West Coast Trail Summary

posted in: Canada, General, Hiking, North America, Reviews, Travel | 3

Brief summary of the pros and cons of the West Coast Trail 2018.


Preparation for the West Coast Trail
1 The Map (Nitinaht to Cribs Creek
2 The Rain Cover (Cribs Creek to Walbran Bay)
3 The Step counter (Walbran Bay to Campers Bay)
4 The Necessaire (Campers Bay to Trasher’s Cove)
5 Fed-up (Trasher’s Cove to Gordon River)

West Coast Trail map by Parks Canada: Nitinaht - Gordon River
West Coast Trail map by Parks Canada: Nitinaht – Gordon River

West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island

The West Coast Trail was originally built to rescue sailors from frequent shipwrecks about 100 years ago. At first, I wondered why there were so many wrecks along this coast, but eventually found out about the inclement weather, the dense fog and unsure forecasts of this treacherous section of coastline. Today, it is one of the famous trails in Canada to hike over a period of five to seven days. Given our late reservation in June, we were only able to do half the trek starting from Nitinaht.* We chose the more arduous part South of Nitinaht with many ladders.

The trail offers stunning views of the coastal scenery along Vancouver Island. It stretches 75 km in total and can be either done full or half. Moreover, hikers can leave north- or south-bound.

Photography Spots WCT

There is a more comprehensive post on photography spots along the West Coast Trail on ShutterTom. However, I want to point out a few photographic highlights. When driving to the starting point you will come along a wonderful single tree growing out of a dead half-submerged trunk. It is a great depiction of rebirth. Yet, I could not take a picture because the bus did not make a break.

Owen’s point, Walbrun Bay, ShutterTom post about Photograp


  • Scenery
  • Little elevation
  • Campgrounds
  • Wildlife


  • Price
  • Popular (crowded)
  • registration required

Advice for the WCT

  • Prepare for wet conditions
  • Take an extra day food with you
  • A tarp is worth carrying to have an immediate shelter
Mystic morning along the West Coast Trail with wafts of mist rolling in

*We were told on our last day on the trail by a park ranger that we could have just showed up and would have probably gotten a spot in a day or two. Yet, our Swissness prevented such boldness when a clear registration procedure is in place.

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