Welcome to the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail - a 47 kilometer hiking trail stretching along the western shoreline of southern Vancouver Island, Canada, from China Beach, just west of the community of Jordan River and extending to Botanical Beach near Port Renfrew.
Introduction to the trail
The trail offers scenic beauty, spectacular hiking, wildlife viewing and roaring surf in its course along the Pacific coastline of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Most of the trail is designed for strenuous day or multi-day hiking in this rugged and isolated area. Some easy to moderate day hiking opportunities to the beach or along the trail are available starting from the trailheads at China Beach, Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Creek and Botanical Beach.
This unique trail was created through the Commonwealth Nature Legacy as an enduring reminder of the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games. Preservation of a living legacy of unprecedented natural beauty, accessible to all, was considered a fitting tribute to the spirit of the Games.
Construction and preservation of this trail has been made possible by the efforts of government, local industries and citizens. Land exchanges and gifts of land have come from Western Forest Products and Timberwest. The trail is being upgraded with funding from Forest Renewal BC and the and the Environmental Youth Team (E-Team).
Please remember that the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a wilderness area. Maintaining this wilderness atmosphere and protecting its cultural and natural features is the responsibility of every visitor.
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is designed as a wilderness hiking trail. Hiking conditions are always changing and hikers should obtain up-to-date information before proceeding on a hike by checking the trailhead information shelters. There will be ongoing construction and upgrading on the trail for a number of years.
Hikers should wear proper footwear and appropriate clothing. Hikers are advised to leave a plan of their trip including which trail they are hiking, and arrival a departure times with a friend or relative.
The following is a brief description
of the trail and its highlights.
There are four trailheads to the Marine Trail at Botanical Beach, Parkinson Creek, Sombrio Beach and China Beach. Day and Multi-day hiking trips can begin at any of these trailheads which also offer many day use opportunities.
Day Use Opportunities
Botanical Beach affords visitors with access to uniquely rich tide pools and shoreline trails with fantastic geological features. It is a good idea to check local tide tables to maximize opportunities for wildlife and tide pool viewing. A low tide of 1.2m (4 feet) or less is best for viewing. The area offers parking, toilets, information and picnic areas. A number of trails: Mill Bay(some steep sections), Botany Bay, Botanical Loop (connects Botany Bay and Botanical Beach) and Botanical Beach are suitable hiking for young children and the elderly (20 minutes one way on each trail). No camping or fires are allowed.
Parkinson Creek trailhead provides access to begin or end a day long (10 km) hike to Botanical Beach or a 9 km hike to Sombrio. This is a moderate section of the trail through beautiful mature forest. Watch for marine mammals that frequent this area.
Sombrio Beach is a large cobble beach and an easy 10 minute (one way) walk along the trail from the parking lot. Explore the beach, camp, surf or hike eastward along the beach (30 minutes one way).
The fine sand beach at China Beach is ideal for picnicking, sand building, wading and relaxing. A wide, gravel trail (some steep sections) suitable for most young children and the elderly (20 minutes one way) takes you from the parking lot through mature forest to the beach. Take a short walk to the western end of the beach to the waterfall or wander at length to the east.
Detailed maps of campsites are installed on the trail at each location.
Fees - the camping fee is $5.00 /person/night. Fees are subject to change without notice. Self registration envelopes and safes are located at each trailhead for depositing your camping fee. Cash Only (bring exact change).
Trailheads - Overnight camping in your vehicle is allowed at China beach, Sombrio Beach and Parkinson Creek. The camping fee applies for overnight camping in the parking lot. No overnight camping is allowed at Botanical Beach. Private facilities are available in nearby Port Renfrew.
Camping along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is available in both beach and Forest sites:
Beach Sites - Camping at Mystic Beach, Bear Beach, China Beach and Sombrio Beach (East) is available on the beach. There are no designated sites. Remember to camp on the beach to prevent degradation of the forest vegetation.
Forest Sites - Camping at Little Kuitche Creek and Payzant Creek is in the forest and away from the beach. There is limited or no shoreline acccess. Fires are not permitted at these sites. A portable camp stove will be required for cooking. Camp only on designated tent pads.
Limit Group Size - Group size should be limited to a maximum of 10 people. The trail standards and park facilities such as campsites are not designed to accommodate larger groups.
Watch for orange balls as you hike, they mark an exit from the beach to the trail. With high tides and during storms, beaches may be cut off from the trail. Use Canadian Tide Tables "Tofino" section. Remember to add one hour to the listed tidal times during May-October as Daylight Savings Time is in effect.
Safety Rules and Pointers
General location Map
Transportation to and from the Juan de Fuca Trail
Views along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
Information supplied by:
For more detailed information about the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail contact:
South Vancouver Island District
2930 Trans Canada Hwy
Victoria, B.C. V9E 1K3
Sooke Recreation Index
Sooke Community Website
For Accommodations, check out the
Sooke Area Bed & Breakfast and Accommodation Guide