Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mystic Beach - The Juan de Fuca Trail

I had a great time hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail - well, a little piece of it anyways...I walked to China Beach and back; then did a 2km section to Mystic Beach and then back again, parking my car in between the two. 

Yes, I know I was breaking the #1 cardinal rule of hiking, (don't hike alone), but I was seldom alone. As I hiked towards Mystic Beach I passed a mom hiking with her 3 year old boy! I told the kid he was making me look bad! 

 This part of the trail was considered "medium difficulty" with further sections considered "very difficult. I saw a group who were leaving to do the whole 47km over a couple of days - I doubt I'll ever do the whole length. First of all you have to apply for permission and secondly you need to hike in a group. Only a certain number of hikers are allowed at any one time and it fills up early in the year.

I found it challenging enough - I lost the path many times and did some "bushwhacking" - whenever I spotted a bit of boardwalk I knew I was on the right path.  With so many tree roots it was often hard (impossible) to detect where the path was. A lot of the boardwalks were under water and under mud and I'd have to detour around to keep from getting bogged down in the mud. The whole time I could hear water trickling under foot.

 A perfect environment for ferns! There's a path there somewhere!

 Photo below: now I know why my nose is always burnt!  Note to self: need bigger hat!

At one point I had to cross a suspension bridge over Pete Wolfe Creek - my least favourite type of bridge!

Wibble wobble wibble wobble...

Made it!

 Various sections of boardwalks and bridges were in need of some repair. I almost took a tumble where this section turned to the bridge - a few boards had rotted through.

 And then there were the stairs! Going down! ...and down...and down...

Bit of caution tape to warn of crumbling wooden slats...

...et voila! Mystic Beach! There's the group of serious hikers lounging about :0

 It was a beautiful beach with a few grotto like areas that did make it seem mystical...love the depth in this photo...

There's one little waterfall...

...my favourite waves crashing photo...

...lovely big rocks in the water...

I didn't stay in this spot too long - the tide was coming in and I'm always afraid of getting caught!

 Another waterfall...

 ...a sweet little grotto...

...and another...Mystic Beach has earned it's name...

And CRASH!

Ummm - time for those folks to move away from the incoming tide - there's a rope hanging from somewhere which I'm sure gets put to good use once the water is higher...



...what a magical place!

 Time for me to head back UP.

Hiking back didn't seem to take as long.

Here's the monster that I made :) Go check it out!




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