Hiking to Bear Beach - Vancouver Island

A group of friends and I set out to hike a leg of the Juan de Fuca trail this past weekend. It was my first time hiking with overnight gear and I felt pretty bad ass! It's a cool feeling to be carrying everything you need to survive, right on your back. 

Our destination was Bear Beach. This is the first leg of the Juan de Fuca Trail which starts at China Beach and finishes at Port Renfrew, 47 km in total. We started at the China Beach parking lot and hiked 10 km to Bear Beach, passing through Mystic along the way.

We made it to Bear in a little less than three hours. Along the way we met the park Ranger, who wanted me to take a photo of his eagle necklace (see below), scouted a number of different mushrooms, one of which looks like it belongs in Mario Cart game, crossed some beautiful bridges, and walked along sandstone cliffs. I had to keep reminding myself to look up so I could take it all in!

We set up camp on the far end of Bear Beach for the night. I got to taste the delicacy that is dehydrated hiking food (the Pad Thai wasn't so bad!), and we made a roaring campfire and shared some whiskey. 

On our return the next day, we got held up by high tide on Bear Beach, which was higher than normal given the nearly full moon. To pass the time we made some electrolyte cocktails with the leftovers from the night before and declared it happy hour.

Once we were underway a few hours later, we set out to hike back to China Beach. We made good time coming back up the trail, in about three hours again. My knees were pretty sore on the down hills, but I was definitely riding the high of the whole experience. I can't wait to do it again!

And of course, I documented the trip :)