who knew what they were doing better than us. The bear locks in particularly are very useful because a couple of times we had to hang our food up in a tree to make sure the bears wouldn't get to it. And performing this activity in the dark and rain is not ea