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.
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
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!
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First Research station
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“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.”
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.