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muir creek sooke

Muir Creek

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Sooke

Muir Creek - 24 Million Year Old Fossils Waiting to Explore

Activity:
Beach
Difficulty:
Easy
Location:
Sooke
Time:
30 min - 2hrs
Distance:
1-4km (.6-2.5mi)

Experience:

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Accessibility:

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Highlights Include:

Info Map

South Island

You’ll be surprised to learn Muir Creek Beach has revealed 25 million-year-old fossils and geological history. The water slowly erodes the sandstone cliffs, revealing a web of ancient life locked inside once inaccessible cliffs and ocean rocks.

Muir Creek Ocean Hike

Just a quick 10-minute drive west of Sooke along the scenic Juan De Fuca straight, you will find a small parking lot with access to the trailhead.

From the parking lot, take a 400-meter walk through a meadow filled with blackberry bushes, then it narrows to a short windy path.

As soon as you step foot onto this beach, it is hard not to get taken in by the natural beauty around every corner. You will find patches of sandy beach, driftwood and rocks jutting out into crystal-clear water, perfect for some glamorous West Coast photos!

You can still see remnants of the area’s first industries that were once economic mainstays. Across the creek towards the bridge, logging skids are still noticeable along the banks, reminding us of an industry deep in history and still prevalent today.

Make your way west along the beach. If the tide is just right, you’ll notice seals resting on the rocks enjoying the sun and fresh air.

As you walk along and the cliffs get larger, notice layered sediment has been eroding for millions of years, and it’s incredible to see the seashells revealed in this one spot along this Vancouver Island Coast! Keep a lookout; recently, whale bones have been found in the sandstone cliffs after strong winter storms.

A little further down, you may find a familiar sight on Vancouver Island beaches. Someone has taken the time to build a swing for your enjoyment with the peaceful sounds of ocean waves crashing nearby!

At this point, a decision can be made. Not too far after the swing, you can turn around now as you will see fewer fossils. Or continue onto Kirby Creek to complete the longer 5.5k return hike.

When visiting the beach, it’s essential to pay attention and stay safe! Please be cautious walking during high tide. At this time, some areas may not be accessible.

Tips and Suggestions

You can get a lot out of this beach by taking the time to walk down the beach during low tide. Kicking off with a small but nice sand beach, walk along the shoreline and find seals sunning themselves, and continue down to the tree swing and high sandstone cliffs filled with seashell fossils. All around, it’s an excellent spot for bird watchers and rock hunters out there.

Parking:
Small parking lot right off the highway, it’s small and a little ragged but it works.

Amenities:
Just a old porta-potty on site

 

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History of Muir Creek

Muir Creek flows through the picturesque landscape and was named after a family who first settled in the Sooke area and began farming and milling lumber. The opening from the creek into Juan de Fuca Straight offered an opportunity to transfer logs using skids from bank to rafts, then floated and processed at sawmills throughout Victoria.

The remnants along this east-side riverbanks provide a glimpse back in time as you can still see what’s left of the skids looking back towards the bridge over the creek.

Fun fact: This area was the home to the tree sourced to be used as the world’s largest free-standing totem pole. That now resides at Beacon Hill Park in Victoria.

Gordon Beach – The Muir Creek Beach area is sometimes referred to as Gordon Beach due to incorrect labelling on Google maps. Gordon Beach is located just west of King Creek.

Spectacular views from this rugged, otherworldly beach! See the seals sunbathing on the rocks from shore. The waterfalls over the cliff edge. and even Bald Eagles if you are lucky! There is a very small space for parking, so I imagine in the summer it gets pretty busy - but check it out none the less!

Helpful Links:

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FAQ:

IS IT A HARD WALK?
It’s an easy stroll to the beach as you go further down it becomes a little trickier to walk on the rock beach but not difficult.
ARE DOGS ALLOWED?
Yes
ARE THERE WASHROOMS?
There is a portapotty set up in the parking lot but otherwise, no.

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Vancouver Island is a land of natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Please be aware of your surroundings and take the usual precautions for personal and wildlife safety.
Black bears, cougars and even wolves are common on Vancouver Island for more on Wildlife Safety Click Here 

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.

Land Acknowledgement:
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 .

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