Hike Camp and Travel


3-Day Backpacking in Juan De Fuca Trail

Start · French Beach · Day 1 · Day 2 · Day 3 · China Beach

Wife's account:

Before you start the trail you must get to Vancouver Island and if you're like me, your trip might get derailed there. The island certainly seems like a different land -- to someone coming from Calgary (by way of Toronto).
I'd like to go on about the beautiful countryside and ocean views, but as I know from talking to everyone I know here, I have not discovered it. So our plan of hiking the trail did not get derailed, but I definitely wanted to change it. Not having done any serious physical activity lately, I was feeling strong. Instead of the planned five days, I pushed for a three day hike. What's 47 km?!? On flat that would be a whole day hike.

On the ferry to Vancouver Island We arrived on the island on monday and we camped at French Beach for the first night. On my trip to the outhouse I saw... I don't know how to express this adequately on paper, especially since many of the people on whom I wanted to impress the awe of my sighting were well acquainted with it already (yes, i know, I didn't discover it). I came out of the outhouse and I saw a pretty big gorge just behind our site. The gorge was covered by huge ferns and sky high evergreens. If you're not impressed I take it that you've seen the rainforest, but I hadn't. And I wasn't expecting it all of a sudden. Later (much later, it seemed) we met a guy who grew up in Victoria and he mentioned how being there brought back the memories of growing up there. Running around the beach, fighting with the bull seaweeds, making craws fight each other. Same planet, 2 different worlds. This was the first time I had been to the ocean and those bull sea weeds were pretty awesome. We set out on Tuesday, around 10:30. We got some coast weather -- rain. Couldn't feel it so much in the rain forest, but the moisture was there. The gloom was there too. The original plan was for five days, broken down roughly, as follows:

1) 8km moderate hike
2) 12 km most difficult
3) 6 km difficult
4) 12 km moderate
5) 6 km easy

Wanting to spend more time exploring the island, I pushed for us to condense the trip to 4 or even 3 days. That would require us to do the first two days in one. It would be easier to do the hike of the first day plus perhaps 4 km of that scheduled for day 2, but there were no sites between km 8 and 20, so it was all (20 km) or nothing (8km). Well, the gloom got to me. I felt very overwhelmed during the first 8 km (could it be the backpack and rain? I'd say that i carried 80 lb on my back, but this is my husband's site and he'll correct it to perhaps 40lb. By the way, I strongly recommend bringing someone who'll carry a lot more than you. My dear did, which slowed us down a bit. By the way, this is just a description, but if allowed a title, i must call this "The march of the weenie and hubby".

Camping on French Beach is next.

Sana M 2014/02/28 13:29:07 EST Reply
Hey, I did that trail two years ago! The rain forest is really cool. This is a good alternative to the West Coast Trail, which fills up.
Jonas1213 2013/10/27 14:51:05 EDT Reply
That is one tough trip.


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Updated: January 9, 2014 Author: Kajtek S