Easy
Difficulty level
Hiking/Walking
Activity (Hike)
4 Night, 5 Day
Duration

Canada, British Columbia: Vancouver Island Hike

Five days, four nights of self-guided inn to inn walking on the Salish Shores of Vancouver Island, through impressive old growth forest and along coastal trails.


“We have done 7 other self-guided trips…This was on par with the best!…” – Linda B.

WHY THIS TRIP?

  • The sheer beauty of the rugged coast and the temperate rainforest is enough to leave you awestruck.
  • You will visit a plethora of interesting and unique places.
  • You can count on the welcoming hospitality of charming inns.
  • Experience a gradual change in both landscape and local culture along the route.
  • Inn to inn walking on the Salish Shores of Vancouver Island.

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

The easiest routes we offer, these are generally flat and cover relatively relaxed distances. You will be comfortable riding a hybrid bike, walking in sneakers, or paddling a light kayak, and will normally have time to take many photos and enjoy extended lunches.


Predominantly easy walks through varied terrain: old growth forests and wetlands, established trails, farm communities, and coastal stretches. There are some very demanding optional sections of the trail along the route for hikers seeking more challenge.


Daily Distance:

  • DAY 1: 12 to 20 km
  • DAY 2: 17 km
  • DAY 3: 10 to 20 km
  • DAY 4: 12 – 15km
  • DAY 5: 8 km

BC: Vancouver Island Hike – Elevation Profile:

(Click image to enlarge)

 


Start: Sidney, Beacon Inn 09:00, day one. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

Optional pickups from Swartz Bay ferry terminal or Victoria (YYJ) airport available upon request; note: YYJ is located in Sidney, ~32km from downtown Victoria!

Finish: Downtown Victoria for 15:30; Victoria Airport for 16:00 or the Swartz Bay ferry terminal for 16:30 to catch the 17:00 departure to Vancouver.

Please contact us to arrange alternate plans, if necessary.

1

Sidney to Brentwood Bay 12km to 20km

Start with a morning pick up in Sidney or Victoria. The long walk begins at Sidney while the shorter distance starts with a transfer to John Dean Provincial Park where you’ll hike through impressive old growth forests to the 300 meter peak of Mt Newton. Enjoy glorious views of the Saanich Peninsula and its deep inlets, scenic farmlands, and views of the nearby southern gulf islands. Afternoon options include a side trip to a rural historic site, a visit to Butchart Gardens.

Brentwood Bay Resort, or Brentwood Lighthouse B&B, Brentwood Bay

2

Francis King & Thetis Lake 13km

Start your day with a brief morning shuttle to the trailhead at Francis King Park. You will hike through more old growth forests and wetlands and past a picturesque lake in Francis King and Thetis Lake Regional Parks. After leaving the park, consider lunch at the historic 6-Mile Pub then follow the Galloping Goose Trail to Hatley Park and Castle National Historic Site on Esquimalt Lagoon.

Birds of a Feather B&B, Colwood

3

Colwood to Metchosin 13km or 17km

Walk along the beach and through quiet neighbourhoods, enjoying the views of the Olympic Range across the Juan de Fuca Straight. The trail at Witty’s Lagoon Protected Area will take you through a diverse landscape of woodlands, a freshwater creek, salt marsh, and sandy seashores providing habitat for diverse plant and animal life. From there you will stroll into the tiny village of Metchosin, an old farm community where open fields dotted with sheep and horses border the pebbled beaches before a 15-minute transfer your lodging for the next two nights.

Arbutus Cove Guest House B&B

4

Sooke Basin 12km plus options

During today’s walk you’ll experience the diversity of this increasingly remote landscape. You will hike past picturesque Roche Cove where the low-tide sands can reveal little-neck clams and barnacles. At high tide, look for starfish moving over broken shells in search of food. Your hike will continue along to Matheson Lake, following a creek hidden deep in the forest with lush bracken fern and a grove of western red cedars.

Same lodging

5

East Sooke Park 16km

The Galloping Goose Trail takes you up into the hills to where the Sooke River waterfall and famous ‘potholes’ are located. These geographical formations in the river serve as ideal swimming holes in the summer months. At the end of your walk you will be met at 14:30 and returned to Victoria for 15:30; Victoria Airport for 16:00 or the Swartz Bay ferry terminal for 16:30, in time for the 17:00 departure.

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.

Self-Guided: C 2355 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 5 days, 4 nights, 4 breakfasts, welcome briefing, on-call support, inn to inn luggage transfers, ground transportation as indicated in the itinerary, detailed maps, route descriptions, 5% sales tax


Single Occupancy: 585


All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


Self-Guided available any dates!

Interested in custom or private departures?


Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.

1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.

2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.

 
PLEASE NOTE: Trip Cancellation Insurance is highly recommended. If this is not provided by your credit card or elsewhere, please let us know and we can provide recommendations.

Difficulty This route is rated easy (green circle).
Daily Distances 8-20km/day
Optional Extras Fishing, Swimming, Golfing
Best Months June (early flowers), July & late-August (warm weather, whales, more people), September (cooler and quiet).

Before & After The Tour:

Rent a car in Victoria and explore other parts of Vancouver Island, its bigger than you think!

Drive to Nanaimo and take a ferry to the Sunshine Coast.

Visit the coastal community of Tofino for a surf or a lesson in stunt kites.

If you are into mountain biking, Vancouver Island is a top notch destination providing many options to suit any rider.

More Reading:


The coast of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island displays an eclectic mix of nature and rich cultural history. This collection of hikes immerses you in its beauty. The journey takes you along the Salish Shores coastal route to Sooke Basin. In five days, you will visit a plethora of interesting and unique places, most of which are only accessible by foot, and are best enjoyed at a walking pace. Follow fern lined trails through old growth Douglas Fir stands to lakeside picnics and secluded bays. Hike to exceptional views over the Juan de Fuca Strait, and visit seven different parks and protected nature areas. The sheer beauty of the rugged coast and the temperate rainforest is enough to leave you awestruck, yet the fun does not stop there: you will also have the opportunity to visit some of Canada’s national heritage sites or one of the region’s famous gardens and you will be spoiled to fresh west coast cuisine. Experience a gradual change in both landscape and local culture along the route. You can count on the welcoming hospitality of charming inns at the end of each day.


“I spent the day before and after in Victoria. The most fun was going down to the waterfront and watching the “Ferry Dance” on Sunday morning – the water taxis put on a musical show on water – delightful” – Barbara M.

“The service is very personable, from the office to the guides. One has the feeling you really care!” – Andree B.

“I had a wonderful time” – Barbara M.