Ready for your winter holiday adventure? See tours

West Coast Trail backpacking expeditions | CA-SSE1002

Hike the famous West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island


This challenging backpacking trip is a true west coast experience and is considered one of the top ten trails in the world.


  • West Coast Trail
  • Vancouver Island
  • Thrasher Cove
  • Rugged cliffs, waterfalls, sandy beaches
  • Historical shipwrecks
  • Carmanah Point Lighthouse

The West Coast Trail offers sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, blowholes, caverns, caves, waterfalls, bogs, rainforest, lighthouses, abandoned settlements, shipwreck relics, native culture, whales, sea lions, eagles, and giant trees. Our West Coast Trail itinerary includes stops to see historic and scenic wonders unknown to many hikers. Our pace allows time to adjust to the demands of the trail and to fully see and explore this magnificent Coastal Environment. Readings and anecdotal stories help the hiker fully appreciate the dramatic and colorful history of the events and people who were a part of this coastline. We have arranged a food drop for the halfway point in our hike, thus reducing the weight carried by each hiker during each portion of the hike.

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Local Guides
  • Small group
Availability May - Sept
Duration 9 days
Departs From Nanaimo, BC
Difficulty Moderate / Challenging
Group maximum 10
Minimum age 10
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No


1 743
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • Toll Free number in N. America: +1 888 285 1676
  • International number: +1 780 414 1676

Availability (2023):

    May 20 – 28 (full)
    May 31 – June 8
    June 12 - 20
    June 28 - July 6 (full)
    July 12 - 20 (full)
    July 28 - August 5 (full)
    August 12 – 20 (full)
    September 2 – 10
    September 12 – 20

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

What's Included

Find out what is included and what to bring.


  • Meals/snacks/beverages
  • National park user fee
  • Camping fees
  • Food drop
  • Trail ferry fees
  • Cooking gear
  • Camp stoves
  • Tents
  • Tarps
  • Major first aid supplies
  • Emergency radio or satellite phone

Suggested Clothing

  • Clothing suited to a variety of temperatures and weather conditions
  • Rain gear
  • Hat
  • Warm socks
  • Hiking boots
  • Sneakers
  • Swim suit
  • Towel

What to bring

  • Warm sleeping bag (required) *Rentals are available
  • Sleeping pad (required) *Rentals are available
  • Backpack (required) *Rentals are available
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Daypack
  • Water bottle
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

Contact us for more Information about this tour


You can also send an email to, or use the contact form here below.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


Guide information: All tours meet or exceed the industry standard for guides to client ratios. Tours with 5 or more guests will have two guides. Tours with fewer guests will typically have a single guide and may have a second guide. All guides are certified in wilderness first aid and guiding experience and certifications relative to the tour type.

Restrictions: Moderate level of fitness is recommended on this strenuous trip.  Be prepared to carry packs of at least 40 pounds.

Transportation: Trips originate and end in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Weather: Average summer temperatures are between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.

Accommodations: In tent campsites at spectacular locations along the route.

Arrival in Vancouver. This denotes the day or days spent in Vancouver or on Vancouver Island before the listed start date of the trip.

Travel Day:

Our van picks you up from your hotel in Nanaimo. Pickups can also be made from Duke Point or Departure Bay ferry Terminals. The beginning of the tour takes us to see some of the local temperate rainforest’s ancient trees, while heading west to Cowichan Lake, (a short stop to buy any forgotten items). The following itinerary is ideal, and we most often manage it; however, we sometimes need to make adjustments due to weather, tides, trail conditions, group ability, and various other factors. We try really hard to take you to all the amazing, best places along the trail, but your safety is paramount, and sometimes we must alter the course of the day to ensure it.

Pick up and drive to Port Renfrew. Set up camp and attend the WCT orientation. After some details, we most often go to a local restaurant in Port Renfrew for you to have dinner.

camping in a beach in vancouver island

Get up by about 6:00 for breakfast and to be ready to walk on the ferry across Port San Juan to the trailhead. Hike 6 km to Thrasher Cove, lunch on the way. Camp and dine on the beach.

hiking a forest trail in canada

After breakfast, pack up and begin the day by crossing the boulders toward Owen Point (tide dependent). Once we round the bend at Owen Point, we stop for lunch on the sea shelf. Continue after lunch on the trail to Camper Bay for the night's camp.

crossing a long suspension bridge in a canadian forest

Up early for breakfast to make the long day to Walbran Creek. If the tides are right, we cross surge channels on the shelf and hike up Sandstone Creek to the inland trail. After lunch somewhere around Logan Creek, we continue to Walbran, arriving late in the day. Dinner this day is well earned.

Carmanah lighthouse view in british columbia

The shelf and beach walking of this day go fast. We stop at Bonila Point to check out the waterfall and remains of an old shipwreck. Then we travel to Chez Monique’s at Carmanah beach, for lunch, a “famous” burger and beer if you want, and other goodies to keep you motivated.  We pick up our food drop here, then after lunch and a short rest, we continue about another 1.5 hrs hiking, on to Cribs Creek, stopping at the lighthouse on the route. We spend the night here watching for surfing sea lions and Gray Whales.

woman backpacking in a beach in british columbia

We travel the magnificent Cribs Creek area along the rock break wall with tide pools, watching again for surfing sea-lions. This is a truly incredible place. Most of the morning is along the beach and shelf until we reach the Cheewhat River.  Here we enter the forest and travel along the boardwalk until we reach Nitinat Narrows for a fresh crab, or fish and baked potato lunch with beer or soft drink (this is approximately $30 per person, and not included in the trip cost, so be sure to bring some cash with you), we then continue on to our next beach campsite, (wild camping) for dinner and sleep.

This morning tides permitting, we leisurely make our way to “Hole in the Wall”, then on to Tsusiat Falls, where we will stop for lunch, and if the weather inspires us, for a dip under the falls. We then continue on to Klanawa Creek to camp.

The hiking gets progressively easier at this end of the trail and we alternate between inland trail and beach/sea shelf walking for the day as we travel from Klanawa to Darling River or Michigan Creek for the last night. Lunch is usually somewhere around Tsocowis Creek. The evening at Darling /Michigan usually involves a lot of reminiscing and good conversation around the fire. Packs are lighter and spirits are high.

Off after breakfast by about 7:30, we travel the last 12 km of easy trail to the Pachena Trailhead, stopping at Pachena light station and Sea lion rock on route.  At the trailhead, we will be met by our bus driver, who will have lunch ready for us. We bus back to the populated world of lattes and showers. Drop-off is usually between 5:00 and 9:00 pm (depending on the final destination and traffic). [This day can be quite a rush at times as we get back to the van and ready for the drive back.  Timing is sometimes an issue if participants are catching ferries back on this day.  Sometimes this limit stops on the return journey.  We usually journey back via Cowichan Lake to Cowichan Bay and on to Nanaimo.  If you need to get to Bamfield, Port Alberni to travel on to Tofino, or to Nanaimo to catch a particular ferry please let us know before the trip so we can plan for everyone’s needs. 

Payment Details

Deposit and taxes
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
A 30% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.

A non-refundable deposit of 30% of the trip fee is required to hold your reservation. The balance of the fee is due 60 days prior to the commencement date of the trip. As a significant portion of our trip costs is already committed well in advance of each trip, there is no refund after 60 days. If payment is not received when due, we reserve the right to treat the reservation as canceled. We will refund both deposit [less a small administrative fee] and the full balance of payment if we can replace your spot with another participant, less any non-refundable amounts of money from third-party deposits. Cancellation notice must be received in writing.