Tuesday, April 16, 2013

West Coast Trail Highlight-Carmanah Creek

Beach along the West Coast Trail
Heading down the beach to Carmanah Creek

crossing Carmanah Creek on the West Coast Trail
Crossing the Creek
 The long beach that heads from Bonilla Point to Carmanah Creek gives way to beautiful views of the Carmanah Lighthouse all along the way. If the tide is lower, the hard-packed sand is exposed and the walking is easy.  If not, the path is along the softer sand further up the beach. That's not so fun. But beach travel is still a lot faster than trail travel.

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.
Looking over Carmanah Creek
Better to wade than cable car

West Coast Trail's Chez Monique
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.