Departure times going to the trail are usually on schedule, so it’s a good idea to plan on being 10 minutes early to catch the bus and get your bags on board. Due to conditions beyond our control, such as excessive logging traffic or the poor condition of the logging roads, we often have difficulty being on time for the return trips. Departures from Pachena Bay may be 15 minutes late, and departures from Port Renfrew and the Juan de Fuca trail heads are occasionally as much as 60 minutes late.
Are the prices listed on the web site for one way or for a return trip?
The prices are one way fares. Those booking return trips receive a 20% discount on their return fare.
Is there a youth/children’s rate?
As children are occupying a seat on the bus, they are charged the same rate as adults.
Do you allow dogs on the bus?
Small/medium sized dogs may be accepted on the bus as long as there are no objections from other passengers. Consequently, we can not make reservations for passengers with dogs. Dogs are not allowed to sit on the seats. Dogs are not allowed on the West Coast Trail.
Are there later departure times from Victoria?
Bus departs once a day at 6:45am.
Are there any other pick up locations from Victoria other than the bus station?
We don’t encourage other places but, we can pick up at the bus stop at Helmkin Interchange, & the Chevron Gas Station across from the RCMP Station on V M Parkway if pre-arranged.
Why is the fare between Nanaimo and the trail heads more expensive than the fare from Victoria?
We hire another bus company to pick up and drop off passengers in Nanaimo. They meet our bus on our route to Bamfield and Port Renfrew.
If I make a reservation for my return trip, what happens if I come off the trail on a different day?
Passengers with reservations for a return trip have priority seating. If you end your hike early or up to two days late, you will be offered the first available seats on the bus before those passengers who did not make a reservation. This does not guarantee seats will be available. Passengers with reservations come first, priority seating – second, walk ons – last.
I had a return reservation, but the bus was full when I came off the trail early/late. Can I get a refund?
WCTE only guarantees seats for passengers on the day of their reservation. Passengers who come off the trail early and do not take the bus should contact WCTE immediately. A partial refund may be available if advanced notice is given. Refunds are not given once the reservation date has passed. Passengers who are more than two days late, but find that the bus is full (and therefore WCTE is unable to offer seats under the priority seating policy) will not receive a refund, but can take the bus the following day if there is room.
I want to book a trip from Nanaimo to Bamfield (or Port Renfrew) – When does that bus run?
We depart from the Departure Bay Ferry Terminal in Nanaimo at 8:20 AM. to Bamfield, and at 2:45 PM to Port Renfrew. It is not a daily service. Reservations are required with a minimum 48 hours notice.
Is there a place to camp at the WCT trail heads?
Yes, there is the Pachena Bay Campground near Bamfield and the Pacheedaht First Nations Campground at San Juan Beach near the West Coast Trail Office and Gordon River Ferry. The campground in Nitinat is located at the north end of the lake, a 5 minute walk from the Village.
I’m hiking the JDF trail & need a ride between trail heads; how I catch the bus?
The bus between Victoria and Port Renfrew can make stops for Jordan River, China Beach, Sombrio Beach and Parkinson Creek. The bus does not leave the highway. Those wishing to catch the bus at one of these trail heads must hike up to the highway to meet the bus. Reservations are strongly advised. The last stop for the bus is Port Renfrew: The Botanical Beach trailhead parking lot is a 2.5 km. walk from this point.
Is the bus included in the fees charged by the West Coast Trail Office / Parks Canada?
West Coast Trail Express is a private company and transportation with us is not included in fees paid to Parks Canada.
I am taking the bus from Victoria to Bamfield/Pachena Bay. Is there a place to stop for a snack along the way?
The bus stops briefly in Port Renfrew before it continues along to Bamfield. There may be time to quickly purchase a snack for consumption on the bus but there is not enough time to dine in Port Renfrew. Please consult the driver before exiting the bus in Port Renfrew.
Can I take the bus from Mill Bay, Duncan, Ladysmith or Chemanius to Bamfield?
No. The regular bus travels between Victoria, Port Renfrew and Bamfield using a combination of Highway 14 and logging roads. It does not travel up the Trans-Canada Highway between Victoria and Nanaimo.
I’m travelling to Washington State after my hike. Will I be able to catch the 7 PM ferry?
The WCTE bus is not scheduled to arrive in Victoria before 7:45pm and may encounter delays en route. Please see above (Does the bus always run on schedule?)
Where do I catch the bus in Port Renfrew?
If you are hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail, you can catch the bus at the road intersection by the Port Renfrew Hotel. (Parking lot and the Port Renfrew Resorts sign are also at this corner) If you are hiking the West Coast Trail, you can also catch the bus at the WCT Registration Office in Gordon River at the entrance to the campground.
How do I get to the WCT Registration Office?
For the Port Renfrew Trail Head Office, follow the signs as you are entering Port Renfrew. You will turn right at the road across from the Recreation Centre, go down a slight hill, cross the bridge, and go onto the Pacheedaht Reserve. Keep left at the fork in the road. It is on the Pacheedaht Reserve at the entrance to the campground. The Bamfield Trail Head Office is 4 km. south of the town of Bamfield.
Where can I stay, that is close to the bus station in Victoria?
There are dozens of hotels within walking distance. You can look at our web site for links to some recommended places, including a few hostels. From the ‘home’ page, go to the ‘links’ page, then go to 'accommodations'.
Is there a day hike I can do that lets me experience the best of the west coast?
The hike from Parkinson Creek to Botanical Beach is fantastic! Take our 6:45am bus to Parkinson Creek. Walk through old growth forest, limestone cliffs by the sea, see a sea lion haul out, and the tide pools at Botanical Beach. You can walk into Port Renfrew to have a snack while you wait for our 5:45pm bus back to Victoria.
Does our bus travel in and out of the Village of Nitinaht?
The West Coast Trail Express is no longer completing the connection into Nitinaht Village, as we have in the past. A local group in Nitinaht Village will now meet our bus at Nitinaht Junction, transporting hikers the 6 kms in/out of the Village to make the connection. They charge $20 cash per person for this service. As this was a last minute change, we have lowered our fare in/out of Nitinaht by $20 to ease this transition.