Juan de Fuca Provincial Park is situated on the West Coast of southern
Vancouver Island about 60 km (37.5 miles) north of Victoria
on Hwy 14.
In order to get to Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, you have to travel
either from Duncan
or Victoria. From Victoria, take Hwy 14 through Langford
then the West Coast Hwy to just north of Jordan
River, about 1.5 hours driving time to the south end of the
park at China Beach. From Duncan, travel to Lake
Cowichan then to Mesachie Lake and take the mostly paved and
seal-coated forestry road towards Port
Renfrew, about an hour's driving time to Botanical Beach.
of the Park
The highlights of the park include the 47 km (29 miles) Juan de
Fuca Marine Trail, the widely popular beaches and surf areas found
at Sombrio Beach, Mystic Beach, Bear Beach and China Beach plus
the nature reserve at the north end at Botanical Beach.
de Fuca Marine Trail
Juan de Fuca Provincial Park is linked together by the Juan de Fuca
Trail that was formed in 1994 by the Commonwealth Nature Legacy.
The trail encompasses a section of the historic 'Life Saving Trail'
which was used in the past by stranded sailors wrecked from sailing
along a treacherous ocean coastline nicknamed the 'Graveyard of
and Forested Sections
The trail takes a hiker along the oceanfront through first- and
second-growth forest with sections of beach and forested trails
along the way. Sections of the trail can be muddy, especially with
the heavy rain experienced here and there are frequent sightings
of bears, whales, bald eagles, other birds and wildlife including
the possibility of cougars and wolves. During high tides care must
also be given to getting off the beach which could prove dangerous,
especially for rogue waves.
Botanical Beach is located at the north end of the Juan de Fuca
Provincial Trail about 6 km (4 miles) from Port Renfrew. To get
here, turn at Cerantes Road which is right by the Port Renfrew Hotel,
then travel on the seal-coated Botanical Beach Road to the parking
lot. The parking lot is quite large to accommodate RV vehicles and
features a number of picnic tables, some experiencing ocean views.
Botanical Beach was first established as a marine research station
by the University of Minnesota in 1900. Now Botanical Beach is part
of the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and can give you access to a
wide array of tidal life that live in the various geological formations.
Different colonies of sea life are found throughout the eroded sandstone
Bay Loop Trail
Make sure when you walk into Botanical Beach that you take the loop
trail from the main parking lot. The trail will take you through
a beautifully forested setting green with salal, ferns and several
species of trees to the edge of Botanical Beach travelling along
a slight bluff with panoramic views of another beach found at Botany
This place is a photographers' dream - from the close ups of the
still. aquatic sea life in the tidal pools to the faces of terrestrials
formed in the eroded cliffs. Just a reminder, the mist and the air
along the sandstone shelves can contain lots of salt water so you
might want to bring the proper cleaner and cloth to clean your camera
lens for the perfect photos.
The best time for you to visit Botanical Beach is during a low tide
so check the tide schedule. Remember this is the West Coast and
sometimes it can be dangerous and rainy. Please take caution, especially
near the blowholes and against the sandstone shoreline for the inevitable
rogue waves where you could be swept out to sea. Also, it is very
important for you to watch your children to avoid accidents and
dogs are required to be on a leash.
Creek and Sombrio Beach
Other trailheads can be accessed and parking lots found besides
Botanical Beach either at Parkinson Creek, Sombrio Beach and China
Beach. If you are travelling south from Port Renfrew to find these
access points a number of the road signs are missing for Sombrio
Beach and Parkinson Creek and careful attention needs to be given
for directions to the beach and trailhead areas.
There is a BC Parks vehicle-accessible campground found at China
Beach. The facility features is managed by R.L.C. Enterprize Ltd.,
and features 78 campsites available with reservations taken by Discover
Camping. Juan de Fuca Provincial Park also has walk-in wilderness
campgrounds situated along the ocean at Mystic Beach, Bear Beach,
China Beach where there is an emergency shelter and East Sombrio
Beach plus forested campsites at Little Kuitsche Creek and Payzant
Remember, if you do intend to leave your car at a trailhead parking
lot, bring some cash or change for paying either wilderness campsite
or vehicle parking. If you are hiking a wilderness campsite pass,
includes the parking fee.
If you find that the vehicle-accessible campground at China Beach
is full, there is also an oceanfront facility situated along the
pebble beach located at Jordan River. The popular campground is
operated by Western Forest Products and offers beachfront campsites
with fire-pits situated near where Jordan River empties out.
on Juan de Fuca Provincial Park