Sombrio Beach Trail
The Sombrio Beach Trail is a 1.4 km out-and-back hiking route in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park that is split up into two separate halves on either side of the Sombrio River. Along the western trail, hikers will pass through a beautiful stretch of West Coast temperate rainforest and cross over a swaying suspension bridge to arrive at a rocky beach with views of the Pacific Ocean. Taking the route to the east will lead you through the rainforest to another stretch of beach with a hidden waterfall. Hikers looking to stay the night can also camp on either one of the beaches for a fee.
Join our newsletter
Get a weekly dose of discounts and inspiration for adventure lovers
Route Description for Sombrio Beach Trail
While the parking area at the Sombrio Beach trailhead is fairly large, it is often quite busy, especially during peak hours and on weekends. To secure parking and explore this scenic trail without being surrounded by other visitors, make sure to arrive early enough to beat the crowds. Alternatively, you can make sure that you are one of the first ones on the trail by camping out overnight on the beach. While the trail itself is flat and well-maintained, the beach areas are quite rocky and unsuitable for wheeled vehicles such as strollers or wheelchairs.
Although it is a short hiking route, the Sombrio Beach trail is a fantastic adventure that will allow you to explore the natural beauty of the coastal landscape that makes up Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. The trail is split up into two halves separated by the Sombrio River, with the west portion crossing over a suspension bridge to arrive at the beach, and the east leading through the forest to a hidden waterfall along the beach. Whether you choose to hike to the east beach, west beach, or both, there is so much to do and see along this short hiking route.
Setting out from the parking area, follow the trail to the southwest as it enters into the lush environment of the West Coast temperate rainforest. Make your way along the wide, well-maintained pathways and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the moss-covered forest for a distance of 220 m before arriving at a junction in the trail.
Take the path to the right to make your way across a swaying suspension bridge that spans the flowing waters of the Sombrio River below and hike along the water’s edge for 270 m. At this point, the cover of the rainforest will open up a bit as you arrive at West Sombrio Beach along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Take some time to explore the area and gaze out across the vast blue expanse of the water, before making your way back across the suspension bridge to the junction in the trail.
Once you arrive at the junction, head right and continue your hike through the tranquil forest setting on the way to East Sombrio Beach. After roughly 150 m, you will cross over a small creek and continue on for another 300 m to arrive at the beach. The views here are more or less the same as the other beach; however, heading east along the edge of the ocean for 1km is an optional route that will take you to a small creek, following which will take you through a canyon with a hidden waterfall inside.
After enjoying the amazing views within Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, hikers can either make their way back along the trail to return to the parking area, or set up camp to enjoy a beautiful sunset across the water and a fun night of camping along Sombrio Beach.
Sombrio Beach Waterfall
Although a bit tricky to find, there is a charming waterfall hidden within a small canyon along the eastern portion of this trail. To find it, take the trail through the forest to East Sombrio Beach. Once there, follow along the beach for about 1km in an eastward direction until you find a creek with flowing water. Head up the creek and through the rock canyon to arrive at the falls.
Juan de Fuca Provincial Park
Officially established in 1996, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park covers an area of 15.3 km² along the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island. Recognized as being biologically significant, the area has long been used as a marine research station by various universities looking to study the Pacific Northwest environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you camp at Sombrio Beach?
Yes. Hikers looking to stay the night on either the east or west beach can pay a $10 per person fee at the payment box in the parking area before setting up camp along the beach. This is closely monitored, so make sure to follow all rules and regulations.
How far is Sombrio Beach from Victoria?
Sombrio Beach is located 96.4 km west of Victoria, which is roughly a 2 hour drive or 18.7 km east of Port Renfrew, which is an approximately 20 minute drive.
Insider Hints for Sombrio Beach Trail
- Arrive early to secure parking at the trailhead.
- Remember to pay your fee if you are camping overnight on the beach.
- Head east along the trail to find a hidden canyon waterfall.
- Stick around until the evening for an amazing sunset across the ocean.
Getting to the Sombrio Beach Trail Trailhead
To reach the parking area for the Sombrio Beach Trail from Port Renfrew, drive east on BC-14 for 15.0 km and make a right turn. Continue on for 1.8 km to arrive at the trailhead.
Sombrio Beach Trail Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Sombrio Beach Trail Reviews
Add a comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.