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EXPLORE THE WEST COAST BEACHES
Botanical Beach,is in the Juan de Fuca Park about a 10-minute drive from the Cottage. From the parking lot it's a 20 minute nature walk to the beach. Visitors can walk out across the flat sandstone and granite outcroppings to view tide pools filled with brightly coloured marine life.
Pacheedaht Beach is located on the First Nation reserve in Port Renfrew. This 2 km beach is a popular place for campers and beach lovers. The sandy beach with its mass of driftwood (and logs) is a delight for dogs playing catch in the water. In the winter months, Pacheedaht is good for surfing as well.
Sombrio Beach is 18.7 km (20 min) drive from Port Renfrew. It's about a 15 min. walk to the cobbled beach. While most visitors are drawn to the area for surfing and hiking, there's a hidden waterfall in a cave which always delights visitors too.
To reach the waterfall, turn left on the beach and head South for about 20 minutes. The first and only creek that you come across will be running into the Pacific ocean and this is where you want to stop and explore. Just a few metres up the creek you’ll soon find the emerald canyon and the waterfall.
CHINA BEACH & MYSTIC BEACH
There's lots to explore here. The suspension bridge over Pete Wolfe Creek, a hanging rope swing and waterfall are some highlights.
From the China Beach day-use area you'll find the trailheads for both China Beach and the Juan de Fuca trail (which leads to Mystic Beach). The lower parking lot is the China Beach access, while the first parking lot on your right is for the Juan de Fuca trail.
GO SWIMMING...PICNICING...FRESHWATER FISHING
Fairy Lake (6.5km), Lizard Lake (18km), northeast of Port Renfrew on the Harris Creek Main logging road. Both lakes offer excellent freshwater fishing, sandy beaches and picnic sites!
Fairy Lake is a small lake. At the centre of the lake, is a half submerged log. Clinging precariously to life on the exposed end is a single dwarfed fir tree and many a swimmer has used this log as a natural diving board.
Lizard Lake is filled with newts (salamanders), hence the origin of its name. A unique 100-foot boardwalk dock was built for fishing and swimming. This 1.5km nature trail loops around the lake, winding through the surrounding forest of cedar and fir trees.
Gateway Marina is a 5 minute walk down the long staircase from the cottage community, or if you prefer, you can use the road access. Port Renfrew is a fishing mecca from May through September. Launch your own boat or charter a professional guide to take you out on the ocean for a great fishing trip. They know the secret fishing holes that consistently produce the biggest salmon and halibut and how to ensure you the experience of a lifetime.
LONGER HIKING TRAILS to tackle before or after your visit to PORT RENFREW
Port Renfrew is the start or end of two amazing hiking trails. The West Coast Trail and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. You may want to explore Port Renfrew and spend some time relaxing before or after your journey on the trail.
The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is one of three classic, long coastal trails on Vancouver Island (the others being the West Coast Trail and the North Coast Trail).The 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. The trail can be hiked in either direction and usually takes 3-5 days. Read MB Guiding for information and tips to help you plan your trail adventure in the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park.
The West Coast Trail is one of the best-known hiking trails in Canada. It covers 75km through some of the toughest and most beautiful terrain in British Columbia’s coastal rainforest. The entire trail is inside Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.The trail is accessed from our remote village of Port Renfrew, (also Bamfield, and Nitinaht). The West Coast Trail travels the West Coast of Southern Vancouver Island between the towns of Port Renfrew and Bamfield. It consists of rough trails in the forest, boardwalk sections, ladders in and out of deep gorges, and coastal walking on sand, gravel, boulders and smooth sandstone shelf. There are bridges and cable cars across the major waterways, but some of the smaller ones must be forded. For a full description of this trail adventure, read Taryn Eyton's experience. West Coast Trail
PORT RENFREW VISITOR INFORMATION
The Port Renfrew Visitor Centre on the Pier, just past the Renfrew Pub has maps, local tours information and more local tips. The Port Renfrew website lists 25 of the Best Things to do in Port Renfrew.
Anytime of the year is a magical time to discover all the wild natural beauty here. Come elevate your spirits, connect with friends and family, and create lasting memories.
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