West Coast Trail set to open for the first time since 2019

Looking for the perfect backpacking trail away from the crowds, the iconic West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island will be open June 4 to September for the first time since 2019. 

Reservations for the very popular 75-km trail open April 30. 

“The West Coast Trail (WCT) is an iconic backcountry, multi-day backpacking trail that is a bucket list challenge for many hikers. It is an experience that can bring even the most experienced hikers to their knees. Those who are well prepared physically, mentally, and equipment-wise, come away with tales of grit,” states Park Canada.

“Hikers climb more than 100 ladders with a heavy pack, trudge through deep mud, wade through mountain-fed rivers in fast-flowing hip-deep waters, and push through whatever weather the wild West Coast delivers — often driving wind and rain.”

The trail was closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic after Parks Canada consulted with First Nation partners.

The popular multi-day backpacking trail has its roots firmly in the Indigenous history of the area, having been used as an ancient path and paddling route by numerous First Nations including the Huuay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht. 

It has also been dubbed the “Graveyard of the Pacific” due to the number of shipwrecks and drownings that have occurred along this segment of the west coast of Vancouver Island. 

It is one of the best-known backpacking trails in Canada and high on many would-be adventurers’ bucket lists. 


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