We had a great time on the JDF Trail and I recommend it despite the popularity.
- Our vehicle was safe at the China Beach parking lot although a lot of thefts are reported.
- Economical way to camp with children at a cost of $20/night (3).
- Beaches are busy in the summer, particularly Mystic Beach which was packed.
- Trail is well marked and it is hard to get lost; it follows the water the whole route.
- There is transportation from either end of the trail using the shuttle service using the West Coast Trail Express or West Coast Shuttle.
- The trail rating system is accurate; the most difficult section is quite challenging with a heavy pack.
- The trail can be completed in 2 nights for fit people, but most people seemed to do 3 or 4 nights.
- Trail well maintained but expect a lot of mud; gaiters a good idea.
- Beach sites are spectacular.
- Loads of driftwood when campfires are permitted.
- No booking required, unlike the WCT.
- Fresh water readily available.
- Sombrio is the best camping spot, followed by Bear, Chin and Pyzant.
- You do not need to be an expert to take on this hike.
- 80 km was fine and we could have done the 94 km I planned.
- There are a lot of people on the trail but it did not detract from our trip.
- There are parts where you can fall & die; you have to be careful on these sections.
- Get out and hike; this trip won’t kick you butt….I promise 😉