East Sooke Park is home to some of Vancouver Island’s most spectacular coastal trails. The 14km East Sooke Coast Trail is known for its beauty and challenging terrain, but you don’t need to hike the complete trail to take in spectacular views of the Juan de Fuca.
We’ve broken down the East Sooke Coast Trails into shorter yet breathtaking loops suited for your skill level and time restrictions.
Located on the east end of the park, you will find this to be the easiest and most relaxing section of the Coast Trail. A small cove with a white sand pocket beach is just a short walk through small fields and fruit trees from the parking lot known as Aylard Farms. Feel welcome to lay out on the beach, put your feet in the water and even enjoy the rope swing if you’re up for it.
There are extra trails to explore, and just a short distance from the beach is a small scramble up to Creyke Point or head the opposite way to Alldridge Point to view the Petroglyphs still visible scribed into the sandstone rock, which may date back as far as 3000 years.
This area has easy walking trails to stroll around the surrounding fields and enjoy a picnic at provided tables. Accessible washrooms and a shelter are also available with easy access.
Amenities: Toilets are located at the parking lots and just before the beach. Aylard Farm has picnic tables and a shelter.
Accessibility: Aylard Farms and Iron Mine Bay offer flat dirt and easy trails from the parking lot to the. All other trails have roots, uneven ground and can be more difficult.
Beechey Head is a 5.5km loop in East Sooke with lots of variation. The starting point is Aylard Farm parking lot located in the southwest section of East Sooke Park. It kicks off nice and easy with a white sand beach at Becher Bay as you head east along the coastline.
At the 1.5km mark, your next stop will be at Alldridge Point, where you will find the ancient petroglyphs, and can still see the faded outline of a seal carved into the sandstone, which may date back as far as 3000 years.
Continue past this historical artwork, and you will enter the most challenging section of the trail. The next 1.5 km of hiking switches to some low-level rocky scrambling over uneven ground. The route is well-travelled and yellow markers are located throughout the area to help guide you along the trail.
At the next junction, notice the sign for Beechey Head. Follow these markings as you scramble up onto the point for a spectacular view of the Juan de Fuca strait and the Olympic mountains in the neighbouring United States. Beechy Head is known for its reference marker placed after the treaty of 1908, respecting the international boundary between the United States and Canada.
Complete the loop, head back to the junction, go straight, and follow the path that runs through the forest back to the Aylard Farms parking lot. This trail through the forest is wide and easy to walk. You can also continue down the Coast Trail to Cabin Point.
3km past Beechy Head along the Coast Trail is a fish trap cabin on a picturesque and rugged west coast cove. This 11km hike has everything, including the white sand beach of Beacher Bay, Ancient Petroglyphs at Alldridge Point, viewing points including Beechey Head, and don’t forget the challenging uneven ground along one of Vancouver Islands’ most beautiful coastal hikes.
Once you reach your destination, you will find a trail bench with a gorgeous view of the west shore, a perfect spot to have lunch or a quick snack. Here you can also see the 1930s restored Trap Shack – these shacks were common on the coast during the turn of the century. Watchmen lived in these shacks and were employed to empty the 35 fishing traps that were in operation. The last operating season was 1958.
To head back to the parking lot, backtrack on the trail for about 500 meters to the last junction and head into the forest. The trail is wide and easy to walk, so the next 3.75km will fly by compared to the challenging coastal section, a gradual elevation of approx. 140m rise in this section.
Parking – Pike Road
Difficulty – Easy
Distance – 3km return
The popular Iron Mine Bay and Pike Point hikes are located on the west end of East Sooke Park. From the Pike Road, Parking lot to the trail at Iron Mine Bay is an easy 3km (return) trip. You’ll walk along a smooth gravel surface with a gradual slope down to the coast through the forests of East Sooke Park. An old logging road is well marked and has two accessible toilets – one in the parking lot and the second on the trail as you get closer to the cove.
Once you pass the washrooms, a narrow trail will lead you to a rocky cove that appears through the trees, often with Sea Lions, otters and even whales!
Extend your hike and challenge yourself by heading up to Pike Point. You can access the Pike Point trail at the east point from Iron Mine Bay. Take your first left if you want to experience a rugged east coast trail and spectacular ocean views. This will add just over one km to your hike, along with a more challenging trail with a steep rock face to Pike Point lookout.
Be cautious in the winter and during rainy periods, the trail can be wet and muddy. Wearing proper footwear will make your hike safe and more enjoyable.
Who wants a challenge? Complete the Cost trail from end to end, covering the full width of East Sooke. The trail is rugged and adventurous, with pirate-like coves, cliff drops, coastal views and beaches. This route combines it all from Iron Mine Bay, to Cabin Point and Beechy Head to the white sand beach at Becher Bay!
The best way to experience the 14km trail is with two cars, leaving one car parked at Pike Road Parking lot and the other at Aylard farms. The drive between the two parking lots takes 17 minutes. In between the two parking spots is the well-known Sasquatch and the East Sooke store if you need to grab supplies or food for lunch.
The trail is generally well marked and has minimal exposure. The elevation isn’t overly challenging, but it is a technical hike with some scrambles in areas. The CRD notes the coast trail at 10km, plus 1.5km to the Pike Road Parking lot. Our GPS tracked just under 14km from parking lot to parking lot.
A 45-minute drive from Downtown Victoria, East Sooke Regional Park should not be missed by anyone looking for a rugged BC coast with a perfect mix of pebble, sand and rock shoreline.
To get there, take Highway 14 towards Sooke, and turn South on Gillespie Road until you come to the three-way stop. Make sure to pull over and snap a photo next to the driftwood Sasquatch. Then head back southeast down East Sooke road before turning right onto Beacher Bay Rd, which will open up into a reasonably sized parking lot in a meadow area. You will find washrooms and a well-maintained park.
1 Becher Bay Rd, Sooke, BC and 1366 Pike Rd, Sooke, BC
There isn’t a Bus stop at the parking lot, but the number 64 bus goes by Beacher Bay Road. (25min 1.7k walk to the parking lot)
Parking: In the off-season, the overflow parking is closed, parking is limited, and arrive early on weekends.
Becher Bay: 1km return
Iron Mine Bay: 3km return
Beechey Head Loop: 5.5km
Cabin Point Loop: 11km
Coast Trail: 14km. (The CRD says the coast trail is long 10km point, plus 1.5km to the Pike Road Parking lot. Our GPS tracked just under 14km from parking lot to parking lot and it felt like 14km or more)
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