After leaving Carmanah, going north, passing Chez Monique-burgers and beers welcome at this point-the trail comes to Cribs Creek. Along the beach, the approach is different, not only each year, but can even be different days later. Coal Creek runs along the beachhead, connecting with Cribs near the rock sea shelf. It can be an interesting time getting across to the campground. All of this beach/shelf area is tide dependant.
The next section is a journey along rocky points and shelf, to Dare Point and Dare Beach. There is an optimal route. Not knowing it can make for some interesting backtracking at times. The flat shelf area past Cribs gives the chance to explore some amazing tide pools, some absolutely packed with sea urchins. These are close to the shelf drop off, so the tide has to be low enough to be able to see them. Be careful on the slippery shelf.
Dare Beach itself is a wild, beautiful section of the coast, with some pretty wicked surf. The past few years have seen a number of surfers trying to surf the areas between the Cheewhat and Carmanah Beaches. Hiking, you really now feel that the hardest part is over and settle into a rhythm of hiking and enjoying more than your toes along this section.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
|Heading down the beach to Carmanah Creek|
|Crossing the Creek|
Once at Carmanah Creek, the decision often has to be made whether to take the cable car or walk or wade across. The flow is not so great that it is difficult, at least for most of the summer season. If the tide is low, the water spreads and thins out near the shoreline, making it much easier to cross the creek.
|Better to wade than cable car|
|Walking up to Chez Monique|
From the cable car, the view is beautiful over the creek and over the beach. This makes quite a good campsite, if the gulls are not hanging around.
Heading further along on the beach takes you to Chez Monique. This is a bit over a kilometre from Carmanah Creek, but well worth the walk.
Once there, the regulars at Chez Monique-Mike, Terry, Peter, Monique, and Dan-all take good care of you. Good conversation and occasionally music pass along the hikers that come for a famous burger. This stretch from Bonilla Point, along the beach, is a beautiful stretch, with the reward of Chez Monique at the end.
Monday, April 15, 2013
|Upland bog with boardwalk trail.|
|The suspension bridge at Logan Creek.|
|The ladder up from Logan Creek.|
It is a fairly slow section, but beautiful and challenging at the same time.
|West Coast Trail upland bog|
|Cable Car Over Walbran Creek.|
|Beach head at the end of Walbran Creek.|
Upon arrival at Walbran, the cable car becomes visible, connecting to the trail on the other side. The preferable route is along the sea shelf, however, which takes off from the gravel bar at the beach head. There is a bit of a creek crossing there, usually best to wait to put on boots until after the crossing.
The pond formed at the end of Walbran Creek is a good place to soak feet and swim for a good trail clean after the long day of hiking.
Friday, April 12, 2013
|West Coast Trail sea shelf and cliff|
|Walking up Sandstone Creek|
Below the bridge there is a beautiful section of potholes in the sandstone, good for dipping in. On a tough West Coast Trail day, this is a place to take note, a great place to stop, rest, and just sit and enjoy the beauty of the wildness of Sandstone Creek.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
|Camper Bay, West Coast Trail|
Camper Bay is often quite busy, as the camping options at the southern end of the trail are limited. Help is usually available if needed, from the Guardians cabin. Firewood is across the watery section in the photos, along the beachhead. Under the cliffs, in the background, is not the best place to camp, due to the occasional rock or tree tumble.
For much of the summer of 2012, there was a resident Canada goose in the pond.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Thrasher Cove is the first camp site when starting from Gordon River. The way down to the beach is via a set of ladders, the first real multiple set on the trail.
|Ladders to Thrasher Cove|
The beach at Thrasher is beautiful. This is the view to the west, with the way toward Owen Point between the trees and the sea stack in the background.
|Sea Stacks at the beach|
Stay tuned for more highlights to come.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
We are now seeing more blue sky than gray here on Vancouver Island. Maybe it's time for all of you from somewhere else to come and play in this great playground. Like flowers blooming suddenly, so have the kayaks on tops of cars and trucks. Somebody is getting out there! You should, too! You Gotta Be Here!
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
We are in the process of re-creating our website and we wanted to give a sneak preview of things to come. Check out our new West Coast Trail page now.