(If you missed part 1 of this post, you can find it here)
After spending the first half of our trip on the inland side of Vancouver Island, we headed out to the western coast! The coastline is dotted with provincial parks and preserves but we spent all of our time at Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. This park encompasses a long stretch of coastline on the southwestern portion of the island, and is a conglomerate of four previous provincial parks combined into one. The 30 mile (48 km) Juan de Fuca Marine Trail traverses the park, but there are also many shorter hikes as well as destinations that require hiking only a small section of the trail.
As to be expected along the north Pacific coastline, the beaches were rocky and the water was cold. We started at the northernmost point of the Marine Trail, with short hikes to Botany Bay and Botanical Beach. From there, we drove (the road is fairly parallel to the trail) to the southern tip of the park, where the trail comes to an end at China Beach, named for the plethora of smooth rocks and broken sea shells that give the impression that someone smashed a bunch of china.
Since we skipped the middle 28 miles (45 km) of the Marine Trail, I can’t say much about the hike itself, but the views from the road were spectacular so I’m sure it’s worth the 30 mile (48 km) trek.
Our final stop on the island was Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. We only had a couple of hours there before our ferry departed, but from what I saw, it’s an attractive and colorful city with beautiful architecture. A great final stop on the island, and a city I would love to visit again!