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Mystic Beach Guide : Hiking + Camping

Mystic Beach

   Mystic Beach Overview

 

The broad ocean vista, stunning stretch of sand, and unique collections of random driftwood will all wow you when you finally emerge onto the beach. The Olympic National Park mountains can be seen across the Juan de Fuca Strait on a clear day.

 

Mystic Beach is only 4.3 kilometres past Jordan River. It is located 75.3 kilometres west of Victoria and takes 1 hour and 24 minutes to get there.

 

Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach

 

For many years, Mystic Beach has been one of my favourite hikes. From the parking lot to the beach, it’s about a 2-kilometer (45-minute) hike through beautiful ancient forest on a well-maintained trail.

 

About halfway, you’ll come across a cool suspension bridge. During low tide, you can reach and explore small caves on the western side of the beach, and the waterfall on the east side will undoubtedly pique your interest. You can walk right under it at low tide.

 

The Mystic Beach campsite is the first along the Juan de Fuca Trail’s eastern part, and it features a tiny waterfall cascading from the sheer cliff above the beach area, as well as spectacular views of the rough Pacific Northwest coastline.

Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach

 

Walk from the parking lot to the wooden map board and double-check that you’re on the Juan de Fuca route (not the trail to China Beach). The complete path along the Juan de Fuca Trail is included on the map, but Mystic Beach is the first stop, and the hike is on the easier side of intermediate.

 

Keep following the track into the woodland, staying on the worn path. Although there aren’t many trail signs, the path is well-worn and straightforward. Depending on the time of year and whether there has been recent rainfall, the first stretch can be rather muddy and treacherous, so take your time and watch your step.

 

After a short distance, the trail comes to a suspension bridge that spans Pete Wolfe Creek. Continue along the trail, which continues to step over logs and tree roots, after crossing the bridge. The track eventually comes to a bigger gravel trail, where it turns left and steadily descends. As you descend through the woodland, this stretch is significantly faster to walk through.

 

As you begin to hear the waves crashing on the shore, the woodland becomes thick with trees and calm. Take a few wooden stairs down and cross a tiny bridge across a creek before climbing back up and continue through the forest.

 

The trail proceeds along some stairs constructed out of a fallen tree as the sound of the waves grows louder, veering to the left and making the last descent onto the shore. You’ll come to an entrance just after the log stairs terminate, where you can walk down to Mystic Beach.

 

On the beach, there’s a small waterfall that cascades from the rocky cliffs above, as well as a rope swing suspended from a tree over the cliff. When you get at the beach, look to your left for both of these. The scenery is likewise breathtaking, regardless of which direction you choose to hike, and it’s worth taking the time to relax on the beach before returning.

Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach Waterfall

 

After you’ve had your fill of Mystic Beach, return to the trail’s beginning at the beach and scale the wooden log stairs, fast ascending as you leave the beach area and return to the forest. Cross the wooden bridge and proceed up the steps on the opposite side, following the trail.

 

Before veering right and following the woodland path, the trail continues up the rough, wide stretch, so take it slowly as you gain elevation. Return to the parking area where you started by crossing the suspension bridge and continuing along the route.

 

 

  • Driving Guide
Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach Parking Lot

 

It’s around 75 kilometres from Victoria. Highway 14 is a meandering, gorgeous road, although it isn’t particularly quick, with only one lane (per side) and virtually no passing spaces. From Victoria, it will generally take around 1.5 hours to get there.

 

Take Douglas Street north from downtown Victoria and follow it as it transforms into Highway #1, then take Exit #14 to Langford to the Veteran’s Memorial Parkway, turn right onto Sooke Road, and continue it until you reach your destination. Alternatively, simply follow your GPS.

 

If you’re visiting on a day trip, stop by Witty’s Lagoon and Sitting Lady Falls, or combine Mystic Beach with one or more of the area’s many other attractions, such as Botanical and Sombrio beaches near Port Renfrew, and China, Sandcut, and French beaches near Sooke.

 

The Jordan River region is also one of Vancouver Island’s most popular surf areas. Around Port Renfrew, you should see Fairy Lake’s beautiful small “bonsai” tree, Avatar Grove’s amazing old growth forest, and Big Lonely Doug, BC’s second-largest Douglas fir.

 

Of course, Victoria has a surprising amount of wonderful beaches to visit in addition to all of the usual great sights.

 

  • Check Out This Map

Recommended Reading :

 

  • Camping Guide
Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach Camping

 

Camping is available on the beach at Mystic Beach, which is one of the Juan de Fuca trail’s approved campsites. Before camping at Mystic Beach, you must first obtain a Backcountry Camping Permit, which must be obtained in advance.

 

Visit the BC Parks website for additional information and to obtain a Backcountry Camping Permit.

 

Despite the fact that the Mystic Beach Campground is one of the most popular camping spots along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, no authorised campsites are available. There is a pit latrine but no showers or potable water, so you’ll have to boil or purify whatever water you find in the streams before consuming it.

 

To protect the vegetation, it is recommended that you camp on the beach rather than in the woods.

