JUAN DE FUCA MARINE TRAIL: THE ROUTE

ESPAÑOL

CHINA BEACH TO BEAR BEACH AND BACK

Round trip: 20.4 km in 9 and a half hours. Wikiloc link of our route:

We started at China Beach Campground, from which there is a path that reaches Second Beach.

Juan de Fuca 1. Sendero de China a Second Beach. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island
Path from China Beach Campground to Second Beach

We have to continue on the beach, where we will have our first contact with the spherical end and pseudo-alien aspect algae that will accompany us all the way, to the recreational area of China Beach (dayuse).

Juan de Fuca 2. Algas. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island Algae
Giant bighead algae

We ascend to the parking lot and at this point is the proper start of the route.

 

The path goes through a medium-sized trees forest, very straight. When we were there  it was foggy, which gave it a mystical aspect.

Juan de Fuca 5. Arboles del bosque Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island trees forest
The first part of the forest

Then you’ll pass a suspension bridge over Pete Wolfe Creek. In the forest, larger and larger trees continue to appear mixed with rain forest, something that in the world only exists on the north Pacific coast from Oregon to northern British Columbia.

Juan de Fuca 6. Puente colgante en el Pete Wolfe Creek Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island suspension bridge
Suspension bridge
Juan de Fuca 7. bosque humedo Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island rain forest
Hiking in the rain forest
Juan de Fuca 7. bosque Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island forest
We’ll start finding the first large size trees
Juan de Fuca 8. pasarela hecha con un tronco, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island gangway made of a trunk
Boardwalk made from the trunk of a tree

We will arrive at Mystic Beach, where a natural rock arch attracts our attention and also an area where people have put so many small towers made of pebbles that looks like a sanctuary, is really beautiful.

Juan de Fuca 9. Mystic Beach Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island
Tent in Mystic Beach
Juan de Fuca 10. Arco de piedra en Mystic Beach Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island Stone arch
Stone arch in Mystic Beach
Juan de Fuca 10. Torres de piedras Mystic Beach Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island stone towers
Hundres of tiny stones made towers

Back on the path, we will soon find this beautiful curiosity of nature, as these two trunks have fallen parallel to each other and perpendicular to another of greater thickness.

Juan de Fuca 11. alwashere arboles caidos perpendicular bosque Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island forest fallen trees
Not even on purpose

From here are the largest trees. The largest in the world of their respective species are all very close, although none on the Marine Trail itself:

  • Sitka spruce. Some specimens exceed 70 meters. From this variety is the Carmanah Giant, the tallest tree in Canada with 96 meters high, which is located in the Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park, just 20 km northwest of Port Renfrew (the western end of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail). The largest by volume is the San Juan Spruce, 32 km east of Port Renfrew, in the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park (though not on the Marine Trail).
Juan de Fuca 12. arboles gigantes sitka spruce picea bosque Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island forest trees
Sitka spruce, I guess…
  • Douglas fir. In this area their maximum height is about 60 meters, but 29 km east of Port Renfrew, very close to San Juan Spruce, is the largest in the world, the Red Creek Fir Champion (74 meters).
  • Western red or giant cedar. Although it receives this name, it is not a cedar, but another conifer. Slightly less high, the largest specimens are around 60 meters, being the largest (not the highest) the Cheewhat Giant, which is also very close, just 10 km northwest of the Carmanah Giant.
Juan de Fuca 13. arboles gigantes cedro rojo bosque Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island forest trees red cedar western
Red cedar

The truth is that I can not distinguish well from each other, I just fascinated myself again and again with the presence of these colossal trees. I suppose those with reddish bark, like that perpendicular, should be red cedars and those with rougher bark, Sitka spruces.

Green-black slugs almost 10 cm in length abound along with reddish based white fungi.

 

The trail gains height respect to the coast, providing some of the most beautiful and authentic landscapes in the route. We will pass by other bridges and next to trees with curious morphology.

Juan de Fuca 15. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island forest
View of the coast from the trail
Juan de Fuca 16. arbol tridente o tenedor Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island forest fork tree
Trident-shaped tree
Juan de Fuca 17. arbol con rama circular Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island forest circular tree
Tree with a circular branch
Juan de Fuca 17. puente Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island bridge
One of the last bridges

In Bear Beach we stop for lunch. It feels more exposed to the sea than Mystic.

Juan de Fuca 20. Bear Beach Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island
Panel at Bear Beach entrance
Juan de Fuca 21. Bear Beach Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island
Having lunch in Bear Beach
Juan de Fuca 22. Bear Beach Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island
Bear Beach

On the way back, we stopped to play with a rope placed on China Beach to swing.

Juan de Fuca 23. China Beach, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island
China Beach cliff at dusk
Juan de Fuca 24. China Beach, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island
My father swinging in China Beach

SOMBRIO BEACH TO PARKINSON CREEK AND BACK

Round trip, 15.2 km in 8 hours and 25 minutes. Wikiloc links of our route:

Sombrio Beach is much wider than Bear Beach, there is camping area on both sides of a small river that is saved by a suspension bridge.

JUAN DE FUCA 30. Tienda de campaña en Sombrio Beach, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. Tent
Tent in Sombrio Beach

The first part of the trail is through the beach at low tide; it is a long section, and one of the inaccessible points at high tide, so it is essential to check the tide tables before starting the march.

JUAN DE FUCA 31. Playa de Sombrio Beach, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. (2)
Hiking on the beach
JUAN DE FUCA 31. Playa de Sombrio Beach, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. (3)
The track goes on the right side of the beach

Once in the forest, we will pass by this small and bucolic waterfall.

JUAN DE FUCA 32. Cascada, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island.
Waterfall on the north side of the path

After 4 km we’ll arrive at Little Kuitshe Creek, much more basic, but also quieter, than Sombrio Beach.

