Mystic Beach

A rainforest hike with Toni Chalk was exactly what our souls needed.


Hiring a guide made it so much more relaxing, having someone take care of it and we really like Toni. We’re booking with her again when we go back in Fall 2017. She likes to take pictures, we like to take pictures, we went at our own pace, it was great. She really cares for the environment, she’d pick up as much garbage as her pack could fit. Her friend John came along and he was pretty cool. We’d like to squat in her backyard if Trump wins and seek asylum in Canada. Yes, Toni, we invited ourselves into your garden without permission but our political situation is scary. You can check out her website here. She’s quite the photographer.


We needed to see trees, lots of them, really tall ones, old ones and we saw lots and lots of trees.


On our first day we got to check out Mystic and China Beaches along the Juan de Fuca Trail on Vancouver Island. The Juan de Fuca Marine trail is a 29.20 mile (47km) long. It goes from China Beach to Botanical Beach right outside Port Renfew. The Olympic Mountains from Washington State can be seen along many parts of this trail (we even got a US phone signal every once in a while). Some use this trail for day hikes, others go on a multiday hike which takes 4 to 6 days depending on your speed. The park has areas of old growth Sika spruce trees and ancient red cedars. A lot of the park is second growth and recent tree plantings from clear cutting in the 1970s to 1980s.


I don’t mind suspension bridges. I have a fear of heights but I’m okay in certain situations like these but there is one suspension bridge and mountain that weirded me out. I’ll get to that several posts later.


The river below.



There are a few boardwalks and some don’t have railing, the ground is uneven so watch your feet. If you want to take a pic, stop and then shot. Don’t do it while walking, you can hurt yourself. Our guide started her tour by saying that.

These roots were almost as big as us on the fallen tree.


Rope leftover from logging days.


The walk in the woods to the beach was amazing and it was here that I realized 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have done this hike.

So glad our wide angle could kind of fit these two.



There’s Toni and look at that the water.

We met a really beautiful dog adopted from a shelter. Her name is Pepper and she really likes to dig holes. I love watching people hike with their dogs, they look so happy.


Toni is so right – who would get rid of this dog? She is sweet, playful, loyal and a fun companion. A lot of people do it and it’s despicable. Adopt Don’t Shop. Spay and Neuter.


Awwww. She makes me want a dog.

It’s a really safe island too. You can leave your backpack on the beach and walk around. Just watch out for those crows, they stole Toni’s lunch.


This is better in person.


Swing for the brave. They told us every year someone takes down the swing and someone puts it back up. There’s a waterfall in the distance.


I’ve always wanted to see the Pacific Northwest after seeing the movie Goonies, it’s a great movie. This view was everything I could ask for.




Driftwood never stays in the same place.


There’s a small cave too.



There’s John.

Toni identified trees, plants and that little jelly disc below but we forgot almost everything. Usually I write notes in my phone for my posts but on this trip I wanted to enjoy the scenery.





17 thoughts on “Mystic Beach

  1. Envy, envy,envy! LOL I loved The Goonies too. What an awesome hike, even a cave like the movie. Thanks for taking such great pics, dog included.

    1. My first real hike! I admit some areas weren’t my happiest but it wasn’t that bad. I’m a city girl through and through so more practice in the woods the better I’ll get. Pepper was such a sweet dog. We didn’t get a pick of it but she dug a really really deep hole.

      1. I’ve been on “sissy trails” – smooth walkable paths. This one was rugged. I have bad knees so they were a little swollen about 3 weeks after this trip. Next time I’ll ice after each hike but I had a bad cold and didn’t want to deal with anything on this trip.

  2. If you loved The Goonies, you’ll have to visit Astoria, Oregon some day. The coast there is even more spectacular than Mystic Beach. (From looking at your photos however, you’re going to be really hard to impress after BC! 😉 ) Northwestern beaches are gorgeous, though one thing I don’t like is that they tend to be rugged, with lots of rocky cliffs, steep climbs from the road to the beaches, and occasionally paths blocked by massive piles of driftwood left by the tides. People laugh at me for bringing heavy duty hiking boots when I go to the beach in Northern CA, but I usually end up laughing when I’m the one climbing over boulders and down steep paths while the people wearing sandals have to sit on top of the overlook. 😀

    Pepper is beautiful. I really wish I had a dog too, but they need space or at least an owner who likes walking a lot. I don’t have space and there are too many days where I don’t get home until after 7 p.m. Not fair to the poor dog.

    1. I wish I didn’t wear my birkenstocks to Point Lobos! I already have clumsy feet. I was terrified on that walk and it wasn’t even that bad. I have ledges but my fear of heights has its quirks. I can tolerate certain things and I’m others I get vertigo. I’d love to see Oregon and speaking of Point Lobos, I’d love to go back. We loved Carmel by the Sea.

  3. Such an incredible set of photos, and you could not have chosen a better hike ~ wow. So impressive, and a great coastline and feel for the forest… The Oregon Coast has perhaps the most beautiful coastline and such amazing views, but you’ve captured something special here 🙂 Awesome…

    1. My first “real” hike” The guide was worried I would flip out since I’m pretty phobic of bugs but for them a lot of bugs was very little compared to where we’ve been on the East Coast. Can’t wait to go back. You’re from Oregon? Had to be incredible growing up with the beauty of the Pacific North West.

      1. The Pacific Northwest is great, had both the Cascade Mountains and Blue Mountains in Oregon and the Olympics in Washington State…and then the incredible coast as well 🙂 Hope you get to spend more time out here hiking…so much to see 🙂 Enjoy the week ahead.

    1. Still have to get a fish eye lens. Have always wanted one. Our biggest regret is not bringing the macro lens to BC. Dumbest thing ever. We didn’t plan on the garden but ended up going. It would have been great on another hike. We were lucky no one else booked since it was still early in the season so it was like we had private tours. Next time. The camera gear is so heavy. Have you guys used the wide angle in cityscapes? There’s so much distortion they don’t look right. Haven’t figured out how to make it work in that situation. Awesome for the outdoors.

      1. Using a fish lens could be fun. We don’t have one as we fear to get tired of it. Maybe one day.

        We use wide angle very often. In Venice and Stockholm it was very useful as the streets are very narrow and the buildings very tall 🙂

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