superb West Coast Trail trip report

Photographer Hank Leukart penned one of the best trip reports I’ve yet seen on our #1 hike in the world

WEST COAST TRAIL, Vancouver Island, British Columbia — After our extraordinary Alaskan backpacking experience this past August, my brother and I had become addicted. For months following the excursion, we daydreamed, researched, and gushed about the possibilities for our next adventure. We considered a number of tempting options, including a Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim hike, a journey along the pristine Lost Coast of California, and even a long trek through remote Patagonia. But then, we read about the Graveyard of the Pacific. …

… When we arrived at the trailhead, Parks Canada gave us and the rest of the “West Coast Trail Class of June 2, 2008” a short presentation about the hike’s dangers. We were warned to use tide tables to time our coastal hiking and avoid being trapped by dangerous swells; we learned that if a helicopter flew overhead dropping tsunami warnings in bottles (seriously!), we would need to immediately drop our backpacks and sprint up towering ladder networks to avoid being swallowed by the sea; we were told to use the cable cars whenever possible to perform river crossings, which made us laugh due to “our extensive river crossing experience”; and we were urged, once again, never to run from a bear (or a wolf or a cougar).

After the park ranger sufficiently scared us, she sold us our trail permits. We donned our 50-pound backpacks (we were arguably overprepared for this trip, with more than two extra days of food and of course, the requisite board games we always take on backpacking trips) and stepped onto the ferry that took us to the beginning of our adventure. …


read the rest on Without BaggageBrothers tackle dangerous surge channels on the West Coast Trail.

The annotated photos are spectacular!

West Coast Trail: Days 1 – 3 Photography.
West Coast Trail: Days 4 – 5 Photography.
West Coast Trail: Days 6 – 8 Photography.


Congratulations to Hank and his brother. That was some adventure!

I instantly subscribed to Without Baggage. And recommend you do too.

1 thought on “superb West Coast Trail trip report

  1. I am hiking WCT in September and I am fairly new to this sport. I have been encouraged to purchase ‘backpacking’ boots rather then ‘day’ trip boots. I am finding that the heavy duty boots I have purchased (SCARPA’s) are very heavy and stiff. I was wondering if you could give me some advice on which boots are more suitable for long treks.

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