September 13, 2010 | Tips from Travellers >
Port Alberni, Hiking
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I love a good west coast beach, so visiting three Vancouver Island beaches seemed like an obvious long weekend trip for me and three friends.
After a bumpy drive on a gravel road from Port Alberni to the tiny town of Bamfield, we settled in a campground on Pachena Bay. Wandering the sweeping crescent of sand, we examined mussels and invertebrates hiding in rocky nooks and crannies.
The next morning we braved a very muddy and challenging hike to Keeha Bay. Our reward was a pristine and nearly deserted beach with rich tide pools and plenty of rocks and hidden mini-beaches to explore. We set up camp amongst the driftwood and searched the horizon for whales (none that trip unfortunately!). After some time around the beach fire, we fell asleep in our tents to the sound of crashing waves.
Luckily our hike back was much drier. After a picnic lunch at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (which can be toured!) we took a water taxi across Bamfield Inlet and a short walk down rural roads brought us to Brady’s Beach. Although private properties border on sections, the beach still feels as secluded and wild as Keeha Bay. Amongst rugged rock islands, we saw river otters and bald eagles and a spectacular sunset that turned islands on the horizon into pastel silhouettes. A final beach fire and an attempt at photographing star trails in the clear night sky ended the last leg of our West Coast beach tour.