Keeha Bay Backpacking Experience – May 13-15, 2016

–submitted by John Young, read it on his blog

Ah, Keeha Bay, one of my favourite destinations on the Island, and this year it didn’t disappoint. Whales in the bay, eagles aloft, bears scrounging along the shore, seals afloat, sea caves, shell fish, flowers, lichen, fungi . . . . Oh, this area is teeming with life!

After driving for almost two hours on the logging road from Port Alberni, we were glad when we neared Bamfield and the trailhead for the Keeha Bay Trail.

Although the trail was not a swamp this year, as in past years, it was still wet in places!

And, the trail is still very rooty too!

But, there has been a lot of new board walk constructed, and this made the going much easier. Beautiful boardwalk, too, made of huge planks of cedar.

I love the forest through here. A multitude of fascinating cedars, dead and alive:

And other fascinating and/or beautiful plants:

Bracket fungus

Fairy puke (yes, that’s the name!)

And countless centipedes:

But of course, Keeha Bay is more about the beach and shore-line. After our  3-hour hike in on Friday, we set up camp beside the creek. There were a few others there; first time I’ve seen anyone else camped there. We had sunny weather hiking in, but it clouded over Friday evening, treating us to a nice, but not spectacular, sunset:

We awoke Saturday morning to heavy overcast, and with low tide at 2 p.m., we weren’t in a hurry to get going. Se we spent a leisurely morning watching whales and eagles. (Although whenever I neared the whales they stopped showboating. Lisa got a lot better photos with her iPhone than I did with my camera!)

And then about 10 a.m. we started off along the beach.

And soon the sand turned into rock, and we scrambled up and down and across the rocks:

with ample tidal pools, interesting sea life, caves and cliffs:

Something’s lunch

and beautiful flowers:

Indian paintbrush


Nodding onion

And we saw a bear, from a comfortable distance, but part of our group had a close encounter with two full-grown bears that came charging towards them before finally spotting the humans and retreating.

Another wonderful experience at Keeha Bay!


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