On this trail there is a lot of women. There is also a lot of mud. So if you like both, this rugged and technical challenge is for you.
Day 1 – 27km China Beach to Sombrio Beach (East)
The Juan de Fuca Trail is a 47km thru hike on the west coast of southern Vancouver Island. Starting from China Beach heading northbound to Botanical Beach, Port Renfrew. It is a strenuous and isolated multi day trek through a scenic area. There is also opportunity for easy to moderate day use along the beaches or in the rainforest.
I caught the West Coast Trail shuttle in Victoria at 6:45am. I was fully intending to take the 2 1/2 hour bus ride to Port Renfrew to the start of the famous West Coast Trail. But I met Katy on the bus. She is hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail so I suddenly decided to get off the bus with her at the Jordan River/China beach trailhead.
The trail winds through the forest most of the day. There are peek-a-boo views through the trees to the sparkling ocean and across the water in the distance is the Olympic Peninsula, USA.
I love hiking through the damp, mossy woods. The trail is soft under my shoes and the air is cool on my skin.
Mid morning I lost Katy when I had to stop on the beach for the park ranger who asked to see my permit.
In my haste and last minute change of plans, I did not consider a permit. The park ranger read my embarrassment and only charged me $20 for the one night I was planning to camp and thankfully let me go without fining me $115. Very kind.
As the day wore on it got hot and I was tiring. It is a tough slog. Mucky, slippery roots, steep ups and downs. Passing by Mystic beach and Bear beach with hikers setting up camp for the night. I caught up to Katy who had had enough and stopped to set up camp at Chin beach. I carried on another 2 hours to Sombrio beach. As soon as I got there I found the first sandy, flat spot and set up my tent. I was beat, sore and achy. 8 hours of tough hiking. The sun was setting as I watched the surf and ate my dinner. So peaceful.