Backpacking British Columbia's West Coast Trail

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Backpacking British Columbia's West Coast Trail
Backpacking British Columbia's West Coast Trail
Duration:
7
Days
Priced from:
2299.00
CAD

Backpacking British Columbia's West Coast Trail

Trip Overview

British Columbia’s West Coast Trail is one of the most spectacular and demanding hikes in North America. It is also one of the most beautiful stretches of rugged wilderness left in the world. It was developed as a rescue trail for shipwreck survivors in the early 20th century. Today, west coast trail tours are world famous backpacking classics offering serious adventurers something good for their souls. On the 75 km (47 mile) route you’ll find soaring sea stacks, moss-covered ancient trees, sandy beaches, cascading waterfalls, shipwreck relics, petroglyphs, and native culture. Roaring sea lions and soaring bald eagles are two of the most common park residents, but sightings of whale, bear, and cougar are also possible. On this west coast trail tour, we set a pace that allows time to adjust to the demands of the trail and fully capture the magnificent coastal environment.

**Trail permits are limited. Reserve your space early.

WOW FACTORS

  • Climbing up and down canyons in the forest on steep ladders
  • Wildlife sightings of eagles, sea lions, black bear, cougar, and whales
  • Shipwreck relics scattered along the beaches

Activities

Difficulty Level

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Questions?

Itinerary & Map

Day 1

Victoria & Port Renfrew
Trekking
Our west coast trail tour begins in Victoria and we can arrange accommodation one night prior for all who need accommodation. There is also a 6pm mandatory orientation meeting the night before the trip starts, at the Royal Scot Suite Hotel. All travellers must be at this meeting in order to proceed with the trip. At this meeting we'll discuss the adventure that lies ahead and distribute the food and equipment. The West Coast Trail shuttle van will pick us up at 7:00am at the Royal Scot Hotel on Day 1 of the trip. We drive 2 hours along a windy and bumping road northwest to Port Renfrew, the southern gateway of the West Coast Trail. We'll attend an orientation meeting by Parks Canada, and then cross by boat to the Gordon River Trail head. Here we'll put on our backpacks and set off on the trail. We'll trek to Thrasher Cove for a distance of 6km and pass the highest point of the trail along the way. This relatively short section, all through forest, is difficult and ends with ladders down to the first camp.

Distance: 6 km / 3.5 mi
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 2

Camper Bay
Trekking
Today's hike is 8 km to Camper Bay. The route is strenuous and demanding along the coastline, over driftwood and boulders, and crossing small surge channels. The tides will dictate whether we can cover this section along the beach or will hike inland. This part of the trip is very difficult. The rewards are the beautiful sandstone cliffs, caverns and the ocean swell pounding against the rocks. We then move inland into the rainforest to reach our camp for the night. This day is full of highlights and we'll find out why the West Coast Trail is considered one of the remaining great adventures on the earth. 

Distance: 8km / 4mi
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

Day 3

Walbran Creek
Trekking
Today's destination is 9 km to Walbran Creek. We'll experience our first cable car crossing of our west coast trail tour. This section of the trail can be muddy, VERY muddy. The Sandstone and Cullite Creek ladders are steep and the longest on the entire West Coast Trail. We'll then follow the trail through a bog, protected by a boardwalk. Lastly, we'll cross the Logan Creek suspension bridge, followed by more ladders. It will be a difficult day with mostly inland travel but through absolutely beautiful rainforest. The slow moving waters of the Walbran Creek are inviting for a refreshing swim. With a little luck, the sunset over the Pacific Ocean will be dramatic above our crackling campfire.

Distance: 9km / 5mi
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Carmanah Lighthouse
Trekking
Today we head to Cribs Creek, following the coastline around Vancouver Point for 11 km. Depending on the tides, we will either hike along the beach or inland through the rainforest. This area can be muddy, but the most difficult part of the West Coast Trail is now behind us. Today's hiking route is moderate. Along the way to Bonila Point, we'll witness gorgeous ocean scenery and beautiful sea stacks. For many, this section is quintessential West Coast Trail. Often Gray whales and Orcas can be seen breaching in the distance. We take in the beauty of the resident seabird colony while we pick up our food drop at Chez Monique's. Equipped with fresh supplies, we'll continue on and visit the Carmanah Lighthouse. Once at camp, we'll explore the fascinating tide pools. A good part of this day is spent on the sandy beaches. 

Distance: 11km / 6mi
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Tsusiat Falls
Trekking
Today is a big day! The distance to Tsusiat Falls is 17 km. This will be the longest part of the trip, however it is a moderate hike. We will make our way along the coastline or through the rainforest to the Cheewat River. The boardwalk trail to Nitinat Narrows is followed by a boat crossing operated by the local First Nations people. Some of the West Coast Trail's most spectacular views are around Tsuquadrah Point. The last portion of today's hike will be along the coastline and if possible, through Hole in the Wall at Tsusiat Point. Tsusiat Falls are nearby and considered by many to be the scenic culmination of the West Coast Trail. It has an amazing pool for swimming. Overnight camping. 

Distance: 17km / 10mi
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Michigan Creek
Trekking
Today we hike 13 km to Michigan Creek. The route is a moderate trek ascending and descending ladders through rainforests, and often muddy ground. The last of the cable car crossings is over the Klanawa River. A short beach hike leads to the forested path over the Valencia Bluffs. It was there where the biggest shipwreck unfolded, leading to the creation of the West Coast Trail as a lifesaving trail for the shipwrecked. Depending on the tides, we will descend a ladder to the beach from Tsucowis Creek and follow the coastline to Michigan Creek's tide pools. Here, we pitch our tents in the soft Pacific sands for our final night on the West Coast Trail. 

Distance: 13km / 8mi
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Bamfield & Victoria
Trekking
The hike to Pachena Bay Trail head is 12 km long and the easiest section of the entire West Coast Trail. One set of ladders to go! The Pachena lighthouse is a good last viewpoint along with a rock strewn with sea lions. Our transfer back to Victoria will be filled with a great sense of achievement and well-deserved exhaustion. The many memories of the West Coast Trail will be with us for a long time and some moments will be unforgettable. 

Distance: 12km / 7mi
Accommodation: Tent
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Special Requirements: 
The West Coast Trail is one of the world's premier trekking adventures but it is very demanding. Travellers are required to be in good physical condition to participate and must be capable of carrying their own personal gear, plus a portion of the shared equipment for the trip (between 25-35 lbs per person).

What's Included

TRIP INCLUSIONS:
Meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), internal transportation, all equipment (camping gear), boat shuttles, park fees and English-speaking guides.

TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International airfare, gratuities, meals not included and items of a personal nature.

MEALS:
7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 6 Dinners

ACCOMMODATION:
Tent: 6 Nights

Trip Facts

Weather in British Columbia, Canada

The climate of British Columbia varies from marine to continental, and is influenced by its location immediately east of the warm Pacific ocean, the north-south orientation of its towering mountain chains, the mountainous topography, the prevailing westerly winds, and the province’s northerly latitude. In winter the climate is affected by cold dry air from the arctic. Summers tend to be dry. The beautiful coast of British Columbia is well known for its temperate climate with temperatures averaging 26°C (90°F) in the summer and 2°C (36°F) in the winter. Most rainfall occurs between October and March.

Pacific Region (Includes Vancouver and Victoria)

Mid-May to Mid-September: Summer season. Warm weather. July is the most pleasant month with little rain, long periods of sunshine, and moderate temperatures, 23°C (74°F).

Travel Documents

US citizens require a passport to enter Canada. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your date of arrival. Citizens of other nations should contact the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate for entry requirements.

Food

Canadian cuisine is made up of traditional cuisines from around the globe. Uniquely Canadian foods include fresh and seasonal ingredients found throughout the country like seafood and berries. Wild game, such as Bison, Moose, and Buffalo are also popular. Some traditional meals include a Montreal smoked meat sandwich, poutine, roasted root vegetables, and Wild Sockeye Salmon. The west coast also offers plenty of Asian style restaurants including Chinese Smorgasbord, Sushi, and Korean BBQ. Street food can also be found in the larger cities and is generally safe to eat.

FAQ

How big are BikeHike's groups?

Our adventures are built for small groups, with a maximum of 12 travellers on each guided tour. Each group is diverse, comprised of men and women of many different nationalities and ages. By travelling in small groups we leave minimal ecological impact, cause less disruption to the native life and are able to gain a better appreciation for our surroundings. Small numbers also allow greater flexibility and spontaneity: a dinner in a local home, an impromptu village wedding invite and any such experiences that can become among the most memorable experiences of your BikeHike adventure.

How fit do I need to be to join this trip?

We understand that people come in many fitness levels, so we've graded our trips accordingly. There are four difficulty levels on our trips: Easy, Moderate, Challenging, and Strenuous. 

