Hikes on Vancouver Island, BC
The cost of hiking the West Coast Trail is not cheap. The price of the necessary equipment, food, permits and transportation quickly adds up. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience but if the cost is beyond your means, there are other hikes on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, that are almost as scenic and challenging as the West Coast Trail but less expensive.
Cost of Hiking the West Coast Trail
- Tent, camping stove & water purifier - $250, $100, $100.
- Dehydrated & powder meals for 7 days - $150 per person
- Miscellaneous camping equipment (flashlights, sleeping bag, air-mattress, etc.) - $400
- Permits, registration & two ferry fees - $127.50 + $24.50 + $32
- Transportation to Vancouver Island & to the trail head - $12 (passenger), $65 (car), $55 (trail-bus)
- At least one night for accommodation. You'll need a shower (or two) after the journey. - $100 to $250 per night.
Consider one of these alternative hikes on Vancouver Island. The maximum cost may be a $3 parking fee in the provincial parks.
Other Hikes on Vancouver Island
- The Coast Trail in East Sooke Park is considered one of the best hikes on Vancouver Island and is one of the premier day trails in the Canada. There are no fees, it's close to city accommodations and you get to lie in a clean, dry bed at the end of the day. The trail is about 10 km long, can be completed in 8-10 hours and requires a good level of fitness.
- There are lots of hiking trails around Victoria, BC. These day trips range in length from 30 minutes to 4 hours and show the beautiful coastline, rugged shores and forested mountains of southern Vancouver Island.
- The 47 kilometer Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is south of the more famous West Coast Trail. There's plenty of parking lots along the route so the trek can be broken into many day trips. The scenery is very similar to that of the Pacific Rim National Park. The Juan de Fuca Marine Trail requires a good fitness level.
- The Galloping Goose Trail is an easy multi-use day trail (hiking, walking, cycling & equestrian). This 55 kilometer trail from downtown Victoria, BC to the Sooke Hills follows an abandoned rail-line (tracks have been removed). The best sunsets are along the Sooke Basin where the trail hugs the rugged shoreline.
- One of the most popular parks on Vancouver Island is Goldstream Park. Here, you can stroll along easy trails witnessing the life and death of the Pacific salmon. For more adventurous hikers, there's strenuous trails and old mining caves to discover in the surrounding hills.
To earn the right to say that you've hiked the West Coast Trail requires quite a bit of money. Of course, the fees are justified considering the amount of trained emergency personal on standby and trail maintenance provided by Parks Canada. If the cost is beyond your means, consider one of the alternate hikes on Vancouver Island. You'll experience the same rugged beauty of the BC coast but at a lower price.
Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.