Most people know the Juan de Fuca trail as the 47km long coastal trail near Sooke that takes 4 days to hike. There are also places you can just hike for the day. Many points along the trail are beautiful to see and you won’t have to carry 4 days worth of gear and food.
This post is about the 4 main places you can start a day hike on the Juan de Fuca trail. To follow along best, open up the BC Parks Juan de Fuca Trail Map so you can see where I’m talking about in the post below.
If you’re interested in spending multiple days on the gorgeous Juan de Fuca, we have a full guidebook that details every section of the trail, all the campsites and what you need to bring.
Where can you start hiking?
China Beach Trailhead to Mystic Beach
China Beach starts the trail at the south end nearest Sooke. This trailhead accesses the Juan de Fuca trail as well as the China Beach camping area. Take the trail down to Mystic Beach if you want to day hike from this end. The 4 km hike down to the beach is a beautiful walk along easy trail. The way back up is a more sweat-inducing so leave enough time and energy to get back up to the car! The beach is worth it though. I’ve spent whole days at Mystic Beach before. It’s a beautiful place.
The access to the China Beach parking lot is right off the highway and it’s paved. There are outhouses near the parking lot.
Sombrio Beach has become a favourite spot for surfers in recent years. It’s a much shorter drive from Victoria than Tofino. The beach is very rocky at the north end but still has a lot of sand at the south. It’s a nice place to hang out for the day. The beach is big enough that you can explore either direction for as long as you have time.The parking lot is only 10 minutes walk from the beach. It’s not paved and can be a rough drive down. Often the road gets washed out in places and is 4×4 only. There are outhouses near the tenting area on the beach.
Parkinson Creek is closer to Port Renfrew. There is a dirt road down off the highway to a small parking lot. The Juan de Fuca trail winds it’s way right through the parking lot and keeps going. There are outhouses near where you park.
There is no beach access from Parkinson Creek to the water but you can hike short distance on the trail either direction to find access to the beach. Parkinson Beach is at the 37 kilometer marker along the trail. Only 10km north and you will be at Botanical Beach, the north end of the trail.
Botanical Beach is the northernmost entrance to the Juan de Fuca trail. It’s a beautiful beach to explore on it’s own with many tidepools. You can hike the trails and beach around Botanical Beach without really getting on the Juan de Fuca Trail itself. The Botanical Beach parking lot is all paved and easily accessed by a short drive out of Port Renfrew
Hidden side trails
There are some side trails at other points along the Juan de Fuca trail that access the road. Giant Cedars, White Sands by can get you started on those hidden side trails.
As for the gear for the trail, you probably won’t need anything special. Some sturdy shoes or hiking boots, a backpack with food and water, and your camera to capture the beautiful scenes will likely be all you need. For sunny or overcast days, sunscreen and hat come in handy. Exploring tide pools all day keeps you in the sun for long periods of time. Always think about the 10 Essentials on every hike and take what you need to be safe.
For more tips on hiking the trail in multiple days, see 13 (+1) Tips for Hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail.