Hiking the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail can be challenging in parts but if you are prepared and have the time, the beauty of this Vancouver Island trail is second to none. It is approximately 47 km long and runs from China Beach to Port Renfrew.
As with anything, planning and preparation can make your hike more enjoyable and rewarding and certainly less painful. If you are interested in testing your fitness, enjoy spectacular views and discovering tidal pools off the beaten path ... the Juan de Fuca Trail is the place for you!
Based on a recent hike by two adventurers, Bryan and Sarah, they have suggested 10 tips that may help make your hike one that you will remember for a lifetime.
TEN TIPS FOR HIKING THE JUAN DE FUCA MARINE TRAIL
1. You will need a good pair of waterproof hiking boots. The trail is muddy, challenging at times and can be exhausting if you are not prepared.
2. Consider purchasing a LifeStraw or Mini Sawyer; portable and rather inexpensive water filtration systems that allow you to filter water from most sources to produce safe drinking water. Do your research and decide which product may be best for you.
3. Minimize the weight you are carrying. Remember, you are going up and down and over, so the lighter your pack the easier the going. You want your legs and back to last until you get to Port Renfrew!
4. You should consider bringing LeukoTape that you can apply to hot spots and prevent those nasty blisters. Leukotape is extremely adhesive and stronger than duct tape. You can leave it on for several days and when it is time to remove it, the tape can be removed without tearing the skin.
5. Dehydrated or freeze dried meals are a great option. A favourite of Bryan and Sarah's was the chocolate mudslide.
6. Plan for 3 to 4 nights depending on your speed and fitness. Campsites are found along the way and for a $10 fee provide a) food lock boxes instead of hanging your food from a tree b) fresh water supply and c) composting toilets.
7. There isn't any cell signal so keep that in mind.
8. No mosquitoes in July.
9. If you are injured or want to leave the trail, if possible it is best to make it to a campsite on a beach because they are connected by roads. Rangers are around and emergencies will be deal with but it makes sense that with road access, it would be much quicker from a campsite rather deep in the woods.
10. Lastly, if you can arrange a two car system; one at each end of the trail that makes it easier. There is a bus that will take you to the starting point but it is expensive.
Check out the photo gallery below ...
*all photos taken by BK and ST
Don is a former educator and having worked for a Canadian airline, he enjoys travel that is mildly