East Sooke Trail return inland route (Lifetime Hiking Objective)

February 12, 2022

~ submitted by Matthew Lettington

On Saturday, February 12, 2022, four of us hit the trail on what turned out to be one of the finest February days we could have hoped for. 

The East Sooke Coast trail is one of the club’s lifetime hiking objectives. Along with its incredible west coast character, it has a lot of ups and downs. My first time on the trail was in my first year with the club, 2011. At the time I was surprised about the elevation gain on the trail. I remember being amazed at how remote the hike felt. 

Fast forward to today, the ups and downs are still there but they don’t seem as dramatic as they first did. One shocker is the number of people on the trail. I stopped counting around one hundred. By the time we reached the Alyard Farm end of the trail we were overwhelmed the volume of people on the trail. 

We completed the loop on this trip by returning to the vehicle by going over the ridge system. It was my first time on these trails. Although we didn’t hit take every side trail to the various features, the primary trail left lots to explore. It was a better adventure than I expected. 

The return trip covered over 1000 metres of elevation gain, more than 20 kilometres. It was a fine day in the sun. And, probably the best conditions I’ve ever had on this trail.

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