Beach highlights the wild west coast

On the Pacific Ocean side of Vancouver Island, a huge inlet makes its way northeastward, extending arms in every direction. At its mouth it is scarcely discernible from the open ocean and boasts headlands with surf that will “knock your socks off”.

Hecht beach presents the visitor with a “roaring cauldron of surf.”

On the Pacific Ocean side of Vancouver Island, a huge inlet makes its way northeastward, extending arms in every direction. At its mouth it is scarcely discernible from the open ocean and boasts headlands with surf that will “knock your socks off”.

One of these spots is at the headland guarding Hecht Bay, an exhilarating beach reached by a logging road from Winter Harbour. On this day I arrived in a rainstorm and sketched from under a huge Coastal Pine. Watching at low tide from a safe distance, I could hardly hear the monstrous surf just beyond the dark rocks to the right of the painting.

This beach is not as accessible as Grant Bay, just a little farther inland on this same shore, but is well worth the effort. A stop in Winter Harbour to ask directions is probably a good idea since, with active logging, the access roads here can change.

One of the reasons I like Hecht Beach is its feeling of a still wild, pristine wilderness. There are huge stretches of beach here that have hardly been explored and offer the hiker hope of finding some true “beach treasures”.

This is a place where the enormous tides in this part of the Pacific totally change your perception of a quiet haven of sand into one of a roaring cauldron of surf; a place to remember that you must retrace your steps to get back home!

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