Juan de Fuca Marine Trail

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Signage for Juan de Fuca trail from Mystic Beach, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Sombrio River
Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
distance (km)
0 China Beach
Suspension Bridge
2 Mystic Beach
8.7 Tide cut-off
9 Bear Beach
20.6 Tide cut-off
21 Chin Beach
21.3 Tide cut-off
24 Loss Creek Bridge
27 East Sombrio Beach
28 Tide cut-off
29 Sombrio
29.6 Tide cut-off
30.2 Tide cut-off
33 Little Kuitshe Creek
37 Parkinson Creek
40 Payzant Creek
47 Botanical Beach

The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is a rugged 47-kilometre wilderness hiking trail located within Juan de Fuca Provincial Park along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island. The trail stretches from China Beach, 35 km west of Sooke, to Botanical Beach, just outside Port Renfrew.[1]

Panoramic views of the coastline, Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains can be seen from many points along this rainforest trail. Whales, sea lions, bald eagles, herons, and other wildlife can be seen.

The trail can be hiked in part, as a day hike, or backpacked in its entirety in four to six days. Unlike the longer West Coast Trail (75 km), the Juan de Fuca Trail does not require a reservation; however, there is a backcountry camping fee of $10 per person/per night.[2]

Main Trailheads[edit]

  • China Beach
  • Sombrio Beach
  • Parkinson Creek
  • Botanical Beach

Each is car-accessible and has a parking lot.

Intermediate Trailheads[edit]

  • Mystic Beach
  • Bear Beach
  • Magdalena Point
  • Chin Beach

Each is accessible by parking along Highway 14 and hiking down an unmarked side trail.

Finding the Unmarked Side Trails[edit]

Disclaimer: logging roads and unmarked side trails are on Crown land part of TFL #25. Use them at your own liability and risk.
(All distances are approximate.)

Mystic Beach

From Highway 14: 15 m east of McVicar Creek bridge.

From JDF Trail: 50 m east from beach access marker ball at km 2.6.

Bear Beach

From Highway 14: upper gate between Rosemond Creek bridge and Clinch Creek bridge (then hike along old gravel road to orange-taped tree marked "JDFMT ->"; turn right onto this path).

From JDF Trail: look for blue marker ball, 30 m east of Clinch Creek.

Magdalena Point

From Highway 14: hard-to-see yellow gate 9.2 km from China Beach trailhead, near white "4" sign (then hike along old gravel road to pink-taped post on right; JDF Trail at km 13 meets there; go right on JDF Trail to head toward Chin Beach; go left on JDF Trail to head toward Bear Beach).

From JDF Trail: at km 13, look for post with pink tape beside old gravel road.

Chin Beach

From Highway 14: 6.0 km from Clinch Creek bridge or 7.0 km from Sombrio highway entrance (then hike down path for approx. 8 min. then turn right at tree with spray-painted white dot).

From JDF Trail: look for black marker ball, near km 21, east of toilets and stream, by a camping site and metal pole bear cache.


The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail was created through the Commonwealth Nature Legacy as an enduring reminder of the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games. The preservation of a living legacy of unprecedented natural beauty, accessible to all, was considered a fitting tribute to the spirit of the Games. It was to be part of the Trans Canada Trail. The work was done by Island Green Forestry during 1995 and 1996. The crew consisted of 3 chainsaws. 2 saws cutting the trail and one Snag Faller. Followed by about 20 labourers removing debris, building walkways, digging up roots and building bridges. [3]

Threat to the Integrity of the Trail[edit]

In January 2007, the provincial B.C. Liberal government removed 28,000 hectares of land from tree farm licences (TFLs) on the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island to allow Western Forest Products (WFP) to sell the land for residential development. Despite a subsequent report by the provincial auditor general condemning the decision as having been made "without sufficient regard for the public interest," the government stood by the move.[4]

As a result of the TFL deletions, Vancouver-based businessman Ender Ilkay purchased 236 hectares of land from WFP and subsequently proposed a 257-cabin resort bordering 12 km of the Juan de Fuca Trail.[5] The project faced broad opposition from citizens, community groups, environmentalists, and First Nations.[6]

In September 2011, the Capital Regional District (CRD) voted to deny the developer's rezoning application, effectively blocking the project.[7]


External links[edit]