Darling River Campsite - West Coast TrailDay 1 on the West Coast Trail hiking south from the Pachena trailhead is a fairly relaxing first day. Your first beach, Pachena Beach is a lovely, wide, sandy arch that stretches to a thick wall of forest on either end. As you look past the beautiful beach and size up the thick wilderness that hides the start of the trail, you can't help but be struck by the vast jungle rainforest. The trees are so thick that they spill over the ocean and you can't see even a few metres beyond the abrupt, rocky coastline.

What is most striking about the view from the beach is the utter lack of humanity. No signs, no people, nothing. You can imagine this view as it would have been a thousand years ago. Or just a century ago when the Graveyard of the Pacific was earning its ominous name. If you look out from Pachena Beach, not far past the entrance of the bay you will be looking over the shipwreck sites of the Alaskan and the Soquel. Hidden from view under the waves, you won't get to see and touch your first West Coast Trail shipwreck until you get to Michigan Creek at 12k. Here you will find the massive boiler of the Michigan that wrecked here in 1893.

Starting the West Coast Trail from Pachena Beach you will notice the trail markers start from here and you will soon spot the 1 kilometre marker. They continue until the 75 kilometre marker just before the trailhead exit at Gordon River. Hiking to the 14 kilometre mark at Darling River is a good distance for your first day on the trail. Having a nice place to camp is a very important part of the West Coast Trail. As you will likely be camping at 5, 6 or 7 different campsites out of a possible 13 campsites along the trail, picking the best ones make your adventure much more memorable.

West Coast Trail Day 1 Map

  Day 1 Pachena to Darling Day 2 Darling to Tsusiat Day 3 Tsusiat to Carmanah Day 4 Carmanah to Walbran

Day 5 Walbran to Cullite Day 6 Cullite to Camper Day 7 Camper to Thrasher

 Michigan Creek at 12k Darling River at 14k Orange Juice Creek at 15k Tsocowis Creek at 16.5k Klanawa River at 23k

Tsusiat Falls at 25k Cribs Creek at 42k Carmanah Creek at 46k Bonilla Creek at 48k

Walbran Creek at 53k Cullite Cove at 58k Camper Bay at 62k Thrasher Cove at 70k

Prologue 1: The West Coast Trail 2: When to Hike & Fees 3: Trailheads 4: Getting There

5: Considerations 6: Campsites 7: Shipwrecks 8: Routes