2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
Day 3 on the Juan De Fuca trail is the shortest day of the trip, but due to the challenging terrain and the abundance of mud, a short trail doesn't mean it's a quick trail; this will take a good few hours to complete.
As you leave Chin beach you start the day with an enjoyable and scenic coastal trail, this is a nice start to the day before you encounter any of the mud that's on the inland trails.
There are a number of beach cut offs on this section of trail, so make sure to time your hike with the tide to ensure you don't get cut off by the tide, you can find details on the tidal cut off points on the BC Parks website and also at the trailhead.
Once you head back inland you will soon start to encounter the abundance of mud that is on this section of trail.
This is where you will be thankful you packed gaiters! The quickest and easiest way to get through the mud is to embrace it and just walk straight through it - if you have gaiters this shouldn't be an issue, apart from the possibility of having wet boots.
There are plenty of viewpoints as you hike through the forest; you occasionally get views of the ocean from within the forest and the suspension bridges also make for great photo opportunities, plus you can't miss some of the huge old growth trees you will be hiking past.
When you arrive at Sombrio beach there's a small creek you can hike up to find the waterfall.
This is well worth the quick side trip as the waterfall is spectacular - you really don't want to miss this as it's one of the highlights of the entire Juan De Fuca trail.
Sombrio beach is probably the best campground on the entire trail in my view, it's a long beach which prevents any crowding, you get great views the entire way along the beach and if you have good weather the sunset here is epic. You could choose to continue past Sombrio beach to Little Kuitshe if you wanted to have a longer day, but Sombrio Beach is arguably the best campsite on the entire trail, especially compared to Little Kuitshe which is a forested campground, so it's well worth having a shorter day to fully enjoy Sombrio Beach.