Mountains or Ocean? Luckily you don’t have to decide here on Vancouver Island. This weekend can be coastal and the next can be alpine, or perhaps you could do both in one weekend? Here are some of my favourites.
Juan de Fuca Trail
Usually done in 3 days, the JdF trail offers 47km of coastal trekking. Known for it’s ups and downs, mud, sunsets, and for falling asleep with the sound of crashing waves.
A simple trail in the heart of Strathcona Park that offers an incredible surrounding to eat your lunch for minimal effort. Although this 14km can be done as a day hike, the trail provides two spots to camp.
West Coast Trail
The WCT must be booked in advance for its 75km of 5 days of rugged west coast hiking. The WCT is more remote and more challenging than the JDF, but the scenery and experience is worth every moment. With satire in mind, here are some great reasons why you shouldn’t hike the WCT.
Mt. Albert Edward
Typically done over 3 days and camping at Circlet Lake, Mt Albert Edward offers an excellent introduction to a full alpine experience. The long ridge hike up to the summit and hours of mountain views is completely worth camping at “Circus” Lake in peak season.
The most Northern tip of Vancouver Island offers a spectacular 18km marshy hike to the best beaches on the Island. Remote sand beaches and coastal treasures, what’s not to love? Well maybe the long drive to get there, but that’s all part of the adventure.
Della Falls is known as the tallest waterfall in Canada, which is an impressive sight to see as it cascade down in front of you. Although some say there is a very unforgiving trail from the backside of the mountains, Della Falls is best approached by boat (canoe or by hiring the water taxi). 4-5 days is the right amount to be able to take in the beauty of the falls and even make a day trip up to Love Lake depending on if you are canoeing or getting a ride back.
On the other side of Love Lake (mentioned above), is Cream Lake, which is at the end of the Bedwell Lake Trail in Strathcona Park. After 6km and many metal staircases, Baby Bedwell and Bedwell Lake offer wooden platforms to sleep on, or Cream Lake is an extra 4km to sleep on rock at the base of Mt. Septimus (pictured below).
There are so many more coastal and alpine hikes on Vancouver Island, what favourites of yours have I missed?