About the Park
Juan de Fuca Provincial Park on the west coast of southern Vancouver Island offers scenic beauty, spectacular hiking, marine and wildlife viewing and roaring surf in its course along the Pacific coastline of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There are four main areas to the park: the China Beach Campground, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, the China Beach day-use area and Botanical Beach. A major feature of this park, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, follows 47 kilometers of wilderness stretching along the western shoreline of the southern Island. There are four trailheads to the Juan de Fuca Trail: Juan de Fuca East ( beside China Beach day use), Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Creek and Botanical Beach. Although most of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is designed for strenuous day or multi-day hiking/camping in this rugged and isolated area, some easy to moderate day hiking opportunities to the beach or along the trail are available starting from the trailheads. At the east end of the park you’ll find the vehicle accessible China Beach Campground and the China Beach day-use area. The campground is located in a forested area with open understory, about 1 km east of the China Beach day-use area and the Juan de Fuca East (China Beach) Trailhead. Trails connect the campground to China Beach and the adjacent smaller Second Beach, located east of the larger China Beach day-use. At the west end of Juan de Fuca Park is Botanical Beach, one of the richest tidal areas along the west coast. Botanical Beach also has a unique shoreline framed by ridges of shale and quartz, which jut up through the black basalt to form huge tableaus. Botanical Beach is the western terminus for the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and a popular day trip destination for visitors wishing to observe this sensitive and unique ecosystem. Wildlife viewing is best done at low tide, when visitors can walk out across the flat sandstone and granite outcroppings to view tide pools filled with brightly coloured marine life. When visiting Botanical Beach, please look in the tide pools only – do not touch the marine life. Do not remove, collect or disturb any tide pool life, shells, plants, flowers, kelp, etc. Even touching the water in a tide pool with sunscreen on your hands can create an “oil slick” that could kill the vulnerable creatures in this sensitive ecosystem. Remember to bring your camera, as photographs make great souvenirs. Juan de Fuca Provincial Park offers ample opportunity to view larger marine mammals as well, including gray whales and orcas, which can often be spotted feeding just off the points. The best time to see gray whales is during their migration from the Mexican coast to Alaska in March and April. Seals and sea lions can also often be seen playing offshore.
This park has various day-use and picnic areas at China Beach, Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Creek and Botanical Beach.
China Beach Campground: This area offers vehicle accessible campsites. The campground is located in a forested area with open understory just east of the China Beach day-use area and Juan de Fuca East trailhead. Campsite reservations are accepted and first-come, first-served sites are also available.
Juan de Fuca Trail: Camping along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is only permitted in designated beach and forest sites, which are open all year. Self-registration envelopes and safes are located at each trailhead on the Juan de Fuca Trail for depositing your camping fee. Cash only (bring exact change). As well, the option to purchase a backcountry camping permit is now available through Discover Camping. Detailed maps of campsites are installed on the trail at each designated camping location.
Beach Sites: Camping at Mystic Beach, Bear Beach, Chin Beach and Sombrio Beach (East) is available on the beach. Please use camping pads at West Sombrio camping area; otherwise there are no designated sites. Remember to camp on the beach to prevent degradation of the forest vegetation.
Forest Sites: Camping at Little Kuitsche Creek and Payzant Creek is in the forest and away from the beach. There is limited shoreline access at Little Kuitsche Creek and no shoreline access at Payzant Creek. Fires are not permitted at these sites. A portable campstove will be required for cooking. Please camp only on designated tent pads.
Campfires are allowed in designated fire rings provided that a fire ban is not in effect. Firewood is available for purchase in the park. To preserve vegetation and ground cover, please do not gather firewood from the area around your campsite or elsewhere in the park (this is a ticketable offence under the Park Act). Dead wood is an important habitat element for many plants and animals and it adds organic matter to the soil. It is illegal to burn wood or material from the forest because it is destructive and damages the protected ecosystems within the park.
Fires are not allowed in the backcountry except on the beach below the tide line along the Juan de Fuca Trail.
Located on the west coast of southern Vancouver Island, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park extends from China Beach, just west of the community of Jordan River, to Botanical Beach near Port Renfrew. The park is accessed by vehicle at various points along West Coast Highway 14 between Jordan River and Port Renfrew. The China Beach campground is adjacent to Highway 14 just east of the China Beach day-use, 35 km west of Sooke and 36 km east of Port Renfrew. Nearby communities include: Port Renfrew, Sooke, Victoria, Duncan.
Nearby parks include French Beach, Sooke Potholes, and Goldstream Provincial Park.
For further information, visit www.bcparks.ca