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The hike to Mystic Beach is along a well-used section of the Juan de Fuca Trail (it’s the beginning or the end, depending on which direction you hike it).
You can also camp down at the beach and turn this hike into an overnight adventure.
This provincial park and trail are in the traditional territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation.
The trail traverses through the coastal temperate rainforest for approximately 45 minutes, giving you plenty of time to appreciate the understory of the forest and the shady canopy.
The forest floor is made up of decomposing vegetation that makes for soft and spongy terrain, pleasant for hiking.
Several sections of the trail include exposed roots and small creeks that are crossable by boardwalks.
This part of the trail runs northwest, parallel with the shoreline and highway. Mid-way is marked by the picturesque Pete Wolfe Creek suspension bridge.
On the other side of the bridge, the trail begins to veer towards the beach, taking you deeper into the forest.
The denseness of the forest canopy leaves some sections prone to mud at all times of the year, so waterproof footwear is always a good idea. The path will eventually become wider and rockier as you start the descent towards the beach.
You’ll hear the ocean before you can see it.
Rustic staircases lead down to the beach where views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and on a clear day, the mountainous Olympic Peninsula await. Southeast (left when facing the water) down the driftwood and rock-strewn beach lies the waterfall, plunging over the towering sandstone cliff.
At high tide, it meets the ocean, and you may not be able to reach it (at least without taking off your shoes).
At low tide, you can explore the sandy shores all around it.
The waterfall is at it’s most impressive from fall to spring; the drier summer months reduce it to a mere trickle.
With the rainforest growing right up to and spilling over the cliff, you truly feel on the edge of the continent.
The other side of the beach holds another geological feature worth exploring, a sea cave with twin openings connected by a rock archway.
Like two eyes, one opening looks back at the falls while the other gazes out over the ocean. While on the beach, keep an eye out for migrating gray and humpback whales, Southern Resident and Biggs orcas, seals, sea lions, and otters.