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Canada: British Columbia

Vancouver Island Hike

Five days, four nights of self-guided inn to inn walking on the Salish Shores of Vancouver Island, through impressive old growth forest and along coastal trails.
“We have done 7 other self-guided trips...This was on par with the best!...”
Linda B.



Itinerary



Start: Sidney, Beacon Inn, 09:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary. Optional pickups from Swartz Bay ferry terminal or Victoria (YYJ) airport available upon request; note: YYJ is located in Sidney, ~32km from downtown Victoria!


Finish: Downtown Victoria for 15:30; Victoria Airport for 16:00 or the Swartz Bay ferry terminal for 16:30 to catch the 17:00 departure to Vancouver.


Day 1

Sidney to Brentwood Bay 12km to 20km

Start with a morning pick up in Sidney or Victoria. The long walk begins at Sidney while the shorter distance starts with a transfer to John Dean Provincial Park where you’ll hike through impressive old growth forests to the 300 meter peak of Mt Newton. Enjoy glorious views of the Saanich Peninsula and its deep inlets, scenic farmlands, and views of the nearby southern gulf islands. Afternoon options include a side trip to a rural historic site, a visit to Butchart Gardens.
Brentwood Bay Resort, or
Brentwood Lighthouse B&B, Brentwood Bay


Day 2

Francis King & Thetis Lake 13km

Start your day with a brief morning shuttle to the trailhead at Francis King Park. You will hike through more old growth forests and wetlands and past a picturesque lake in Francis King and Thetis Lake Regional Parks. After leaving the park, consider lunch at the historic 6-Mile Pub then follow the Galloping Goose Trail to Hatley Park and Castle National Historic Site on Esquimalt Lagoon.
Birds of a Feather B&B, or
Royal Roads University, Colwood


Day 3

Colwood to Metchosin 13km or 17km

Walk along the beach and through quiet neighbourhoods, enjoying the views of the Olympic Range across the Juan de Fuca Straight. The trail at Witty’s Lagoon Protected Area will take you through a diverse landscape of woodlands, a freshwater creek, salt marsh, and sandy seashores providing habitat for diverse plant and animal life. From there you will stroll into the tiny village of Metchosin, an old farm community where open fields dotted with sheep and horses border the pebbled beaches before a 15-minute transfer your lodging for the next two nights.
Arbutus Cove Guest House B&B, Sooke


Day 4

Sooke Basin 12km plus options

During today’s walk you'll experience the diversity of this increasingly remote landscape. You will hike past picturesque Roche Cove where the low-tide sands can reveal little-neck clams and barnacles. At high tide, look for starfish moving over broken shells in search of food. Your hike will continue along to Matheson Lake, following a creek hidden deep in the forest with lush bracken fern and a grove of western red cedars.
Same lodging

Day 5

East Sooke Park 16km

The Galloping Goose Trail takes you up into the hills to where the Sooke River waterfall and famous ‘potholes’ are located. These geographical formations in the river serve as ideal swimming holes in the summer months. At the end of your walk you will be met at 14:30 and returned to Victoria for 15:30; Victoria Airport for 16:00 or the Swartz Bay ferry terminal for 16:30, in time for the 17:00 departure.



Description



Route expectations:

Predominantly easy walks through varied terrain: old growth forests and wetlands, established trails, farm communities, and coastal stretches. There are some very demanding optional sections of the trail along the route for hikers seeking more challenge.



The coast of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island displays an eclectic mix of nature and rich cultural history. This collection of hikes immerses you in its beauty. The journey takes you along the Salish Shores coastal route to Sooke Basin. In five days, you will visit a plethora of interesting and unique places, most of which are only accessible by foot, and are best enjoyed at a walking pace. Follow fern lined trails through old growth Douglas Fir stands to lakeside picnics and secluded bays. Hike to exceptional views over the Juan de Fuca Strait, and visit seven different parks and protected nature areas. The sheer beauty of the rugged coast and the temperate rainforest is enough to leave you awestruck, yet the fun does not stop there: you will also have the opportunity to visit some of Canada's national heritage sites or one of the region's famous gardens and you will be spoiled to fresh west coast cuisine. Experience a gradual change in both landscape and local culture along the route. You can count on the welcoming hospitality of charming inns at the end of each day.



Map & Elevations





Click here for the elevation profile

Day # Daily distance
1
  12 to 20 km
2
  17 km
3
10 to 20 km
4
12 - 15km
5
  8 km




Learn more



Rent a car in Victoria and explore other parts of Vancouver Island, its bigger than you think!.

Drive to Nanaimo and take a ferry to the Sunshine Coast.

Visit the coastal community of Tofino for a surf or a lesson in stunt kites.

If you are into mountain biking, Vancouver Island is a top notch destination providing many options to suit any rider.

"I spent the day before and after in Victoria. The most fun was going down to the waterfront and watching the "Ferry Dance" on Sunday morning - the water taxis put on a musical show on water - delightful" - Barbara M.

“I had a wonderful time" - Barbara M.

"The service is very personable, from the office to the guides. One has the feeling you really care!” – Andree B.



Costs




US 1915 C 2295 (per person, double occupancy)

Per person,double occupancy, includes 5 days, 4 nights, 4 breakfasts, welcome briefing, on-call support, inn to inn luggage transfers, ground transportation as indicated in the itinerary, detailed maps, route descriptions, 5% sales tax

Single room
surcharge

US 475 C 575




All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.