teeming with life

Botanical Beach (and adjacent Botany Bay) is a mind-blowing must-see. Shady upland trails open to windswept beaches and sandstone moonscapes. One of the richest intertidal zones on the West Coast, the tide pools here teem with marine life: Giant green anemones, ruby red starfish and spiny sea urchins. The cavernous basins are like the footprints of giants.

The site of a former marine research station, the beach is now a protected home to hundreds of species of plants and animals. It’s also the terminus for the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Hours of fun for beachcombers of all ages.

field notes

  • Getting there: 5 km from town and a 20-minute walk from the parking lot
  • The day-use area offers parking, visitor information and picnic areas
  • A low tide of 1.2 m or less is best for viewing
  • The waves and tides are unpredictable here. Check conditions before you go and keep one eye on the water. On the upside, you might glimpse whales gliding past
  • Enjoy the flora and fauna but please leave it where you find it — this is sensitive habitat