West Coast Trail beach route - ClubTread Community

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  • 2 Post By spacemonkey
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 01:49 AM Thread Starter
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Default West Coast Trail beach route

Can anyone speak to the beach route BETWEEN Camper Bay and Sandstone Creek, on the West Coast Trail?
I've noticed that Parks Canada no longer recommends this route, but advises hikers to go through the forest trail instead.

Have you taken that beach route?

Thank you.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 01:00 PM
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Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the section that needs to be impeccably timed with the tide chart. There is a limited time to complete this section before the incoming tide completely washes over access to the shelf. In our group of three we opted for this section and left early, however one of our group was quite slow and by the time we got to this section the water was up on the rocks making it quite slippery and difficult to get up on the shelf and continue. Not even 5 minutes later and it would have been impossible. The only solution then would have been to backtrack the 5 or so km's back to the forest trail which would have meant an unnecessary 10 additional kilometres.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-15-2017, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by spacemonkey View Post
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the section that needs to be impeccably timed with the tide chart. There is a limited time to complete this section before the incoming tide completely washes over access to the shelf. In our group of three we opted for this section and left early, however one of our group was quite slow and by the time we got to this section the water was up on the rocks making it quite slippery and difficult to get up on the shelf and continue. Not even 5 minutes later and it would have been impossible. The only solution then would have been to backtrack the 5 or so km's back to the forest trail which would have meant an unnecessary 10 additional kilometres.
Had to look at the map to remember where it was at. I concur that this was the rocky bench that "gets wet" very quickly and should be approached on a falling tide if at all possible.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-16-2017, 02:07 AM
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Beware the surge channels. When I can I walk the beach but only on a falling tide when it is in the last 1/3. I specifically try and book my trips by dates to take advantage of those conditions. If not available, then I stay high thru the forest...and so it will be this year given when I will be afoot. So my experience ratio will be 6 forest trails and 4 beach crossings out of the 10 trips over the years while covering the section North of Camper Creek.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-30-2017, 07:48 PM
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I was quite surprised that Parks Canada removed one of the most spectacular shelf routes from their map.


However, once you cross Camper Creek and hit the self, you will run into the first surge channel.


Sandstone walls, not too difficult to cross, with some slippery rocks in the middle. you want a low tide at that spot.


As you find your way along sheer cliffs and a few spectacular waterfalls, you have to climb down a almost vertical rock face, but it is just 2 - 3 meters max with lots of holes to grab on.


However, there is the second surge channel, also not to too difficult to cross, but again: you want a low tide.


As you arrive at the mouth of Sandstone Creek, you have will end up at an overhanging rock face.

So please lower your packs with a rope and jump the the rocks in front of the shelf.


Scrambling off the shelf you will encounter boulders in size for a medicine ball and larger, be warned, ist the most slippery buggers of the whole trail!


I have seen a Lady slipping and breaking an arm at that spot. However, if you take your time and watch where you step, you will be ok.


Now another highlight: scrambling up Sandstone Canyon!


Next to Owens Point, my favorite spot on the trail!


Going upstream i usuly start on the left side of the Creek, after a few ledges i cross over to the right side.


There is a spectacular Swimming hole at the bottom of the falls, on the right side (still looking upstream) usually a rope is hanging that helps climbing up to the Bridge.


IMHO this section beats the walk in the bush any time! The whole section will take around 2 hours, not faster as tru the bush, but a lot more interesting.


Speaking of beach routes: has anybody crossed Adrenaline Creek?
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Last edited by Westcoastwill; 04-30-2017 at 07:54 PM.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 06:20 PM
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Friends did it last year and absolutely did NOT recommend doing the beach route from Thrasher Cove to Camper Creek when I asked them for input on it (doing it this year in August). The whole thing is basically climbing over big, slippery boulders that are covered in barnacles. It took them far, faaaar longer than they had anticipated and, thus, they ended up getting caught by the tide and had to wait several hours... ended up hiking in the dark to their campsite, which is super dangerous to do. Luckily, no one in their party got injured, but they said that they saw a minimum of 6 or 7 people twist ankles, fall/slip off rocks, hit their heads, etc during that portion of their trek. If they did it again they would definitely choose the forest route and very, very strongly made that recommendation to my group.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by SBoom4 View Post
Friends did it last year and absolutely did NOT recommend doing the beach route from Thrasher Cove to Camper Creek when I asked them for input on it (doing it this year in August). The whole thing is basically climbing over big, slippery boulders that are covered in barnacles. It took them far, faaaar longer than they had anticipated and, thus, they ended up getting caught by the tide and had to wait several hours... ended up hiking in the dark to their campsite, which is super dangerous to do. Luckily, no one in their party got injured, but they said that they saw a minimum of 6 or 7 people twist ankles, fall/slip off rocks, hit their heads, etc during that portion of their trek. If they did it again they would definitely choose the forest route and very, very strongly made that recommendation to my group.
I'd have to agree. I did it on a rainy/wet day and it was extremely slippery and very dangerous. The boulders are the size of cars, and difficult to navigate.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 01:19 PM
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LOL, the forest trail can be just as hazardous with slimy boardwalks and bridges. Everything depends on tides and timing.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 03:08 PM
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LOL, the forest trail can be just as hazardous with slimy boardwalks and bridges. Everything depends on tides and timing.
and the experience/skills of the hikers. Each group needs to evaluate their own situation.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-26-2017, 03:18 PM
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LOL, the forest trail can be just as hazardous with slimy boardwalks and bridges. Everything depends on tides and timing.
True. But at least with the forest route, if it takes you longer to get through than anticipated, you're not gonna end up stuck in a situation where you're waiting hours for a tide to go back down. That's how I'm looking at it. If it take a couple hours longer than planned, no biggie. But if that happens on the beach route you could end up completely screwed and then hiking in the dark.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 12:38 PM
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and the experience/skills of the hikers. Each group needs to evaluate their own situation.
Yes. We did the beach route on a very dry day.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 08:07 PM
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Owen point is highly recommended. This is one of the best places on the entire route...I wouldn't miss it for anything! Most of the beach route is easy to moderate with a relatively short section of boulders (1Kilometer?) Maybe 1/4 rocks(boulders) vs 3/4 easy to moderate beach. We were moving by 6am and had loads of time to get around the point. A guided group had to use the little rope up a short step on account of leaving an hour after us and some of them were really slow. They ranged in age from 25 to 70. They were having fun though and that's the main thing.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 09:34 PM
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Interesting, I wouldn't miss that section! Everyone's mileage varies so do what you are comfortable with of course. But, the original post was regarding the section between Camper and Sandstone Cr which is now off the Park Service map.

-M
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-20-2017, 11:24 PM
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Yes it was difficult to climb the boulders but seeing Owens Point was well worth it. Truly spectacular and was a huge highlight of my trek there in July of 2016.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 09:25 AM
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The hike around Owens Point as well as from Camper to Sandstone are highlights of WCT,


just follow the rules as on any beach section;


know your tide table, your own limits and mind the weather, also: take your time!


for me beach hiking beats the forrest route anytime
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