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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
Nelson Dewey
Hittin' the Trails
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 3
Default ADVISORY -- Tatchu Peninsula trail (log road) washout.

The logging road that comprises part of the route from Port Eliza to Rugged Point is washed out at approx. km 8 (from Port Eliza) It appears to be impassable.

This apparently happened last winter (Nov-Dec 2019). We discovered it July 5 when we attempted to hike there.

When we arrived at the washout (a gap of about 20 metres across by 15 metres deep) we scouted a while, but couldn't see a way across and up the other side.
We finally scrambled down into and along the riverbed, to the beach, where we camped for the first night.

Next day we looked for another route -- without success. We did find an overgrown trail* from the beach to the old logging camp, so we didn't have to do the hard climb back up to the logging road / trail -- but no way to continue past the washout to continue our planned trek.

I've been looking for up-to-date information about the trail. I chatted with a few people who have done the trek, but not since the washout. No new info there.

Then -- in a strange coincidence -- I saw a story by Jack Knox in the Times Colonist July 11 (2019). It outlined a couple's recent trip along the coast from Rugged Point to Tofino.

I contacted them and learned they had encountered the washout. Here's their story:
"...The edges were really unstable, and we weren't sure what to do. We could not get close to the edges, so going up or down that way was not an option.

Then I found a VERY rough bear route down the side that we were on, to the beach. So we dropped our packs to clear it (since we were trail-clearing experts by then) and made our way down to the river mouth. That all took a long time. The last part was a drop of something like 8', which we knew we would not be able to get up again (so I don't think this route is going to be doable at all any more, any time soon, going the direction you were going). Dave went down first, then I lowered both packs, then I went down.

Then we crossed the creek mouth - we knew from the map that the logging road is close to the beach farther along, near that former logging camp - so we did not try to go up the other side of the washout. Rather, we went along the beach and searched for some way back up to the road, which we eventually found, and then hiked in for a late-night arrival at Port Eliza.

I think we lost close to 2 hours getting around that. It was pretty hairy - high risk of injury going the direction we were going (someone needs to clean up the route we took down, perhaps install some ropes). And, like I said, I don't think it is doable at all going the other direction. There is no way to get back up that final drop on the W side of the creek mouth...

You can learn more about their trip at their website:

Hope this helps someone else avoid -- or prepare for -- similar problems.


*The trail from the beach is about 300M east of the washout. It was marked with two white boat fenders and one orange round float, tied to a large log at the treeline. It was an easy pushabout 30M through low overgrowth to a large open area containing a half-dozen logs. It's just 20M to the log road.
(We didn't see any marker going from there to the beach, but if you go towards the beach, between the logs and the old tin shed, you should find a way.)
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