Home Uncategorized West Coast Trail – Pre Planning

West Coast Trail – Pre Planning

by Aaron Wong
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Pre Planning
The planning process was quite time consuming as we had to plan how we were going to get there, what to pack and where to camp for our 6 nights at WCT. Luckily, we had nearly 3 months to get everything together.

After booking the WCT permits, we then booked the “National Park (Discovery)” group pass. Since there was 6 of us going, the group pass is good for up to 7 members. Discovery Pass Link

We had a list of items to bring for our trip. Thanks to Thery, she made an itemized list of what we needed to pack on Google Sheets. Josh made a list of all the camping spots along the WCT.

For transportation, our initial plan was to arrive at Pachena Bay the day before the hike. The idea was to take the bus from Downtown Vancouver to Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, walk on the ferry as foot passengers on the first ferry in the morning, and take the trail bus to Pachena Bay (the northern route).

However, since the trail bus only comes once a day in the morning, it wasn’t feasible for us to take the trail bus from Nanaimo to Pachena Bay as the schedule didn’t work out to our liking. We wanted more flexibility.

So instead, our group made a consensus and decided that the best way to get to WCT was to drive our vehicles to Gordon River in Port Renfrew (the southern trailhead), then take the trail bus to Pachena Bay. Hike from the northern route to the south where we plan to park our cars. This was the best option as we wanted to control our time and didn’t want to be in a rush. Also, cheaper on our wallets as well.

Sat June 10th
– 10:40pm: Horseshoe Bay ferry to Departure Bay Nanaimo by car.
BC Ferries Link

Sun June 11th
– 12:30am: Arrive at Departure Bay and drive 2 hours from Nanaimo to Gordan River Parking Lot.

– 2:40am: We parked and car camped at the parking lot across from WCT Registration Office at Gordon River.

– 7am: Woke up and prepared our packs. Went to the WCT store next to the Registration office and paid $10 per day for parking ($140 for 7 days for 2 cars).

– 9:15am: Trail Bus arrived at 9am and left at 9:15am to Pachena WCT. Arrived at Pachena Bay at 1pm. Trail Bus Link

– 2pm: Once we arrived at Pachena Bay the Northern Route, we wanted to attend the WCT orientation at Parks Canada Registration Office. That way, we could get the orientation out of the way and not having to worry about it the next day when we start our hike.

– 3pm thereafter: After the orientation, we went to our campgrounds in Pachena Bay B10, which we had booked in advance at Pachena Bay Campground Link
This is where we spent the night before the start of our hike the following day. 

While Karlie, Thery, Quynh, Lalit and Josh spent time organizing at the campground and enjoyed the beach nearby, I took a taxi (booked through the staff at the campground office) to Bamfield to get some last minute call of hot meals and snacks to cure our cravings before we head out into the backcountry the next day. 

Thery wanted Fish and Chips which cost about $40, and I ordered fries $10. Taxi fare with return was $20 for 15 minute ride. Quite expensive and wouldn’t recommend it. But we didn’t want to dig in to our 6 days of food supplies, so it was the right call. On a side note, we realized that we should had ordered warm meals in Vancouver before we left as there weren’t many options in Bamfield.

After finishing our expensive Bamfield meal at the beach in Pachena Bay, Karlie and Quynh were sun tanning, Lalit and Thery were sleeping, while Josh and I were playing with sand digging a trench just for fun of course.

– 10pm: We all turned in early in hopes to get a good night rest and energized for the hike the next morning.

Day 1: June 12th Pachena Bay to Darling River 

Day 2: June 13th Darling River to Tsusiat Falls

Day 3: June 14 Tsusiat Falls to Cribs Creek

Day 4: June 15th Cribs Creek to Walbran Creek

Day 5: June 16th Walbran Creek to Camper Creek

Day 6: Camper Creek to Thrasher Cove

Day 7: Thrasher Cove to Gordon River

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