The West Coast Trail

Having tackled this trail over a year ago now, I still love looking back on pictures. The 75km trail on the west coast of Vancouver Island is without a doubt one of the most beautiful backpacking trails in Canada.

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As always, I love going on adventures in the shoulder seasons when I’ll have a better chance of finding myself alone in remote locations. So May was the perfect time to start the journey. Eight hikers had been evacuated off the trail by the time we arrived in the first week of the season!

The West Coast Trail was originally constructed to be an escape route for shipwrecked survivors. Presently it is a glorious adventure that usually takes 5 to 7 days to complete (if you love long hiking days, the trail can definitely be finished quicker!). The scenery is non-stop for the entire trek, winding hikers through spruce, cedar, and hemlock forests, over cliffs cascading down into the Pacific ocean, along varying-size grained sand beaches, through tidal pools, and of course up and down the epic ladder, suspension, and cable car systems.

The trail provides endless beauty and each day begins and ends with a stunning sunrise or sunset, steps away from waves crashing before your tent. The trail can be tackled from either direction (north to south or south to north) and hikers usually have the option of hiking inland or along the beaches depending on weather and the tides. I have never had more fun hiking through mud bogs, navigating over massive root systems, crossing rivers, and maneovering through sand than on this hike.

When we finished the trail, a young couple our age was just beginning and this was to be their honeymoon. All I could think of was: brilliant!

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