 

Of course, pitch your tent safely above the high tide line to avoid any unpleasant shocks in the middle of the night (beyond the usual ones). You’ll notice some cleared out sandy patches where people have camped previously if you travel along the treeline.

 

Mystic Beach is an excellent site to acquire a feel for backcountry camping and is one of the greatest places for beach camping near Victoria, BC, due to its proximity to the highway.

 

  • Mystic Beach Waterfall

Mystic Beach Waterfall

Mystic Beach Waterfall

 

When you finally arrive at the beach, you will be awed by the expansive ocean view, the picturesque stretch of sand, and the fascinating collections of random driftwood.

 

All of this is fantastic, despite the fact that it is very identical to the majority of the (more easily accessible) beaches along this stretch of coastline.

 

Returning east down the beach, the famed Mystic Beach waterfall cascades off the cliffs and crashes into the ocean 10 metres below, one of the 9 best waterfalls on Vancouver Island.

 

It’s best to go while the tide is low so you can get up close to the waterfall. It’ll still be amazing at high tide, but you’ll have to settle for distant photos (unless you want to go for a swim).

 

At low tide, you may get up directly underneath it, or even pick your way to the other side unsteadily across the slick rocks, appearing like you’re ready to fall into the jagged tide pools, humiliating and undoubtedly terrible. At least, that’s how Laynni did it.

 

A small cave near the waterfall, as well as a few others on the west end of the beach, can be found. A frayed rope swing dangling from the rock about halfway between the stairs and the waterfall seemed far too short to be of much use, but perhaps the person who put it there would think the same of me. The famed Mystic Beach swing (at least on Instagram) is apparently no longer what it used to be.

 

Given the effort required to get there, many visitors will bring provisions for a picnic and plan to stay and enjoy the beach for a while before returning. Bald eagles, seals, sea lions, humpback whales, grey whales, and orcas are all common sightings at various times of the year.

 

  • Spending A Night At The Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach Camping At Night

 

Spending the night here will provide you with the opportunity to witness an incredible Mystic Beach sunset and sunrise, which is well worth the risk of using a pit toilet for one night. If you wish to build a fire, make sure to use only dried, dead wood and don’t burn for longer than necessary to protect the beach’s resources.

 

Better still, bring some firewood in with you (potentially necessary if there has been lots of rain in the area which is, well, almost always). You should build your fire below the high tide line if you intend to sleep above it, so the embers are snuffed out and washed away when you’re done (but no trash or drying pairs of socks).

 

You must purchase a Backcountry Camping Permit in advance ($10 per night for adults and $5 for children). You can book it online or at the trailhead by leaving exact cash in an envelope (bring a pen to fill out your info).

 

  • Things To Keep In Mind
Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach

 

Don’t leave valuables in your car because robbers know that hikers on the Juan de Fuca are frequently gone for several days. Make sure you have your permit with you and that you take all rubbish out with you.

 

Bears and cougars have been sighted in the region on occasion, so take all the usual measures – put food and anything smelling in the shared container at the beach, or hang it from a tree in a personal bear storage container (well away from where you plan to sleep).

 

You are allowed to bring pets with you, but dogs must be leashed, and don’t expect Rex to protect you from a cougar, no matter how well he defends the tabby next door.

 

Additional Information

 

  • Not Dog Friendly

 

Due to the risk of encounters with wildlife, such as bears and cougars, backcountry trails are not safe for dogs.

 

  • Toilets

 

Pit toilets can be found at the trail’s end at Mystic Beach. At the far end of the lower parking lot, there are also outhouses near to the trailhead to China Beach.

 

Things To Take With You

Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach

 

When going trekking, especially in the mountains, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Long, difficult excursions, of course, necessitate greater advance planning and safety gear, but even small hikes require adequate preparation.

 

Dressing appropriately will enhance your enjoyment of the activity, and having helpful safety items on hand will guarantee you are prepared in the event of an accident (as they tend to). Here’s a quick rundown of everything we always bring, wear, or use while hiking.

 

A good daypack is a must-have. We’ve lately become big fans of Gregory packs, and the Gregory Miwok 18 is a great option for short walks or when you’re splitting your kit between two people. For longer hikes, there’s the Gregory Optic 48. Although 48L seems large, it is a very light and comfortable pack that can be cinched down to make it smaller when not in use.

 

We alternate between using a Camelbak bladder and just a couple of water bottles because hydration is obviously crucial. We also carry a supply of Aquatabs on hand in case we run out and need to treat some river or lake water.

 

They’re small, yet they come in helpful every now and then. It’s also a good idea to bring some refreshments with you. It never hurts to ask, and hikes often take longer than anticipated.

 

Socks that work! Everyone recognises the importance of decent shoes or boots (my current favourites are Salomon Cross Hikes), but wearing good wool socks can make just as much of a difference:

 

Laynni always hikes with compression leggings for further knee, hip, and muscular support.

 

  Final Thought

Mystic Beach

Mystic Beach

 

Mystic Beach is one of the primary attractions on Vancouver Island’s southern coast, and it is well worth the time and effort it takes to get there. Even amid the numerous fantastic beaches in the vicinity, the hard trail, spectacular views, and distinct waterfall make it stand out.

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