2 - 3
FATMAP difficulty grade
This is a gentle start to a 4 day backpacking trip on the Juan De Fuca Trail.
The trail starts at China Beach Trailhead and as this is a through hike you will need to either drop a car at the end of the trail, or use the West Coast Trail bus to shuttle you back to your car.
The trail from China Beach to Mystic Beach is very well travelled and well maintained.
The inland trail is uneven in places and can be muddy, but this is the easiest section of the Juan De Fuca trail so it's a great introduction to the trail. After 2 kms you will arrive at Mystic beach - this is a popular location for day hikers and people doing a 1 night trip, so expect it to be busy here.
There is a reason this is such a popular place though, it's a fantastic beach with great views and even has an awesome waterfall that lands right on the beach. The trail from Mystic beach to Bear beach is another popular and well maintained trail.
The trail is by no means easy though, there is plenty of elevation to gain and lose, which will be a challenge with a heavy pack.
When you hear about the Juan De Fuca Trail most people will tell you about all the mud, this is a muddy trail and gaiters are essential.
This section of the trail isn't too bad in terms of mud, lots of the muddy sections either have a route around or logs to help you stay out of the mud.
You do need to be careful when stepping on the logs or tree routes as they can be extremely slippery when wet.
At the 9km mark on trail you will arrive at Bear Beach, this campground isn't as busy as Mystic beach, but it's still good to try arrive here relatively early to secure the best camping spot.
All the campgrounds on the Juan De Fuca trail have bear lockers and pit toilets, the beach campgrounds such as the one on Bear beach also offer great ocean views and an epic sunset if you have good weather conditions.
There is the possibility of seeing wildlife on this trail, Whales can sometimes be seen from the shore and black bears are common in this area.