China Beach is another beautiful beach along the coast of southern Vancouver Island. A stunning hike, amazing views, sand beaches and a hidden waterfall are just some of the reasons why you should visit China Beach and why it is one of the most popular beaches on South Vancouver Island. An accessible beach to reach with a great trail. Even if it’s busy, this beach offers a peaceful, relaxing spot where you can let your stresses go.
China Beach is one of the easier beaches to access along the Juan de Fuca as you stroll down as the sunbeams sprinkle the wide path ahead. The forest is thick with a mix of new and old-growth trees. The moss and ferns cover the forest floor.
After passing a few giant trees along the trail, you reach a platform and peer through the trees. You can catch a glimpse of the Juan de Fuca Strait and the beautiful cove.
As the beach opens up at the last bend in the trail, you instantly get a wave of calmness washing over you. You take in a breath and notice the waves crashing against the shore, the long beach fenced in by the wall of forest.
The walk takes about 15 minutes to get down to the beach and there are stairs once you reach the bottom. Even during busy times, there’s a sense of quietness and internal peace at China Beach that other beaches may offer, but the intensity and tranquillity is unique to China Beach.
Reaching the beach, you can head left or right. To the right, you will see a sandstone cliff and outcrop of rocks. Just before that in the trees is a hidden waterfall just make your way up the creek bed up into the trees it’s only a few meters in. If you decide to go to the left you will follow the beach around and reach the access point and trail up to the China Beach campground.
Parking: Good-sized parking lot shared with Mystic Beach, not big enough for RV
Amenities: Toilets at the parking lot and on the beach. No running water.
Cell Coverage: As of August 2023 there is cell coverage for Shaw and Rogers users but as for Telus and Bell users the service is not great, most likely reaching American towers.
By Car –
China Beach is an hour and a half from Victoria, located just past Jordan River, about halfway between Sooke and Port Renfrew, in the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. China Beach is another great stop along route 14 and won’t disappoint. The two parking lots offer easy access to the trailhead, located at the eastern end of the lower parking lot. In the upper parking lot, you will find the Mystic Beach trail access. Outhouses are located in the parking lot and at the beach. Directions – Google Maps
Take a Bus –
Planning an overnight hike along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail? Need a way to get to the trail or back to your car? West Coast Trail Express offers a daily trail bus in the summer and every second day in the winter. Leaving Victoria and stopping at Sooke, China Beach/Mystic Beach, Sombrio and Port Renfrew.
The Trail –
Head down the trail for a gorgeous 15-minute walk to the ocean. The path starts wide and flat. As you continue, the trees get more significant as the trail narrows. At some point, you will reach the steeper portion of the hike, and stairs will come into play.
The trail opens up to the large driftwood trees, thrown to the shore by the waves crashing against the vast pebble and sand beach. If you head to the right (West), you will quickly run into cliffs, large boulders that are great for climbing, and a waterfall tucked back into the forest.
Head the other way for a beautiful walk along the beach. As you reach Second Beach, a 1km trail heads up the stairs and a fairly steep trail to the China Beach Campground.
The trail down and the beach is straight forward and it’s hard to get lost on this one but if you are looking for the AllTrails map, here it is.
Camping is not allowed on the beach at China Beach but there is a fairly small forested campground located just down the highway from the trailhead parking lot. The China Beach campground has large private spots with a fire pit and picnic table. The campground has pit toilets, and potable water taps and is located only 1km from the shore.
One of our most beloved beaches offers a perfect blend of convenience and natural beauty. A leisurely 15-minute stroll takes you to a sandy shoreline that’s ideal for walking. With its vast expanse, particularly during low tide, this beach is the ultimate destination to unwind and breathe in the refreshing sea breeze.
IS THERE CELL SERVICE
As of August 2023, there is cell coverage for Shaw and Rogers users but as for Telus and Bell users the service is not great, most likely reaching American towers.
IS IT CHALLENGING TO WALK UP FROM THE BEACH?
There are some stairs and some elevation but nothing too hard.
ARE FIRES ALLOWED ON CHINA BEACH?
It’s not uncommon to see people having a small fire on China beach but unfortunately, they are not allowed.
Did we miss something?
Have more to add?
We love Vancouver Island and want to keep the natural beauty. Please respect the places you visit and pack out what you pack in and leave the area better than when you arrived. We all know how much trash can spoil an experience and the environment, so please help us keep it clean!
Tide and Seasonal Safety:
Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey!
When visiting the beach, it’s essential to pay attention and stay safe! Please be cautious walking on the shore during high tide. At this time, some areas may not be accessible. Click here for the tides in your area. Be aware of ocean currents before swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking.
We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .
The information on this website should not be taken as accurate, complete or up-to-date. Please check and look into the information yourself. We do not assume any liabilities for the use of this information. It is unreasonable to rely solely upon the information from this website.