Marine life enthusiasts and hikers will love this coastal gem. Known for its vast wilderness trails and variety of ecological marvels ranging from rich tide pools to old-growth forests – Juan de Fuca Park is full of summertime adventures in the making. Whether you want to catch some waves on a surfboard or hike through 47 km of wilderness, there is plenty to do for every outdoor enthusiast here.
Situated on the west coast of southern Vancouver Island, Juan de Fuca Park has four main areas to offer: The China Beach Campground (146 total campsites), the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, the China Beach day-use area, and a spectacular Botanical Beach.
Hiking & camping info
Although most of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is designed for a challenging, multi-day hike, there are some easy-to-moderate day hiking opportunities that lead to Juan de Fuca East (China Beach), Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Creek, and Botanical Beach.
And for the more serious hikers out there that plan to do a bit of backpacking, there are now newly installed backcountry tent pads for camping use, in addition to new bridges, boardwalks, and stairs between the Little Kuitshe Creek Campground and the Parkinson Creek Trailhead.
Beachcombing & tide pools
For world-class surfing and windsurfing options, head to Sombrio Beach, a pristine, natural beach with soft sand, rugged cliffs, and exciting waves. Beachcombers can find all sorts of interesting treasures washed up by the tides, including colourful seashells, driftwood, and polished stones.
As well, visitors can observe the hidden worlds of starfish, crabs, anemones, and other marine life.
Finally, we come to the park’s Botanical Beach where many adventurers on the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail set their sites as the day trip’s terminus. The beach is home to one of the richest tidal areas along the west coast – surrounded by unique shale and quartz ridges.
During low tide, visitors can walk out across the flat sandstone and granite to view vibrant tide pools filled with diverse marine life, though they’re asked to leave as little impact on the ecosystems as possible. AKA – don’t pocket any starfish or shells during your visit!
So there you have it, BC. Your summertime adventures are just a ferry ride away on the Island!