Stage 4 - Lake Cowichan to Bamfield

Distance: 116 km

Riding Time: 3.5 hrs

Photo by heymelmobile


Bamfield is a wonderful secluded little town on the west coast of the Island. There are multiple beautiful beaches near the town and the end of the West Coast Trail as well. Bamfield has a handful of B&Bs that make it a popular destination for those wanting to go for a hike and stay the night. Float planes also operate between Bamfield and Ucluelet.

Special Note

There's no gas station in Bamfield, so fuel up in Lake Cowichan and you may need to bring extra fuel if you're coming back to Lake Cowichan as it's a long distance there and back.

Meetup Location

Meet at the local Tim Hortons before you fuel up in Lake Cowichan.

Food and Coffee

Bamfield has a handful of food options, but nothing stands out as exceptional. Grab a quick bite, look around and continue on to Stage 5 or head back home the way you came.

Scenery: 2/5

There's not really a lot to see on this stage aside from the forest on both sides of the road for most of the stage. There are a few higher elevation passes and a couple clearings with logging activity, but nothing to write home about. The beaches near Bamfield are beautiful, though.

Traffic: 5/5

Very little traffic at all, and most vehicles will politely pull over to allow you to pass when they see you approaching.

Difficulty: 3/5

Moderately challenging, but only due to a few sections of the stage near Bamfield where the gravel becomes bothersome.

Road Conditions: 3/5

The road is in pretty good condition with hard packed dirt covering the most of the stage and a few small sections of pavement. As you approach Bamfield though, the road turns into very soupy marble sized gravel and should be ridden with care.

Photos & Videos

Bridge crossing along Stage 4

Near the middle of the stage, it's paved.

Points of Interest

1. West Coast Trailhead

Visit the traditional end-point of the West Coast Trail and congratulate any hikers you see on completing the very challenging 5-7 day backcountry hike.

2. Cape Beale Lighthouse

Built in 1874, the Cape Beale Lighthouse is located near the West Coast Trail. The trail from Topaltos Beach to Cape Beale Lighthouse is part of the same telegraph route that the West Coast Trail follows.

3. Brady's Beach

Located a half-hour walk from the west-side dock. Bring a picnic and search out the blowhole that reportedly shoots up to 6m when there's a storm.

The end of the West Coast Trail