China beach, Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
The China Beach Trailhead is an hour and half from Victoria along the Sooke Road (Hwy 14) heading West. Theres good signage along the road to direct you to the trailhead and the campground there.
The trail is far from cars and houses and allows you to really feel isolated.
The part of this trail we hiked would be described as moderate to difficult. From the start of the trail to the first beach (about 25 minutes hike) the pathway is more worn, however, as one goes further the path gets more rugged and less travelled. Continuing past where we ended our hike, it is important to check the BC Parks site for the latest trail conditions as it only gets more difficult with distance.
The pathway is maintained and clearly visible but follows the natural path of the forest, meaning it often winds back and forth, and leads you up and down some steep hillsides. Some points have trees fallen on the path which you must traverse and other spots are wet and muddy. At the ascent from the first beach we actually walked up a rocky slippery stream flowing down over the path due to seasonal flooding.
We made it just past the 5km marker, past Bent Breek within 3 hours, moving fairly slowly to admire scenery, for quick snacks, and to admire the ocean views. The return from this point was only 2.5 hours.
We started our hike at 10 am and were back to the car by 3:30. The trail is heavely covered with forest and so it stayed cool the whole time. Just as we were heading out we saw some people at the start of the trail heading to the beach for the sunset views.
The Highlight of this hike was the rawness the trail possessed. We had so far hiked more manicured trails on the Island and this one gave us a much more rugged and dynamic adventure. As well, the access to the ocean (if only a view of it), was nice and special to where we were.
Juan de Fuca Trail Map
China Beach Campground