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West Coast Trail Section-By-Section Overview

The West Coast Trail is a 75km multi-day backpacking trip along the West Coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Along the way, you’ll hike through the rainforest on rough trail, boardwalks and mud bogs, walk along sandy beaches, boulders, and slippery coastal shelf, cross rivers on high bridges and cable cars, and climb in …

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Your Guide to the West Coast Trail in British Columbia

The West Coast Trail is one of the best-known hiking trails in Canada. It covers 75km through some of the toughest and most beautiful terrain in British Columbia’s coastal rainforest. I first hiked the WCT back in June 2004. In fact, it was my first backpacking trip ever! I was SO unprepared! (But I still …

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The Ultimate Guide to the Pacific Marine Circle Route on Vancouver Island

You don’t have to go far in BC to really get out into the wilds and off the grid. This spring I did a short road trip to one of these wild places: the Pacific Marine Circle Route on Southern Vancouver Island. This road trip starts and ends in Victoria, one of BC’s biggest cities, …

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How to Visit Avatar Grove, Big Lonely Doug and Other Big Trees on Vancouver Island

The southern end of Vancouver Island in British Columbia has the perfect climate for growing trees: It gets plenty of rain and the climate is fairly mild (for Canada!). The area around the little town of Port Renfrew sits right in the middle of this perfect climate, so it’s no surprise that some of the …

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Hiking the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island

The Big Tree Trail is just 10 minutes by water taxi from the small town of Tofino, but it’s a world away.  While most of the rainforest near Tofino in Pacific Rim National Park is second growth, on the Big Tree Trail on nearby Meares Island you can find spectacular giant old growth trees including …

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Four Outdoor Adventures on Galiano Island

A couple years ago my sister moved to Galiano Island, one of the Gulf Islands that lie between Vancouver Island and the mainland. The Gulf Islands are a short ferry ride away but have a totally different climate zone (think warmer and drier) than Vancouver thanks to the rain shadow effect. That means that Galiano …

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Island Alpine: A trip to Forbidden Plateau

My friend K has a birthday in late September and every year she organizes a backcountry camping trip to celebrate.  Last year we went to the beautiful Semaphore Lakes and this year we headed over to Vancouver Island to explore the Forbidden Plateau area of Strathcona Provincial Park. The way I had previously thought about …

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Sunshine on the Edge of the World: Nootka Trail Trip Report

Ever since we did the West Coast Trail in 2004, my husband Greg and I had wanted to hike the Nootka Trail as it was rumoured to be like the West Coast Trail “used to be”: no permits, no boardwalks, no crowds. If you aren’t familiar, the Nootka trail is more of a route and …

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Walk the Wildside Trail on Flores Island: Trip Report

Don’t get me wrong, I love being high up in the mountains, but there’s something magical about coastal hiking: The scenery is totally different, the changes in elevation are minimal and its nearly impossible to get lost.  Nearly every year I try to do a coastal backpacking trip.  I’ve done most of the more popular …

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