Lovekin Rock at Long Beach

Early in the sunset the sky over Lovekin Rock is a mix of pale blues and salmon. It gets better! There’s something about a wet beach at sunset that I just can’t get enough of. Over the course of the summer I check the tide tables and try to find days when the sunset coincides with a low or dropping tide. …

Mole Crab Mania!

I’ve been spending summers out on the west coast since 2006 and I’ve never seen anything like it. Earlier this July, a large number of juvenile Pacific mole crabs made an appearance at Wickaninnish Beach. And they’re still here! A handful of Pacific Mole Crabs (Emerita analoga) found at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Pacific mole crabs …

Stopping at the Kennedy River Canyon on the Way to Ucluelet

The long winding drive from Port Alberni to Ucluelet is demanding and I usually try to make at least one stop along the way to take a break and do some photography. The challenge is to find new locations along the Kennedy River where the river has carved channels through the rock and then smoothed the stone. Steep cliffs line …

Spring Wildflowers at Schooner Cove

Spring is an ideal time of year to search for wildflowers in British Columbia. The relatively remote Schooner Cove is an interesting place to visit in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and a good botanical destination. It’s not really a long walk, but it’s long enough that most people don’t make the effort to make their way around the point at the end of …

Payzant Falls on the Juan De Fuca Trail

A couple of weeks ago I did a day trip out to the west coast between Port Renfrew and Victoria. This stretch of coast is the home to the Juan De Fuca Trail, a 47 km long trail that follows the coastline. Hikers have the option to do the whole trail as a multi-day hike or to pick and choose …

Union Bay Coal Hills

Large chunks of black rock on the beach at Union Bay are remnants of the area’s historic use as a coal shipping terminal between 1888 and the 1960s. Pilings are other evidence of historic industrial activity at Union Bay. I’ve lived in the Comox Valley for some time now but have never walked out into the coal waste hills at …

Lions in the Dunes at Goose Spit

The sand dunes at Goose Spit are a small and remarkable place to visit in the Comox Valley. It is easy to miss this unique dune ecosystem located about mid-way from the last parking area at the gates of HMCS Quadra and the end of the spit. Yellow Sand-verbena (Abronia latifolia) can be found in the dunes at Goose Spit. The dunes …

Awe Inspring Avatar Grove

The main attraction at Avatar Grove, an ancient gnarly western redcedar. Avatar Grove is an awe inspiring grove of old growth western redcedar and huge Douglas-fir trees. It’s hard to describe the feeling in this quiet forest near Port Renfrew. The trees are immense, towering over a forest floor covered with a chaotic jumble of fallen moss-covered wood, deer fern, …

Rossiter Lake Ramble

I’ve been meaning to hike down to Rossiter and Divers Lake for some time but they’re a bit off the beaten track and access is essentially in and back. Both of these gorgeous lakes were added to Strathcona Provincial Park back in 2003. Rossiter Lake Access to Rossiter Lake (the first lake in the chain) is via logging roads. I …

Bravery Needed at Bonnell Creek

Two of the three main drops at Bonnell Creek Falls. Some waterfalls are challenging to get to—Ammonite Falls and the Trent River Falls are two good examples. Both of these require a rope assisted descent down a fairly steep slope. I’m not fond of heights and have visited both of these locations several times without problem. Bonnell Creek Falls are just a …