REGION History

The region is so biologically significant that the University of Minnesota installed the first marine research station in the Pacific Northwest at Botanical Beach in 1901. Since then, the area has been used for research by a number of universities in BC and Washington. When visiting Botanical Beach, please look in the tide pools only – do not touch the marine life. Do not remove, collect or disturb any tide pool life, shells, plants, flowers, kelp, etc. Even touching the water in a tide pool with sunscreen on your hands can create an “oil slick” that could kill the vulnerable creatures in this sensitive ecosystem. Remember to bring your camera, as photographs make great souvenirs.

Photo © Gavin Hardcastle
Average Temp.




Average Temp. 6 8 9 12 15 17 19 20 17 12 8 5




Average Temp. 43 46 50 54 59 63 66 68 64 55 47 42


Raving Reviews – five stars



Such an amazing loop trail with outstanding views! Go at low tide so you can take advantage of the tide pools. And we saw a grey whale!

Reviewed 23 July 2015


“Amazing Tide Pools”

The walk could be a bit long for hiking rookies but it’s worth it. The view alone is great but the tide pools and rock formations are spectacular. If you can, try to be there when there’s large waves. Might want to double check when the tide is out just to ensure you have all the area to play in.

Reviewed 23 April 2015


“Beauty all around”

Lovely views, great for a picnic or just relaxing and taking in the serene beauty. It’s a short walk or you can take the longer loop trail that we did to soak in all the ferns, old trees, and wild flowers along the way to the beach. Better at low tide.

Reviewed 25 July 2015

Botanical Beach

Wild Beauty

At the west end of Juan de Fuca Park is Botanical Beach, one of the richest tidal areas along the west coast. Botanical Beach also has a unique shoreline framed by ridges of shale and quartz, which jut up through the black basalt to form huge tableaus. Botanical Beach is the western terminus for the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail and a popular day trip destination for visitors wishing to observe this sensitive and unique ecosystem. Wildlife viewing at Botanical Beach is best done at low tide, when visitors can walk out across the flat sandstone and granite outcroppings to view tide pools filled with brightly coloured marine life. Make sure to be prepared for the hike to get to the beach!
Take a Closer Look ›

from Victoria
KM 47
First Research station
Biological Habitat

More to see

“Wildlife flourishes in abundance, making bird watching, whale watching and salmon fishing extremely popular pursuits for visitors and locals alike. Birders can check hundreds of species off their lists. Whale watchers regularly sight Orcas, humpbacks, greys and minkes. Anglers fish for all five species of Pacific salmon.”

Botany Bay


Killer Whales and Grey Whales have often been observed swimming past the beach or feeding just off of the points. The best time for seeing Grey Whales is during their migration from the Mexican coast to Alaska during March and April. Both California and Northern Sealions can be found here from late August through May. Harbour Seals are often seen offshore,they can be recognized by their basketball-shaped heads bobbing at the surface. Where you’re at Botanical Beach keep an eye out to see these fantastic animals.

Coastal Experiences

Make sure you experience these wild coast array of things to tempt and taunt the senses.

  1. Distinctively Canadian

    Indulge your senses by viewing the most impressive Canadian Art collections, sampling uniquely local flavours, and experiencing our diverse history.

  2. Stay with us

    Whether you want to stay in a cozy bed & breakfast, cottage or inn, or upgrade to one of the many extraordinary resorts or vacation homes – we have it all. It’s easy to spend a relaxing or invigorating vacation here.

  3. Attend a Festival

    Art, music, and culture. Our region is a hot bed of activity year round. With the Tall Trees Festival, Bluegrass Festival, Sooke Fine Arts Show, our many Art festivals, Canada Day, Festival of trees and the Pacific Rim Whale Festival we celebrate our Island culture and environment.

  1. Hike the WCT

    The West Coast Trail is a world renowned backpacking trail. Open from May 1st until September 30th, this gruelling 75 km (47 mi) trek is well worth the challenge for the breathtaking examples of the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

  2. Sea To Sky Hiking

    Discover the raw beauty and uncharted nature of the CRD. From seasoned backpackers to amateur day hikers you can traverse up to the tallest peaks and back down to the rocky shores of the Juan de Fuca by hiking historical trails.

  3. Going Coastal

    Our Coast has long been inspiration to all kinds of musicians, writers and painters. It is not hard to see why – take a walk through ancient forests with gnarled trees and green canopies, explore hidden creeks and spot eagles taking flight or bears ambling through the undergrowth.