Parks Canada announced on Friday that the West Coast Trail would re-open for the 2021 visitor season with measures in place to protect the health of remote communities, Indigenous Guardians, visitors, and Parks Canada employees. This decision was supported by Huu-ay-aht, Pacheedaht, and Ditidaht First Nations, after collaborating with Parks Canada.
“We are happy to welcome people back to the West Coast Trail this year. Lead by our sacred principles – ʔiisaak, ʔuuʔałuk and Hišuk ma c̕awak – our priority will continue to be the safety and health of our citizens and visitors,” explains Huu-ay-aht Tayii Ḥaw̓ił ƛiišin (Hereditary Chief Derek Peters). “We are happy to work closely with our Ḥaw̓iiḥ, Parks Canada, and the other Nations to use the lessons we learned in 2020 and apply them in a way that will allow people to enjoy our beautiful ḥahuułi this year.”
The 75-km West Coast Trail will be open to overnight visitors from June 4 to September 30 in 2021. Reservations will open on April 30 at 8am PDT. All three access points, including Bamfield (Pachena Trailhead), Port Renfrew (Gordon River Trailhead) and Nitinaht Village will be open.
Experienced hikers can book their adventure by visiting reservation.pc.gc.ca or by calling 1-877-RESERVE (1-877-737-3783). Advance reservations will be required for all hikers; no spaces will be offered on standby. At this time, the West Coast Trail is only available to Canadians.
Parks Canada and local First Nations are asking visitors to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission by paying attention to local signs and community protocols, completing a self-assessment before travelling to the area, and following the guidelines of public health experts, including travel restrictions.
Hikers are also asked to learn in advance whether First Nations villages are welcoming visitors prior to arrival.
Huu-ay-aht’s village of Anacla, adjacent to the Pachena trailhead, is currently closed to outside visitors. The Nation and the Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses are in the process of determining when and how to safely open Pachena Bay Campground for the season and will announce details soon. Visitors are welcome to take advantage ofthe locally owned businesses and other services in nearby Bamfield.
Ditidaht First Nation is ready to welcome visitors to the Nitinaht area and asks that visitors show respect to community members and one another. West Coast Trail Comfort Camping at Tsuquadah, Nitinaht Motel, and the Nitinaht Visitor Centre and Store will be open. Nitinaht Windsurf Park and Caycuse Campsite will be welcoming visitors on May 21 with reservations opening on April 7 (www.nitinahtcampground.com). Reservations will be required as there will be no walk-ins permitted.
Pacheedaht First Nation is offering a range of services near the Gordon River Trailhead, including extended stay parking, river crossing transportation, oceanfront camping with hot showers and laundry, shopping at the San Juan Market, and mountaintop lodging at Soule Creek.
To learn more about preparing for the West Coast Trail, check out Parks Canada’s hiker preparation video. Reservations for Green Point Campground in the Long Beach Unit will launch on April 7. Details on overnight camping opportunities and possible reservation opportunities for the Broken Group Islands and Keeha Beach are yet to be determined as Parks Canada continues to work collaboratively with local First Nations and explore safe visitor experience options. Detailed information and future updates on overnight experiences in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve can be found online at pc.gc.ca/PacificRim.