Hiker on Juan de Fuca Trai

Innovators     Coastal Hiking Discovery - Juan de Fuca Trail

Program Cost: $849 including tax    Duration - 6 days                                   

Duke of Edinburgh Award: Adventurous Journey

  • Bronze preliminary training, practice journey & qualifying journey

  • Silver preliminary training, practice journey & qualifying journey

  • Gold preliminary training & practice journey 

Program Dates:
  • Aug 2 (Prep Day) & Aug 11 - 15 (Trail Days)

Overview - 6 Days - Difficulty: Moderate/Challenging - Classification: Coastal Backpacking
The Juan de Fuca Trail offers an excellent setting for your first year in our ReWild program. The diversity of this 5 day, 47 km trail offers students a tough, yet rewarding challenge. Along the trail we will experience the roaring surf of the mighty Pacific, the quiet of ancient rain forests, teaming sea life, beach camping, waterfalls, suspension bridges and more. With plenty of mud, obstacles, and unpredictable weather, this coastal hiking adventure will teach students resiliency, teamwork and a passion for enjoying the elements.

A complete itinerary including maps and an equipment & clothing list will be provided upon registration.

Whats included? Transportation from the point of origin and return I.e. Victoria, camping/trail fees, cooking gear, camp stoves, tents, tarps, first aid supplies, emergency radio and/or satellite phone, and professional guides.  

*Gear rentals are available upon request I.e. Sleeping bags, sleeping pads, backpacks etc.

Day One: Travel from point of origin (i.e. Victoria) to China Beach trail head. Once we get to the trail head we will prepare for a 9 km, 4-6 hour hike to Bear Beach. This will be our first test of the journey and we'll set a slow and steady pace to familiarize ourselves with the terrain. Our first campsite will be an excellent place to set up camp and enjoy an evening beach fire.

Day Two: Today will be our most demanding day on the trail. We will break camp early in the morning and begin our 12 km, 7-9 hour journey to Chin Beach. With lots of mud and elevation gain and loss, we will test the limits of navigating the rugged west coast. Along the trail we'll find massive stands of Sitka Spruce and Western Red Cedar trees, expansive ocean views, waterfalls, and a unique emergency shelter. Tonight we will camp along Chin Beach, reflect on our accomplishment and rest our tired feet.

Day Three: Today we will break camp at Chin Beach and make our way to Sombrio Beach 8 km, 5-6 hours. While this is a shorter and less demanding day, the terrain is still tough, and we must maintain a good pace for the group. We will be in and out of the forest today, and with many great view points, we will have to keep an eye out for Whales and other sea life. After lunching at Sombrio Point, we will wind our way around rocky headlands and over cascading waterfalls to one of Vancouver Island's most iconic beaches.

Day Four: Today will be another exhilarating day. We will leave Sombrio Beach and make our way to Payzant Creek 11 km, 6-8 hours. We will find ourselves along vast rock shelves following the oceans edge and in the forest along boardwalks and muddy trails. This a common stretch of trail to view Black Bears, Bald Eagles and other coastal wildlife. Today will be our first and only night camping in the forest. 

Day Five: Today we break Payzant Creek camp and hike the final stretch of the trail to Botanical Beach 7 km, 4-5 hours. This is a beautiful stretch of trail, with the Botanical Beach tide pools being the highlight. Before hiking to the parking lot and the trail's end, we will have an group reflection and adjournment on the beach.  


Once we arrive to the Botanical Beach parking lot, we will get ready for our journey back to civilization i.e. Victoria.

Program Components

Program Preparation  - 1 full day


All ReWild programs involve bringing the group together for program preparation days. Skills development, group building,  and individual and collective goal-setting is an integral part of the journey ahead. During our prep days we will focus on the fundamental skills necessary to set-out into the back country. We will also use this time to understand and select an inquiry topic for the program.

Prep Day - Location - Victoria, B.C  *(depending on group sign up, other locations may be arranged)

Participants will plan and carry out tasks in a variety of areas in preparation for the expedition:


  • Equipment - Managing equipment lists and sourcing requisite materials for the adventure.

  • Trip Planning - Itinerary, campsite selection, leadership roles etc.

  • Food - Meal planning, shopping, budgeting and designation of cooking responsibilities.

  • Program/Education - Scheduling of activities and tent groups, and arranging for participant inquiry presentations.

Skills experience:

  • Trail travel (with pack weight)

  • Map reading

  • Equipment use

  • Leave no trace ethics

  • Emergency procedures

Individual Inquiry Topic - Inquiry Stage

Participants will research their topic prior to the trip and may choose to bring print outs or pocket guides along with them (we provide materials for some topics). The goal is to choose a topic that can be easily shared with the group and researched in the field. During the trip everyone will deliver a creative presentation based on their findings, with support from instructors along the way. The presentation can be a facilitated group activity or an informative presentation; it's up to the participant. 


Possible Topics (related to local areas concerning the trip, or the outdoors in general):

  • Naturalism - John Muir, Thoreau

  • History & Anthropology - First Nations, Colonialism, Early Settlers

  • Arts - Local artists, northwest coast art, music, performance

  • Biology – Botany & Ecology

  • Sustainability - Edible Seashore, Environmental Ed

  • Philosophy

  • B.C Weather Observation

  • Astronomy

  • Photography & Videography

  • Creative Writing

  • Backcountry culinary

  • Environmental initiatives (I.e. coastal clean-up)

  • Camp Craft

  • Change Makers - Pick and study a modern day or historical person who is/was an agent of change


*Topics are not limited the above suggestions, but must be approved before selection.

Juan de Fuca Trail Hiking Adventure - 5 days

While on the trail students will be learning to become self-sufficient as individuals and as a team. Our focus is to unleash the students full potential through student centered leadership opportunities. Communication, listening, compassion, creativity, and character are all developed through our comprehensive curriculum. With an inquisitive, hands-on approach, students will be testing the limits of nature and learning how it connects us to the past, present and future of our world.

Skills Experience - Beginner Level
  • Trail travel - Leaders of the day

  • Map reading & compass skills

  • Camp set-up/equipment use - continued

  • Leave no trace ethics - continued

  • Wildlife encounters

  • Leadership styles

  • Wilderness survival skills

  • Risk Management

  • Communication in an outdoor environment

  • Presentation skills - Inquiry topic

  • Plant identification & use

  • Tides - Trip planning, charts, how they work

  • Emergency procedures

  • Reflection & Synthesis (individual/team)

  • Show & tell (significant artefacts, symbols, and experiences and their respective impact)

  • Inquiry topic review

Medical Form 

Please fill out this student MEDICAL FORM and either email it to us at info@gaiawildadventures.com, or bring a signed hard copy to the first preparation day of the program.

Important Registration Info

Please read and sign this IMPORTANT REGISTRATION INFO doc! Either email it to us at info@gaiawildadventures.com, or bring a signed hard copy to the first preparation day of the program.

Area Maps
Juan de Fuca Trail Map