West Coast Trail

7:14 p.m. on August 19, 2010 (EDT)
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My fiance' and I have just taken up back packing in th last couple years and are heading out to the West Coast Trail in two weeks. I am very excited but nervous. I was hoping for any suggestions, comments, ideas on pretty much anything. We are planning the hike from North to South, we plan to drive and park at the Gordon River Trailhead and take the West Coast Trail Express to Pachena Trailhead. We are planning 7 days for the trip. We have both been reading Blisters and Bliss (great book) but I always find talking with people whom have done the trail more recently always helps.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply.

12:04 a.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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Hi - did you see the recent article here, "The Lure of a Long Trail"? It's interesting and informative ...


Good luck on your hike! :)

8:16 p.m. on August 21, 2010 (EDT)
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712 forum posts

I've completed the WCT 5 times, the most recent was actually a Yo Yo. We hiked South to North to South. I don't recommend this to beginners!

It has been a different experience each time because of the ability to hike the beach, tidal shelf, or upper trail. And then there is the weather. Plan for rain. If you don't get any, thank the gods.

Some recommendations:

-Pack as light as possible without sacrificing your personal comfort level. With so many ladder systems and slippery root systems, a lighter pack has obvious merit.

-Look up once in awhile. Sounds simple, but you tend to spend a lot of time looking at where you are putting your feet on this trek. There is incredible wildlife to see!

-Take beach access, assuming the tides co-operate (you will have tide tables), whenever possible to walk on the tidal shelf and see the whales and sea lions.

-Take trekking poles. Don't argue. Take them. ; )

-Temperatures won't get too low during the time you are there, but there is a lot of humidity so things can get a little damp. If possible, dry your stuff out in the sun during rest breaks.

-Take cash for the Chez Monique experience. I saw her in May - she looked great.

Have fun. Amazing experience.

11:58 a.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks CWF! That was very helpful!

12:05 p.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
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Great Article!! :)

July 23, 2018
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