FATMAP by Strava

Sandcut Beach Trail and Waterfall

Vancouver Island

Where the rainforest meets the sea on this west coast beach, find twin waterfalls flowing over a sandstone bluff.

Hiking Moderate

770 m
25 m
25 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
13 m
High Point
39 m
Sandcut Beach Trail and Waterfall Map

Unlike most hikes, this descent is at the beginning. You’ll start out on a flat forested path and make your way past massive tree stumps, notched by the old style of springboard logging. Once the trail levels out again, you’ll cross two wooden boardwalks and then pick your way over a rooted section of the trail surrounded by towering Sitka spruce trees.


You can recognize these trees by their scalloped bark pattern. Sitka spruce trees were especially valued for their lumber in the 1900-50s era of aircraft development because of their strong but light wood. The First World War spiked the logging activity of old-growth Sitka spruce trees along the West Coast as aircraft suddenly became high in demand. But some giants were spared and still stand over the western shores of Vancouver Island.

The next part of the trail starts with a staircase that begins your descent to sea level. You’ll reach a planked path lined by horsetail, salal, and ferns that leads you to the beach. The entrance has a stack of driftwood to hop over before reaching the cobbled shores. Staring outward, you’ll be looking at the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula. From late spring to early fall, watch for humpback whales, gray whales, and both Southern Resident and Biggs orcas.

The waterfall is approximately half a kilometre southeast (left when looking at the ocean) down the beach. Allow for additional time to go see it; the beach walk starts at the end of the official trail.

A golden sandstone outcropping rises from the rocky shores, and Sandcut Creek spills over into two unique waterfalls. Looking at the centre of the rock jutting over the beach, you can see the depth the stone has been carved by the falls over time.

Sculpted by wind, ocean, and freshwater, the sandstone slopes under the ledge, making it possible to walk behind the first waterfall during low tide. Or, cool off under on a hot summer day!

At low tide, you may also be able to climb up over the sandstone at it’s shorter edges and onto the wide, shallow creek bed to get a view from the top.

Visit at high tide if you want to watch the ocean meet the falls, or low tide if you'd like to explore around and beyond them.

Sandcut Beach is in Jordan River Regional Park, the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation.



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area