Posted by: cherylyoung | May 25, 2012

MAKE MYSTIC BEACH A PERFECT DAY TRIP TO VICTORIA

 

Make Mystic Beach a perfect day trip to

Victoria

If you want to catch a taste of Vancouver

Island’s wild West Coast, but don’t have

 the time to make the trip to Tofino, head

out on West Coast Road past Sooke to

 hidden Mystic Beach in Juan de Fuca 

Provincial Park.

Although it’s a bit of a workout (and we at

Diversified advocate physical exercise as

 a basic panacea for improving health

 and well-being), with a little bit of

preparation almost anyone can make

 the hike down from the parking lot to

 beautiful, isolated  Mystic Beach.

 

But why go in the first place?

 Mystic Beach is  possibly one of the most

spectacular beaches on Vancouver Island.

To get there, take a long trail that twists

through  Western red cedar and Sitka

spruce forest  down a steep series of

log ladders to a pebble beach.

The most magnificent feature of this

 beach are the sandstone cliffs that

 tower above the ocean, and at certain

 times of the year there are even small

waterfalls trickling down  onto the beach.

The south end of the beach ends with a

rocky  jumble of borders stretching out

 into ocean, and just around the headland

(inaccessible unless you’ve brought

 a boat) lies China Beach.

The north end of Mystic Beach is also

 bounded in by a steep and rocky

headland, and also marks the start of

 the Juan de Fuca trail, a tough,

multi-day hike stretching north to

 Sombrio (once famous for a resident

family of surfers)  and Botanical Beach.

Because of its sandy shoals stretching

 out into the sea, Mystic Beach is also

a favourite for grey whales as they

migrate south to the Baja calving

area each spring.

A good time to watch for grey whales at

 Mystic Beach is in late March and April.

The summer months often bring harbour

seals,  Steller sea lions, and California

 sea lions in search of spawning salmon.

Provided they are able to walk 20 or 30

minutes from the parking lot along

 the forest trail to the ocean, Mystic

 Beach makes a perfect day trip with

children.

The tide pools at either end of the beach

are great for learning about sea life,

and if the weather is warm enough it’s

also fun to splash around in the surf

(bringing along life jackets may be a

wise idea).

 The sand itself is pretty coarse, and

isn’t really  suitable for building sand

castles.

 Then again, it is a bit of a hike down

to Mystic Beach, and whatever shovels,

pails and other  sand toys you bring down

will have to go  back up.

So what’s the attraction to Mystic Beach?

Simply because it’s there.

In the best, before the creation of Juan

 de Fuca  Provincial Park, it was a tough

tramp down to the beach from West

Coast Road, over trails that were poorly

maintained.

It’s easier to get to these days, but not

 too easy;  at the parking lot, most v

isitors choose to head down the easier

trail to China Beach, leaving Mystic for

die-hard nature lovers.

 But it’s a good day trip with children,

provided that you like to get out an

exercise.

To get to Mystic Beach, travel north

towards Port Renfrew on West Coast

 Road from the West Shore region of

Greater Victoria.

Stop in Sooke for supplies;

Mystic Beach is located about 5 minutes

past Jordan River.

 Nevin Thompson frequently contributes

blog posts about fitness in Victoria to the

 Diversified Health Clinic website. [end]

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