About the West Coast Trail
The West Coast Trail (other known as the “Dominion Lifesaving Trail”) is a hiking trail that goes across a part of the coastline of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It’s a very old hiking route, initially used to trade between the coastal towns on Vancouver Island, and to access many shipwrecks that sunk across the coastline. Today, the West Coast Trail is one of the most iconic coastal trails in North America. It’s considered to be a fairly difficult hike, even for experienced hikers, because it includes a lot of river crossings, traversing countless man-made ladders and bridges, and poor wind and rain weather conditions. That said, it’s also a very rewarding hike, or rather, an adventure because it offers beautiful scenery of the coastline – thick rainforests, perfect beaches, interesting rock formations, and rich wildlife. It’s definitely a bucket-list hike if you live in North America.
Statistics About the West Coast Trail
- Start point: Pachena Bay Trailhead, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
- End point: Gordon River Trailhead, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
- Total distance: 47 miles / 75 km
- Total altitude gain/loss: 4839 ft / 1475 m
- Highest point: 755 ft / 230 m
- Countries crossed: Canada
- Parks crossed: Pacific Rim National Park Preserve, Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park
- Time to finish: Typically 3-8 days
- Record finish time: 9 hours
- Best time to hike: June – October
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