This is a “challenging” trip.

The West Coast Trail is one of the world's premier trekking adventures but it is very demanding. Travellers are required to be in good physical condition to participate and must be capable of carrying their own personal gear, plus a portion of the shared equipment for the trip (between 25-35 lbs per person).

We strongly recommend that you begin a regular fitness program - that is, if you are not already doing so. Five times a week, 90 minutes per session should be a minimum to prepare you for this adventure. 

Has this trip been run before?

BikeHike Adventures has been operating since 1994. 

The logistics of organizing tours to remote corners of the world can be very complex. Our trip development department spends long hours researching destinations, routes, ground operations and equipment. All itineraries are screened without clients before they are added to our growing repertoire of adventures. Nothing is untested. 

Can you tell me about your typical BikeHike travellers on this trip?

Our travellers share a common love for outdoor adventure. Most are looking for a physical adventure in an unfamiliar destination. This trip attracts one of our most diverse groups. A typical trip is comprised of men and women of varied ages and nationalities. We've had as many as six nationalities represented on the same trip before. These travellers are in good physical condition, who exercise regularly and are invigorated by a personal challenge. The age range on this trip is typically from 25-60, although we occasionally get younger and older travellers as well. 

What is the best time of year to hike the West Coast Trail?

We only offer this trip in the summer based on weather conditions. 

Will I be able to wash my clothes on this trip?

It is best to bring sufficient clothing for 7-days, as laundry along the way is not always simple. 

We have prepared a packing list that you can download by clicking the link to the right on this page. 

What should I pack for this trek?

We have prepared a packing list that you can download by clicking the link to the right on this page. 

What city should one fly into to start the West Coast Trail?

For this trip, many travellers fly directly into Victoria where the trip starts or into Vancouver (and then connect to Victoria by BC Ferries or seaplane). Please note you need to arrive into Victoria the day before the trip starts as there is a mandatory orientation meeting at 6:00pm. On the last day of the trip (day 7), you will not get back into Victoria until later in the evening.

Can I take this trip if...

I am a solo traveller? How does solo accommodation and costing work?

Most of our travellers (both men and women) on this trip join as singles. Unlike many adventure travel companies, we don't charge single supplement fees to solo travellers. Instead, we pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If we can't find you a roommate, you get your own room at no additional charge. A single private room supplement fee is only required if you specifically request a confirmed private room for the duration of the trip. Learn more about solo travel with BikeHike

I have special dietary requirements?

We will do our best to accommodate special dietary requests (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, etc.), but ask that you please discuss your request with us when signing up for a trip.

I am travelling with children? Is this trip children friendly?

This tour is not suitable for children. However, we do offer many other Family Focused trips, some of which are able to accommodate children.

Accommodation

Most of this trip is tenting as that is what the West Coast Trail experience is all about. 

Specifically, this trip includes the following types of accommodation:

HOTELS

The first night of the trip is a hotel in Victoria, BC. In an effort to keep money in the communities we visit around the world, BikeHike prefers small hotels that showcase the character and local flair of each destination.

CAMPING

Camping on this trip usually involves rustic camping. Your guide will help you set up camp and will be carrying all of the required equipment. This will be the experience of a lifetime as you'll be tenting along the ocean! With a little luck, you'll enjoy incredible sunset over the Pacific Ocean from beside your crackling campfire.

Adventure Dates

  • Jul 05 - Jul 11, 2020
  • Aug 07 - Aug 13, 2020
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Price

(Land only, based on twin/shared room)
2299.00
CAD
per person plus 5% tax

No single supplement fees 
** Guaranteed departures on two travellers

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Add-Ons

  • It's easy to add days before and after your tour.  Just ask! 
Day Destination Activity Distance Lodging Meals
1
Victoria & Port Renfrew
Trekking
6 km
3.5 mi
Tent
b,
l,
d
2
Camper Bay
Trekking
8 km
4 mi
Tent
b,
l,
d
3
Walbran Creek
Trekking
9 km
5 mi
Tent
b,
l,
d
4
Carmanah Lighthouse
Trekking
11 km
6 mi
Tent
b,
l,
d
5
Tsusiat Falls
Trekking
17 km
10 mi 
Tent
b,
l,
d
6
Michigan Creek
Trekking
13 km
8 mi
Tent
b,
l,
d
7
Bamfield & Victoria
Trekking
12 km
7 mi
b,
l

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