Botanical Beach and Tidepools

Botanical Beach and it’s tide pools are one of our favorite hikes. It was relaxing compared to Parkinson Creek Trail which we were all hurting from the day before. By the tide pools, we rock scrambled a little to get to the other beach that connects to the trail. It was a nice change of pace climbing along the shore.

Botanical Beach is 2 hours drive from Victoria and part of the Juan de Fuca Trail. Since we stayed in Port Renfew, we were able to sleep in just a bit before we headed out. We took our sweet time getting to the tidepools. We lingered on the paths because Toni was hunting for mushrooms and banana slugs to photograph.

The weather wasn’t wet enough for mushrooms and banana slugs to be out in large numbers. It was unseasonably dry when we were there.

There is a resident bear and her cubs that reside here but we didn’t have any luck spotting them. She came out a few weeks before and a few days after we left. Nature was playing hard to get with us this trip.

The water was crystal clear in the tidepools. I felt really bad walking around them because they have snail shells everywhere and I didn’t want to crush them. Low tide is the time of day to come and see one of the many wonders of earth, a tiny world within our world.

You can see anemones, mussels, snails, fish, larvae, and other life.

Don’t fall in the tide pools, this can be a very stinky affair. Toni fell in a little while taking pic and made her shirt smell really fishy. It can also be really slippery walking around here so be careful.

Killer and grey whales can sometimes be spotted off shore. We didn’t see any.

The park has trails of all difficulties, we took the easy ones.

Shale and quartz that marble through basalt rock, the terrain is very scenic.

We weren’t able to get a good picture of the bald eagle.

To learn more about Botanical Beach click here.

Just a funny moment: On this trip at this beach, Toni and I were talking. I was saying something about my cousin who lives in Southeast Asia part time, travels all over there by himself, and tells me it’s safe for me to go by myself. Then I reflected upon another guy I know who thinks it’s safe for us, his wife and I to travel to any neighborhood in NYC by ourselves. I said something like, “Some guys really annoy me because they don’t seem to understand it’s not safe being a woman. As a woman you can’t just go anywhere, you always have to watch out for yourself, they don’t get followed going home, they don’t have unwanted weird interactions with creepy guys, etc.” Toni said something in understanding, I don’t remember what exactly. Then I said, “It’s really scary getting followed. It annoys me that guys give out such stupid advice to women. They don’t deal with what we deal with.” Toni responded, “And you’re scared of this,” waving to the ocean and the woods. I nodded yes and she said, “You’re such a city person.”

Good point Toni! She really had me thinking – I can handle feeling not safe in the city but I need a lot of hand holding on ledges with no rails along and on plank bridges. Head scratch moment. Then I realized, the city is my woods (think of buildings as trees because our trees are tiny compared to the forests we’ve been to) and my dangers aren’t wild animals, it’s predatory people. We have our similarities with our rural areas and our differences. If we look and reflect, we can see some similarities but they have different twists. Where we grow up shapes us but doesn’t mean we can’t adapt. I’m having fun getting out of my comfort zone and enjoying things I used to be afraid of.


14 thoughts on “Botanical Beach and Tidepools

      1. It’s an amazing part of the world, that’s for sure! That was where I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first place (In Northern California, just south of the Oregon border), though I was close when I saw Puget Sound a few years before that.

  1. It looks gorgeous out there! When did you visit the area? Whenever I’ve visited the Pacific Northwest anytime except the summer, it’s usually rainy and cold. On the north coast of California, it can be chilly and wet even in the summer. (Not so much recently, though. I think we’re headed for another drought.)

    It’s true, that it’s harder for women to travel alone. In some countries, a woman walking on the street by herself with no male relative or husband is regarded as having “loose morals” and by extension is “asking for it.” There’s also discrimination against single female travelers at certain hotels and restaurants (your reservation is suddenly “lost,” the maitre’d snubs you and seats all of the couples first, the shopkeeper won’t even acknowledge you when you come in).

    This isn’t to say single women shouldn’t travel: it’s just acknowledging the challenges and that a woman has to do a lot of planning and be alert when she travels alone to an unfamiliar place. Just like traveling in the wilderness!

    1. We have the craziest luck traveling, we tend to have good weather except if we travel in the NE – rain. Banff was unseasonably cold, Vancouver Island we were there end of Sept/early Oct and it was unseasonably dry. We packed rain gear but didn’t need any of it except for the grizzly tour. The tide pools were so cool. This is a hike we’d like to do again. The trail is ok for someone with crappy knees but the rock scrambling may be tough. We did the scramble so we could see the tidepools. Vic really wanted to swim in them. Heck no, they are stinky smells like fish. On the trail there were people with canes! If they can do it, I can do it.

      I didn’t know that about restaurants! Jerks. How rude, a paying customer is a paying customer.

      It really does bother me how some guys think being being a woman is the same as a guy when it comes to safety. What happens if they give that terrible advice to someone who is naive and doesn’t know any better.

      1. I had a guy tell me I should give up my car for a bike, and boasted that he rode his bicycle everywhere, even at night. I got really mad at that: no way am I, a single woman, going to ride my bicycle at night in this neighborhood. Besides the traffic safety issues—people in CA drive too damn fast, even in bad weather and at night—there have been news stories here about cyclists being jumped by gangs and having their wallet and phone taken (after they’ve beaten up the rider). As it is, I have to check who’s on the street before I get out of my car at night. You can’t take personal safety for granted when you’re alone and female.

  2. Beautiful photos, but, as a man, I thank you for the thoughtful reflections from a woman’s perspective. I have only recently started my solo travelling, and I am conscious of how much easier it will be for men than women to go where they want to when they want to, but most importantly without the unwanted attention.

    1. Never thought about it much until my friend’s husband thought we were paranoid when I mentioned that I like Red Hook, Brooklyn but you have to be careful at night. I went home asked Vic and he said, “Red Hook isn’t the greatest area.” It’s better now than it used to be but you have to be careful.
      Thats when I really started to think about the differences. To be honest, I know some women that don’t mind the catcalling and that kind of stuff. Baffles me.

      Never seen tide pools like these. So peaceful.

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