JUAN DE FUCA 33. Little Kuitshe campsite, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island.
Panel at Little Kuitshe Creek campsite
JUAN DE FUCA 33. Little Kuitshe campsite, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. (2)
One of the spots for tents in Little Kuitshe Creek

Later there are many sections with stairs and difficult access areas.

JUAN DE FUCA 34. Escaleras Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island.
Stairs section
JUAN DE FUCA 34. Zona dificil Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. Dificul area
Section to solve with the help of ropes

And the views of the coast are spectacular again. On the rocks of this area it is common to see sea lions, although we only saw them in the water and very far away.

JUAN DE FUCA 35. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island.
View of the coast from the Trail

The last part, before reaching Parkinson Creek, trees are low.

JUAN DE FUCA 35. Cerca de Parkinson Creek Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island.
The trail near Parkinson Creek
JUAN DE FUCA 35. Parkinson Creek Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island.
Parkinson Creek is a little more than a parking lot
JUAN DE FUCA 35. Arrendajo azul de Steller Parkinson Creek Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. Blue jay
A Steller’s blue jay, asking for food

We only had to go the way back and, who says that the return is not different from the way? The first thing that happened to us, just 500 meters from Parkinson Creek, is that after a bend I found myself 10 meters away from an adult black bear with her cub. Luckily they were as surprised as I was. My first impulse was to take out the camera, but my second and next saner impulse was to slowly back away without losing visual contact, raising my arms slowly to try to look bigger, as I had read in all the recommendations during the last 3 weeks in Canada. Once we got so far back that we lost sight of it, we started making noise and moving slowly. This scared the bear cub, which did not have a better occurrence than climbing a tree that it later could not get down, which made it even more frightened, and this made the mother not move away from the road nor even a meter until the adorable creature was able to go down, 10 minutes later. Then they left and we lost them in the bush. We did not feel completely calm until 15 minutes later we saw them on the rocks of the coast, more than 100 meters away from the road.

JUAN DE FUCA 14. Oso negro, Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. Island, British. Black Bear
Mom bear

JUAN DE FUCA 36. Oso negro, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. Black bear
The bear cub climbing a tree. Picture taken by my cousin Javier Garrido Aranda
JUAN DE FUCA 36. Osos negros, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. Black bears
Both bears wandering on the rocks of the coast some minutes after that

After the hype for the encounter with the bears, and with the day much more clear, the way back became more ameno than the way there, even the cliffs seemed more attractive.

JUAN DE FUCA 37. Escaleras, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. Stairs
Another stair on our way back
JUAN DE FUCA 38. Paisaje de costa, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. Coastal landscape
View of the coast
JUAN DE FUCA 39. Paisaje de costa, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. Coastal landscape
View of the coast
JUAN DE FUCA 40. Sombrio Beach Paisaje de costa, Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. British, Island. Coastal landscape
Back in Sombrio Beach

BOTANICAL BEACH

3.25 km tour whose last part connects with the beginning, or end of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Wikiloc link of our route:

Compared to the rest of the path, Botanical Beach is not a big deal. It is a very short section, although quite representative of the entire Trail, near Port Renfrew. The circular route from the car park is just 2.5 km, we walk some longer because we wandered along the beach.

Juan de fuca 0. Botanical Beach. Osezno cruzando la carretera. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia britanica, Canada. Island, British. Bear crossing the road
Another bear cub crossing the road the next morning before getting to Botanical Beach
Juan de fuca 6. Botanical Beach. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia britanica, Canada. Island, British.
Start point of the loop and beginning or end of Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
Juan de fuca 1. Botanical Beach. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia britanica, Canada. Island, British.
First section of Botanical Loop

You can see areas of cliff with conifers and twisted trees as a result of the usual strong wind, which impedes their proper growth. On a good day it is a popular area for families, as apart from tables and chairs, skeletons of giant trees have been prepared on the beach as shelters. There is an infinity of great size mussels, although it is not allowed to take them, a real pity…

Juan de fuca 3. Botanical Beach. Arboles torcidos por el viento. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia britanica, Canada. Island, British. Trees wind
Trees whose growth has been altered by the usual wind
Juan de fuca 4. Botanical Beach. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia britanica, Canada. Island, British.
Section of the path
JUAN DE FUCA 0. Botanical Bay, Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia Britanica, Canada. Island, British
This is the most characteristic picture in Botanical Beach
Juan de fuca 7. Botanical Beach. Playa Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia britanica, Canada. Island, British.
The beach is similar to previous…
Juan de fuca 10. Botanical Beach. Mejillones Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia britanica, Canada. Island, British. Mussels
… but there are loads of mussels longer than 10 cm
Juan de fuca 5. Botanical Beach. Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia britanica, Canada. Island, British.
The path back to the starting point. There are also giant conifers

A short distance northeast of Port Renfrew, there is a small lake with a campground, which certainly lives up to its name, the Fairy Lake.

Juan de fuca 13. Botanical Beach. Fairy Lake lago Marine Trail, Isla de Vancouver, Columbia britanica, Canada. Island, British.
The Fairy Lake

 

MORE ON JUAN DE FUCA TRAIL:
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4 thoughts on “JUAN DE FUCA MARINE TRAIL: THE ROUTE

  1. Pingback: LA RUTA: JUAN DE FUCA MARINE TRAIL – Al Was Here

  2. Pingback: INFORMATION IN JUAN DE FUCA MARINE TRAIL: STAGES, CAMPSITES, DANGERS, TRANSPORTATION – Al Was Here

  3. Pingback: JUAN DE FUCA MARINE TRAIL – Al Was Here

  4. Pingback: JUAN DE FUCA TRAIL: BOTANICAL BEACH – Al Was Here

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