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I am interested in hiking the long West Coast Trail on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, in Western Canada. This is an area with great vistas and the feeling of isolation is probably one of the most intense you can feel without undertaking an extreme expedition.

This trail is located in an isolated area and it is not a loop. So unless someone comes with me, drives me there and basically just waits for me to finish the hike to pick me up at the end, I should rely on public (or private) transportation options.

The trail goes from Pachena Bay (the nearest "town" is Port Alberni but it is still quite far) to Gordon River, next to Port Renfrew.

I would like to be able to reach one trailhead from Victoria/Vancouver (whatever the most convenient is) and then reach Victoria/Vancouver from the other trailhead, relying on any transportation means that would cost less than 250 CAD for the round-trip. I am eager to walk a distance of up to 20 km from/to any trailhead (so reaching the Gordon River from Port Renfrew is OK). Hitch-hiking is probably not an option due to the isolation of the place.

So far I only found a bus to reach Port Alberni from Victoria for less than 50 CAD. I would like some help to figure

  • Did you end up taking the shuttle? I am in the same situation as you were, wondering what the cheapest option could be. – user59335 Mar 30 '17 at 21:12
  • I didn't end up going – Vince Mar 30 '17 at 21:18
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The West Coast Trail Express picks up and drops off passengers between the two trailheads, Victoria, and points in between. It looks like the round trip cost would be well under $250.

Another choice is West Coast Shuttle which offers similar services for a similar cost.

You can probably also find water taxi or float plane services if you want to shuttle in style.

  • 3
    "I float plane to my hikes" ... nice ! – Fattie Jun 9 '16 at 14:31

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