Up and Down Florencia Bay

Allen is a surfer and among the many things he told us (all in surfer slang and most of which I didn’t understand) were prime locations for crowd free beaches and waves.   We ignored the sweet spot around Radar Hill as it involved scrambling down a ‘rabbit hole’ and then scrambling back up.  Instead we sought out the beach on Florencia Bay.  Access is through Willowbae Trail in the Pacific Rim National park, an easy hike through second growth rain forest.

Second growth refers to trees replacing old growth cedars. You can recognize second growth trees by their narrow girth and high tops.  The tree canopy is so high, it’s mesmerizing to tip your head back and stare. It seems like given a clear swatch of space, the trees shot up to the stratosphere.

Willowbrae Trail
Tree top canopy

The trail was easy but long.  Ten minutes in I noticed that we were climbing up.  Not a good sign when heading towards a beach.  What goes up must come down.   Sure enough, at the end of the trail was a steep set of stairs.  They were sturdy, soggy and most definitely slippery.  For people with dodgy knees (like me) it was a slow and careful walk down.  But what a reward was at the base – a gorgeous view of the beach and cliffs.

Cliffs of Florencia Bay

Cloudy days make for moody and muted landscapes.  The light however  was wonderful for close-up shots.  Looking down, here were a few.

The mineral rich run-off from a nearby creek creates an abstract painting on the sand


Salt etched driftwood


River rocks at the junction of land and sea

Ucluelet, Canada.  2018



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