Things to Do - Sooke, BC (near Victoria, BC)
My wife & I discovered Sooke Basin on Vancouver Island about 10 years ago. On a trip to Victoria, we wanted to see the natural and scenic beauty of southern Vancouver Island and we ended up finding a coastal paradise. Things to do Sooke, BC include hiking, biking, walking, sailing, fishing, crabbing and just plain relaxing. Ecotourism in Canada doesn't get much better than this.
Where is East Sooke, BC Located?
The town of Sooke is only 20 minutes from suburban Victoria on the southwestern tip of the Vancouver Island and there's plenty of outdoor things to do. On the other side of the basin is East Sooke, a rural community of approxiamately 1500 people spread out on forest-covered acreages.
East Sooke, BC is located on a bulbous peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on three sides. The hilly terrain is blanketed in a thick rain forest that's home to BC eagle, heron, owl, raccoon and the occasional black bear. Locals know this area as 'Nature's Gallery'.
What to do in East Sooke?
East Sooke is a quiet coastal paradise where people come to get away from the urban world. Eventhough people say they come to relax and rest, the scenic beauty of nature draws them out to the many outdoor adventures around the area.
Vancouver Island has the mildest climate in Canada. The air temperature is moderated by the waters of the Pacific Ocean that's +10 C year round. In the summer, it rarely gets above +33 C; in the winter, it rarely drops below -3 C.
Summers are dry and hot but the cool ocean breeze keeps the area from getting too hot. Winters are mild and wet. November to March is the rainy season and on occasion, snow will fall at lower elevations but quickly melts within days.
Victoria receives the least amount of rain of the all the major cities in the area since it's partially block from the west by the Olympic Mountains. The average rainfall are as follows:
- Victoria - 26 inches
- Vancouver - 38 inches
- Seattle - 36 inches
- Portland - 37.5 inches
- Possession Point - Best spot to see a west coast sunset.
- Roche Cove & Anderson Cove - Most romantic (& sheltered) places to kayak.
- Coolest hikes in the area can be found in East Sooke Park:
- Pike Road - Easy hike leading to great views of theOlympic Mountains. This is the other end of the Coast Trail.
- Aylard Farm - Short, easy walk to a sandy beach. This is one end of the Coast Trail.
- Anderson Cove - Moderate hike through the second-growth forest (no ocean views),
- Mount Maguire - Easy hike at first but the last section to the top is strenuous. Nice hill-top views of the area,
- Coppermine Trail - Moderate hike to an old mine shaft. Leads to a rugged coastline. The return trip is a bit strenuous.
- The Sooke Basin is magical during a full moon as the brillant moonlight reflects off of the water. Guided kayak tours are available at Rush Adventures (weather permitting)
- Bioluminescence is a natural phenonenon where plankton in the water will glow as objects disturb them. Running your finger through the water makes an explosion of light, right out a Disney film. A moonlight kayak trip around Victoria is unforgetable!
- BC Eagles invade the area in late-October to mid-February to feed on the spawning salmon.
- There are only black bears on Vancouver Island (no grizzlies) and attacks are rare. But it never hurts to learn how to survive a bear attack.
- Sooke is just one the jewels of BC. Make a circle route to check out the plenty of things to do BC.
Harbours and Boat Ramps near Sooke, BC
There are two public boat launches (the others are private):
- Sunny Shores Marina located on Sooke Road (Highway 14) - 1-250-642-5731. There is a fee to launch.
- Jock's Dock 1-250-642-2218 - has limited parking but call & ask. There is a fee to launch.
- There's a public boat launch at Anderson Cove in East Sooke, but this one is not recommended due to muddy conditions & it's located on a blind corner on East Sooke Road.
- Whiffen Spit - This is a regional park that encompasses a 1 km sand spit that marks the entrance of the Sooke Basin. You'll have spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and access to either the Sooke Basin and the Juan de Fuca Strait. Parking is plentiful but there are BIG potholes in the pavement. Winds can be quite strong as they come off the open waters of the strait.
- Cooper's Cove- Public parking is available but the access point may be muddy at low tide.
- Anderson Cove - Park at the public lot at the nearby East Sooke Park and enter the cove from the flat access point across the street. It can be very muddy at low tide.
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East Sooke, BC is located about 33 kilometers (30 minutes) from downtown Victoria, BC. Experiencing the things to do Sooke, BC will leave you relaxed, recharged and feeling connected to nature.
Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.