Cape Beale Headlands
The Cape Beale Headlands near Bamfield offer several hikes to exposed crescent beaches and to historic Cape Beale Lighthouse. The trails are rugged and very muddy, as access throughout the headlands is along a lowland, swampy drainage region, adjacent to Kichha Lake .
Keeha Beach , Tapaltos Beach and the Cape Beale lighthouse can all be accessed from this trail system. Access to these 3 areas is from South Bamfield road just outside of Bamfield. Parking is provided by the park, about 400m from the end of the road.
Please avoid congestion near private driveways. Access to the actual trailhead, from the end of the road, is well marked. Use the forest trail if high tide prevents walking along the mud-flat shoreline.
Cape Beale Lighthouse +
Cape Beale was the first lighthouse installed on Vancouver Island , and today it continues to mark the entrance to Barkley Sound for mariners. The lighthouse was built in 1874 and sits upon a bluff 51m (167 feet) above sea level. This rocky point is fringed with reefs and over a dozen shipwrecks have occurred here on these rocks. The views from here are nothing short of spectacular, and it gives people a sense of how treacherous these waters are to mariners even today.
About 1.5 km (40 min.) in from the trailhead you will come to a junction on the trail that is marked. Hikers can travel from here to Keeha Beach , or to Tapaltos Beach and the Cape Beale headlands. Take the trail to Tapaltos Bay/Cape Beale westward, as it crosses the Kichha Lake slough over a fallen log. The trail to Tapaltos Beach is approximately 2km. Cape Beale Lighthouse is on an island, about 3 km away from Tapaltos Beach . Allow 2 hours for hiking this stretch. The trail passes through a swampy bog then rises over a steep, rocky hill with drier vegetation and dwarfed trees. At the end of the trail, the lighthouse can be reached by crossing the sand flats at tides lower than 1.8m, so check the tide tables before you go!. It is approximately 12km for the round trip. Allow 8 hours