Finding The Hidden Waterfall At Sombrio Beach

“To visit the West Coast, now and always, is to be overwhelmed by its beauty – the blue water and blue skies, the temperate air and the beaches and the looming mountains not so far away.”

Jutting 30 feet above the mossy canyon – Sombrio Waterfall is awe inspiring.

Sombrio Beach is near Port Renfrew on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. It’s a 2 hour and 15 minute drive from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. After Sooke, the road is narrow and winds along long stretches of beaches, passing the tiny surfing community of Jordan River, then nothing but trees, creeks and the pacific ocean.

Every shade of blue paint smooth ocean tumbled stones.

I had seen a vlog earlier in the year about a hidden waterfall at Sombrio Beach and made a mental note to check it out during my Annual Summer Birthday Trip. There are no signs to get there so I’m going to tell you how to find it.

Driftwood scatters the shore line.

Let’s get to Sombrio Beach first. After passing Jordan River , drive 30 minutes North along Highway 14. The land-mass across the water is the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with it’s small towns of Neah Bay, Sekiu and Cape Flattery. My sister and I took a trip out there (that blog HERE).

Across the water the remote Olympic Peninsula, Washington USA

The sign say “Sombrio in 400 ft.”. If you don’t know what 400 ft. looks like, you might miss the entrance all together. Watch for the gravel road to your left. It takes you to the parking area.

Sombrio is part of the Juan de Fuca Trail , a 47 km wilderness marine trail that starts at China Beach and ends at Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew. Once parked, a short 10 minute walk takes you down hill to the beach. You’ll come to a fork in the trail, take the left path straight down. We first headed right and crossed a suspension bridge over the peaceful Sombrio Creek but were met with a steep muddy incline. So son’t go that way!

A suspension bridge crossing Sombrio Creek

Once on the beach, head to your left. The beach is a mix of sand and rocks which can make it a bit of an ankle buster so wear proper shoes. Oh! and don’t forget your water shoes ’cause we’ll be hiking along a creek soon 🙂

Mist lifts over the forest in the distance. It was raining on our drive in.

The walk is 1 km. Watch for the rocky outcrop with the cave and Inukshuk . We stopped to build our own and infused each stone with a wish.

Mine and Seth’s below.

I built my Inukshuk between the crevices

My husband’s classic Inukshuk

After you stop (obviously) to build your own Inukshuk, you’ll see a small stream of water coming out from the forest and cutting through the sand toward the ocean. That is the entrance you’re looking for.

Look for the vertical log and the small stream of water cutting through the sand. This is the entrance.

Before heading in we changed into our water shoes. You’ll be glad you brought them because the way up is through the creek. You’re regular shoes will get soaked and bare feet will be too delicate to walk up the rocky creek.

The water is cold but not as cold as my daily cold showers 🙂

The hike is very easy; only about 5 minutes but you are walking through a creek so be prepared to walk through chilly water. My 9 months of Wim Hof Method came in handy.

The canyon starts to get narrow and the moss covered rock walls feel cool and wet to the touch. The sound of the waterfall can be heard up ahead.

The waterfall comes into view. It’s so impressive! 30 ft high. It fills the canyon with cool droplets of mist that rain down on you.

We were lucky to have the falls to ourselves and took the time to take photos and video footage and of course, many selfies.

We sat on the beach afterward enjoying the packed sandwiches I’d made in the morning and directing people who looked lost toward the entrance of the falls. They’re just too beautiful to miss!

A large log and boulder cover the top of the canyon creating a cave-like feel.

We camped that night at China Beach and slept cozy warm in the truck with visions of waterfalls dancing in our heads.

If you’ve been or if you plan to go, I’d love to hear from you!

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