Hike Rating 9Avatar Grove and Canada's gnarliest tree is an amazing thing to see and finding it is half the fun.  The cute little town of Port Renfrew, know for it's logging, amazing fishing and home of one of the trailheads to the world renowned West Coast Trail, is now reworking it's image to include this fantastic wonder.  Dubbed Canada's gnarliest tree this mammoth cedar will surely leap from the unknown to the feature of millions of tourist photos in the coming days and years. 

  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking Trail ProAstoundingly impressive trees!
  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking Trail ProWell laid out boardwalk & stairs
  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking Trail ProBeautiful drive from Victoria
  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking Trail ProCrossing Gordon River is beautiful
  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking Trail ProFar away & infrequently visited
  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking Trail ProPort Renfrew has a great beach
  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking Trail ProTwo trails through an ancient forest
  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking Trail ProNot hard to find a tent site nearby
  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking Trail ProCoastal Kitchen Cafe is wonderful!
  • Tofino Clayoquot Hiking ConLong drive from Victoria

Victoria Hiking Trails

  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailAvatar Grove  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailBear Hill  Easy Hiking TrailEast Sooke Park  Victoria Hiking TrailElk/Beaver Lake  Victoria Hiking TrailEsquimalt Lagoon  Easy Pay Hiking Trail VictoriaFort Rodd Hill  Easy Hiking TrailFrancis/King  Victoria Hiking TrailGalloping Goose  Easy Hiking TrailGoldstream Park  Easy Hiking TrailGowlland Tod  Easy Hiking TrailGrass Lake  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailJohn Dean Park  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailJuan de Fuca Trail  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailLone Tree Hill  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailMill Hill  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailMount Douglas  Easy Hiking TrailMount Tolmie  Easy Hiking TrailSooke Potholes  Victoria Hiking TrailSpectacle Lake  Easy Hiking TrailThetis Lake  Victoria Hiking TrailWitty's Lagoon

Clayoquot Hiking Trails

  Easy Hiking TrailThe Big Tree Trail  Easy Hiking TrailHot Springs Cove  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailLone Cone  Easy Hiking TrailNuu Chah Nulth  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailRadar Beach  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailRadar Hill  Easy Hiking TrailVargas Island  Virgin Falls  Easy Hiking TrailWild Pacific Trail

Avatar Grove is a 50 hectare area of old growth forest that has shot to prominence in this part of the world in recent years.  It has been embraced as something to be saved, admired and loved, not cut into lumber.  The Victoria based Ancient Forest Alliance is at the forefront of rescuing and protecting Avatar Forest.  They discovered, named and drove it into the world's eyes just a short time before it would have almost certainly have been destroyed and turned to lumber.  The wonderful work done by the Ancient Forest Alliance is hard to quantify, though Avatar Grove is surely symbolic of one of the many battles they achieved.  Avatar Grove is gradually growing into a spectacular hiking destination just a short drive from Port Renfew and only a couple hours from Victoria!  Not only did they discover and save this beautiful place from destruction, but they spurred the creation of this phenomenal grove into a destination for thousands of visitors to enjoy forever.  Wooden stars and a boardwalk have been constructed and new additions are added frequently.  There is even a viewing platform for the gnarly tree at an ideal location to take in the view and minimize the impact of people trampling the giant roots of these enormous tree.  

Avatar Grove Trail Map

8Avatar Grove and Canada's gnarliest tree is a couple hours drive from Victoria and the drive is very scenic and takes you along the beautiful coast of Vancouver Island.  The various sections/trailheads of the Juan de Fuca Trail are all easy stops on the way to Avatar Grove.  East Sooke Park, Witty's Lagoon, Fort Rodd Hill and many more sights are also located along the way.

Gordon River Near Avatar Grove

Just before you arrive at Avatar Grove, you drive across a long bridge over Gordon River and this is the wonderful view you get.  Vancouver Island is extraordinarily beautiful!

Gordon River on the Drive to Avatar Grove

Ascend Into Upper Avatar Grove

Avatar Grove Trailhead

The Amazing Gnarliest Tree in Canada

Avatar Grove Gnarly Tree

Avatar Grove Giant Cedars

Avatar Grove Giant Cedars

Directions Map to Avatar Grove

Directions to Avatar Grove

  1. Drive to Port Renfrew along West Coast Hwy #14.  (2.5 hours from Victoria and excellent signs direct you the whole way)
  2. Immediately upon reaching Port Renfrew turn right onto Deering Road, zero your odometer.
  3. At 0.2km cross a long one lane bridge over the San Juan River.
  4. At 1.4km bear left.
  5. At 2.7km pass the red West Coast Trail hiker registration building on your left.
  6. At 3.9km bear left and cross another large, one lane bridge over San Juan River.
  7. At 4.3km turn left at the T junction at the end of the bridge.
  8. At 4.7km pass the turnoff to Pasheeda Shores on your left.
  9. At 5.3km pass the turnoff to Port Renfrew Marina on your left.
  10. At 9.3km bear left at the Braden Main sign.
  11. At 9.5km cross a third large, one lane bridge over Gordon River, this one with incredible views.
  12. At 10.4km bear right.
  13. At 11.0km pass the little white 42km sign.
  14. At 11.2km cross the little bridge and immediately park on your right.  From where you parked, look for the Upper Avatar Grove trailhead sign and stairs ascending into the forest on the left side of the road.  From the trailhead to the gnarly tree is about a 10 minute walk through steep terrain.  The Lower Avatar Grove is on the right side of the road and descends quickly into the forest.

Avatar Grove Directions Map

Discover Avatar Grove at HikeInVictoria.com

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