If you’re seeking tide pools like Botanical Beach but without the crowds, Parkinson Creek Trail leads to a shoreline that’s an excellent alternative. The rugged landscape and 360-degree wildlife make it a great spot.
The Parkinson Creek trailhead offers a nice afternoon exploring the area or a starting or ending point for a day-long hike to Botanical Beach, which is 10 km away, or a 9 km hike to Sombrio Beach. The trail is moderate and takes you through a stunning mature forest. The trailhead can be found just off of the Parkinson Creek Parking Lot, where washroom facilities are available.
Although Parkinson Beach is a smaller version of Botanical Beach, you will still find spots to explore, an abundance of tidal pools and all without crowds.
The entrance to the trailhead is located down a dirt road just off the highway to the left, about 10 minutes from the Sombrio Beach entrance. The 4km road can be rough with rocks and potholes but take your time, and as long as you aren’t driving a sports car, you shouldn’t have any problems.
You want to head down the Juan de Fuca trail from the parking lot, following the signs toward Payzant Cove. The 1km trail starts off easy with nothing to worry about regarding strenuous hiking. However, there are a few places where you have to climb roots and scramble across rocks on the beach.
It’s a simple hike but there are some challenges when exploring, and it’s one of the easiest sections of the whole Juan de Fuca trail. The entrance to the beach is marked with some stray buoys that dot the Juan de Fuca, showing routes off the beaches to follow in case the tide is in and alternate routes are needed.
The shoreline opens out to this vast volcanic landscape with black rock everywhere. Check tide times before you go; you want to come during low tide. if you make the trip during high tide, you will miss out on all of the tidal pools. Each pool was filled with life, from Hermit Crab to Starfish and everything in between.
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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.
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