Pacific Rim National Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Photos and article by Darin Riedel
Depending on which direction you wish to take, this is the start or
the end. It was the start for us, but either way, you have to take
a boat from here to Port Renfrew, across the bay.
The first night for most going from south to north.
A walk through cave at Owen Point marks the point where the trail
turns to a northerly direction up the coast. The cave is all sandstone
which has eroded slowly over time.
Looking south as we leave Owen Point, over the tidal shelf which is
traversable only during low tide.
Our second night. Beautifully cut sandstone cliffs on either side
of an emerald green ocean stretching to the tip of the Olympic Peninsula.
As beautiful as Cullite Cove is you need to get there early if you
wish to overnight there as campsites are scarce.
Throughout the trail are suspension bridges and ladders. A convenience
not shared by earlier users of this trail 40 years ago.
One of the characteristics of this 74 kilometer trail is the extensive
vertical ladders dropping you into and lifting you out of the seemingly
infinite number of ravines throughout the trail.
An otherwise knee deep marsh has been tracked with (in some parts)
several kilometers of boardwalks.
Another modern convenience is the number of trolleys spanning across
the deeper rivers such as the Caramana and Walbran rivers.
with a view!
A small clearing in the thick canopy of rainforest reveals an elevated
view of the ocean and thick morning mist.
Approaching Bonilla Point, although the beach is flat the sand makes
walking with a 50 pound pack painfully exhausting as the energy from
each step is absorbed by the loose sand.
Bonilla Point with Caramanah Lighthouse in the far background.
Two kilometers south of Caramanah lighthouse a resident native family
has set up an oasis of chocolate, beer and pop in an otherwise granola
eating environment. The next morning I enjoyed "stick to your
ribs" pancakes with maple syrup.
A nice place to stop for lunch and watch the sea lions, Caramanah
Lighthouse marks the halfway point on the trail. One of the last few
manned lighthouses on the west coast, the residents are all too happy
to tell you all about the history of the lighthouse.
Just north of the Caramana lighthouse a stretch of beach reveals the
northern half of the trail. Note: the farthest reach of land in the
mid left of the picture is Pachena Point (10 km from trails end).
The Cheewat river on the Dittidat Native Reserve emulates a ghost
like presence while hiking through this area.
Another suspension bridge spans over the Cheewat River.
Great place for an overnight camp!
Even on a rainy day Tsusiat falls is a marvelous sight and a great
place to spend the night with a water fall to the east and ocean to
10 km from the northern trail head this lighthouse has an interesting
history worth hearing if youre lucky enough to hear the story.
Beautiful Pachena Bay was once historically home to the Pachena Native
Tribe before it was flooded by a tidal wave from an earthquake in
more about Pacific
Rim National Park & The
West Coast Trail
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