West Coast Trail, BC
Proposed: September 2009  

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The West Coast Trail (WCT), where most hikers may consider it as a ultimate challenge to themselves is well known for its rugged terrain and its remoteness. It is located on the southern west coast of Vancouver Island, BC Canada and stretches 77 kilometers from Port Renfrew on the south end to Bamfield on the north end. Thousands of hikers travel all or part of the trail each year. To address the concern over environmental impact on the trail and hiker safety and enjoyment the Canadian Parks Service has instituted a reservation system.

I hope that this system will provide us with a more satisfying wilderness experience. Over the years the stretch of coastline encompassing the West Coast Trail has been many things to many people. Here, the influence of the ocean on the human history has been dramatic.

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Native people, lighthouse keepers, shipwreck survivors, homesteaders, prospectors and missionaries all have traveled along these trails and beaches. Today, visitors come to experience the beauty of the coastal environmental and the challenge of hiking one of the most arduous hiking trails in North America.

WCT is one of three components of the Pacific Rim National Parks system to protect the outstanding natural features of this area, both terrestrial and marine. The beauty of this craggy sea stacks; dramatic rocky headlands; wide, sandy beaches and lush rainforests all intertwined with a vibrant cultural history, are but a few special features on the West Coast Trail.

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Balancing environmental protection and visitor use of this national treasure present a continuous challenge to the Canadian Parks Service. Travel lightly on this trail, enjoy your time and keep your eyes open for the many remaining signs of the past.

The plan is to hike the entire trail in 6-8 days, averaging 13km a day. We should have one rest day in the middle, as I predict it will be some miserable moments that make us stop. We will stay at Victoria the night before we start and perhaps a night after we finish.

We have a choice to go from South to North or North to South. Both have different advantages and disadvantages. As we plan the exact dates, we can decide which way we go based on the tides and transportation logistics.

Duration: 6 - 8 days + Travelling Time to/from Vancouver Island

WCT Map 1   WCT Map 2

Other Resource(s):
    Official WCT Preparation Guide 2009
    Park Canada - West Coast Trail Website

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