A long day today. We first went to Botanical Beach near Port Renfrew. It is one end of the 47 km long Juan de Fuca Trail. After our visit there we went back the other end of the trail and did the first 2 km down to Mystic Beach.
Botanical Beach is famous for its tide pools so you want to get there at low tide, which today was at 10:30 am. It is around an hour and a half drive to get there. It is only 94 km but since the road is SO twisty the speed limit is usually 60 kph or lower.
Normally we would have left Mystic Beach for a separate day but since it was on the way back and itself was an hour drive from the RV we went in today to cut down on another long drive.
We did a loop trail down to Botanical Beach and back, which with all of wandering amounts to about 4.5 km.
The trail down was wide and smooth. We dropped about 150 feet in elevation.
I am not sure why they call it a beach. There was no sand or even gravel. Just lots of flat rock and boulders.
The headlands off to the right looked interesting. We got to them eventually.
There was not much interesting near the spot where the trail came out. Lots of seaweed.
Mussels by the millions.
Searching for interesting critters.
Up on this flat section we found some small pools in the nice circular depressions.
Climbing up the wall to the next flat section we found our first sea star of the trip.
Hiding in a crevice in the wall.
Up on this section there were some really big pools.
Some small critters.
We have no idea what this was, with all the stuff embedded in it.
The sea urchin somehow dig out these circular cubby holes for themselves to live in. The holes were everywhere.
Lots of interesting rock formations to look at.
We headed back to work our way around the headland.
There were some even bigger pools here.
Another sea star, way down at the bottom. They are getting very rare as I seem to remember reading that the seals are eating all of them.
There were lots of good places to watch the crashing waves.
Another photosphere. It doesn’t capture the waves very well because as I spin around taking the approximately 20 images, of course, the waves move.
We found a nice high spot to have lunch. It was a bit windy though.
Heading in to catch the trail back to the car.
Looking back at our lunch spot.
The drive back to the Mystic Beach Trail (the other end of the Juan de Fuca Trail) took about 40 minutes. The trail is just over 2 km. With all the wandering we did it added up to another 4.5 km.
The trail was mostly roots.
A few boardwalks.
A long set of stairs down and out of a valley.
And most interestingly, a suspension bridge over a very deep valley.
It was had quite a lot of movement to it, which was not great for Jennie. We went across together, as smoothly as possible.
It didn’t matter that you could see through it because she never looked down.
A final long set of stairs down to the beach.
This is from the way back but part of the stairs was just notches carved out of a giant log.
At one end there are some high cliffs.
The other end is mainly used as a campground on the Juan de Fuca Trail. Since it is so close to one end I assume that people camp here just before starting or finishing because it is a great location.
At the cliff end, somehow there was a rope tied to a tree that was hanging out.
Unfortunately it was now close to high tide so we couldn’t go very far.
Jennie testing her waterproof hiking shoes.
We had a snack while we watched the waves before heading back to the car.
We decided that after all this work we were not going to make dinner so we had some very good sushi in Sooke on the way home.