Taking the family wagon to Vancouver Island

heypard

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May 3, 2013
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hi all,

Washingtonian crusierhead here, and getting ready to take the family on a little 2 week exploration to Vancouver Island. Always wanted to visit and finally getting around to it this summer (end of july). We are planning to spend most of our time between victoria and bamfield, not interested in the Ucluelet/Tofino area this time around. We've got a few stops planned but a fair number of days without a specific destination. Looking at the BRMB and google earth i can see a number of spots that look enticing but a bit in the dark. Wondering if there are any must see's or places you recommend for camping/fishing between renfrew and bamfield. certainly not asking you to post any of your treasured secrets but i'd be super grateful any info or suggestions you have and are willing to share.

also curious the best resource for info on gate closures. i've looked a few of the timber company sites but not sure that's the best source.

thanks in advance!
cheers
 

cruisedeisel

Toyota's for life
 
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You just gotta weld yourself up a meat plow bumper and smash your way around the gates. Its just what we do.

The unfinished castle up past Sooke potholes is super cool. Sombrio beach is absolutely beautiful. You can watch the locals surf there or just bring a board. Im from mid island so Im sure there will be others that are more familiar with the area you want to explore.
 

heypard

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May 3, 2013
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Ha! I’ll make sure I have that ready for the next trip! Thanks for the suggestions, much appreciated!
 

GTSSportCoupe

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Bamfield is a great destination. Personally my favorite campground I've ever been too is the Pachena Bay one there. Just an amazing place.

You can get the Bamfield via Port Alberni, or you can go via Cowichan lake. Maybe make a loop of it. What I do to find cool new places is keep an eye on BRMB on my GPS. If I see a lake or river close to the road I watch carefully and often there is a little 4x4 track leading into the bush that will take you to an amazing camping/fishing spot.
 
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I hope you enjoy your trip. Hi it’s been so long so I’ve got out much, that most of my favourite spots are either inaccessible or have become subdivisions. What I’m doing is I don’t have any gems left to share.

If you are up for a hike, Shields Lake was one of my favourite spots... but 4x4s are not allowed there anymore.
 

heypard

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May 3, 2013
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Thanks all! We are definitely gonna check out sombrio beach and have reservations at pachena. Curious about the area around carmanah/walbran. Hoping to bounce our way thru maybe bugaboo and walbran mains. Take a look along nitinat lake and rosander main. Any of y’all been out that way? Also read some interesting reports on McClure, flora, and Francis lakes. But it could be cool to explore as @GTSSportCoupe suggests.

Thanks again for the input. We’re looking forward to the trip!
 
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Nitinat is pretty cool if it's a sunny weekend. One of the biggest windsurfing spots around, sometimes a hundred or more out there. Can be fun to watch for a bit even if you don't go in.

I used to go every weekend in the summer, still have my gear but I haven't been in years. Been long enough now that I'm not sure how badly I want to re experience chumming the water and then doing the walk of shame when I bail hard and break something at the far side of the lake..:lol:



As for gates, assume they'll be closed and you won't be far off unfortunately. At least it's been dampish for the last month, so it isn't quite as scary dry as it has been. They even lifted the campfire ban in Cedar where I am, which is a rarity.
 

GTSSportCoupe

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Thanks all! We are definitely gonna check out sombrio beach and have reservations at pachena. Curious about the area around carmanah/walbran. Hoping to bounce our way thru maybe bugaboo and walbran mains. Take a look along nitinat lake and rosander main. Any of y’all been out that way? Also read some interesting reports on McClure, flora, and Francis lakes. But it could be cool to explore as @GTSSportCoupe suggests.

Thanks again for the input. We’re looking forward to the trip!
Carmanah and Walbran are pretty amazing spots. Carmanah actually has a park with proper trails etc. Walbran is more just maintained by hippies. It's pretty well documented how to get to both. There is also an upper Walbran area that I started exploring with one of the other fellows in our club. Some great hiking trails there. It's not protected and could be getting logged now for all I know. I was accessing Walbran from Port Renfrew, but been a couple years since I've gone in there now I think.
 

heypard

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May 3, 2013
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Will do. Thanks again for the info. Appreciate the input!
 
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