West Coast Trail Campsites
Plenty of campsites along the West Coast Trail, some are good and others are terrible
Unfortunately there is little information available on which are nice and which are mediocre. This is one of the many important features missing in the various West Coast Trail guidebooks available. Here is a quick rundown on several of the possible campsites, and more importantly, pictures to illustrate why these spots are good or bad. Also an indication of how nice each is with, poor, mediocre, good or excellent. Picking a beautiful campsite over an awful one makes a tremendous difference.
The campsite order here is from Bamfield's Pachena trailhead to Port Renfrew's, Gordon River trailhead, the KM numbers are from the trailhead.
12km - Michigan Creek (poor)
Michigan Creek has a couple bad things going for it. The comparatively ugly beach is the first obvious one. But it's location, the first or last campsite of the whole West Coast Trail, makes it always crowded. Has outhouse.
14km - Darling River (excellent)
The beach is a bit better than Michigan Creek but the the presence of the Darling Falls, hidden away from the beach, makes this site fantastic. Like something out of the movies, water pours into a swimming pool size, emerald green pool. Spectacularly beautiful. Has outhouse.
15km Orange Juice Creek (mediocre)
An alright beach, good water source. Maybe the only plus is the relative serenity of this site, as not many people stop here for the night. No outhouse.
16.5km Tsocowis Creek (mediocre)
A decent beach and good water and much quieter than other spots. Has outhouse.
23km Klanawa River (excellent)
Beautiful beach and a wonderfully huge river, the Klanawa River campground is fantastic. And because it is close to the super popular Tsusiat Falls campground it is often quiet and serene. Also, the main trail runs to the cable car crossing which diverts the crowds away. Has outhouse.
25km Tsusiat Falls (excellent)
The spectacular Tsusiat Falls is a great and large campsite. A bit too large though. As everyone has seen pictures of it, everyone aims for it to spend the night. If you don't mind crowds then you'll love it. Love waking up to whales in the distance and the beautiful roar of the falls. It is well designed for crowds though as the hundreds of driftwood logs on the beach have fashioned partitioned areas all over the beach, where some sort of organized privacy exists. Has an outhouse, but hard to find and inconvenient to get to.
42km Cribs Creek (mediocre)
Cribs Creek is a beautiful, clean, emerald coloured creek that flows through the campground. That's about the only nice part about the campsite. The beach is not great, it smells of rotting seaweed and the campsite is always crowded and not very inviting to spend the night. Has outhouse.
46km Carmanah Creek (excellent)
The breathtaking and massive Carmanah Creek slowly flows through this wonderfully massive and beautiful beach. Plenty of room for plenty of tents. This is one of the beaches that makes you drop your pack, sit on the warm sand and gaze out at the ocean dumbfounded for minutes at a time. The West Coast Trail is something special. Has outhouse.
48km Bonilla Creek (excellent)
Bonilla Creek campsite is relatively large and spread out with two wonderful characteristics. One is that the forested area just off the beach has some great areas to pitch a tent under some shelter of trees. Great in times of rain. The second is the wonderful Bonilla Falls. Has outhouse.
53km Walbran Creek (excellent)
Lots of room, beautiful and seems less busy than Cullite Cove. Has outhouse.
58km Cullite Cove (excellent)
Cullite Cove is a close to perfect as a campsite can get. Cullite Creek is beautiful, crystal clear green, big and slow moving into Cullite Cove, a picture perfect beach hemmed in by majestic cliffs on both sides. Just off the beach, several campsites are laid out, hidden in the trees. Your first thought on seeing this site is to want to stay for a week. Has outhouse.
62km Camper Creek (good)
Camper Creek is beautiful, similar to Cullilte Cove there are cliffs on either side. The downside is crowding. It's the first really good campsite from the Port Renfrew direction. Still, it's spacious. Another downside is the proximity of Port Renfrew. It's hard to get the wilderness feeling when you can see boats pass every minute and cruise ships in the distance. Has outhouse.
70km Thrasher Cove (poor)
Small compared to other campsites, usually crowded and water sometimes hard to get late in the summer. Has outhouse.
Aerial Views of BC Hiking Destinations