A Hike Around Botanical Beach

I arranged for a small group from my local photo club to go on a day trip to Botanical Beach.  The beach is best seen at low tide, when the many unique features can be more easily observed, and the water doesn’t keep you off the beach.  This took a bit of coordination to get the timings right and as the day approached, it looked like we might be more in danger of getting wet from the rain than the ocean.

black and white image of Botanical Beach showing rocky shore and some trees under dark clouds
Moody clouds over Botanical Beach, BC.

Fortunately, as we departed for the beach that morning, the clouds had lifted and we were provided a mostly sunny day to explore the natural wonders.

tide pools filled with flora and fauna on the southwest edge of Vancouver Island with some fluffy white clouds
The intriguing landscape of Botanical Beach

The natural differences in the rock along with the actions of the tide and marine life combine to create a very interesting landscape.

rock filled holes on the beach
It almost looks like the surface of an alien world

While it is a somewhat remote location (about two hours drive from Victoria, BC along a twisty and sometimes rough road) it can draw large crowds, especially on a sunny weekend.  Fortunately, we had arrived early and mostly had the beach to ourselves for the first couple of hours.

a like of people walking across the shore while a lone photographer faces the other direction
Hikers cross the beach while a photographer turns away

A closer look at some of the holes in the bedrock reveal they are all different and contain many forms of life.

holes in the bedrock contain forms of saline and large rocks
Unique in shape, size and contents
a close look at one of the naturally carved potholes
Rocks of various size sit in the holes

Not all of the beach is smooth rock filled with these holes, though.  Some of it is much more rugged.

rock showing signs of upheaval
Farther along the beach the type of rock changes noticeably

It is not only the tide pools and beach that provide something interesting to look at.  The cliff walls surrounding the beach are also weathered and have fascinating features.

unique geological features of Botanical Beach
Round rocks on the wall and rocky slabs that form toes are all part of the wonders of the beach

While most of the rocks are interesting because of forces of nature, some are interesting because of the actions of people.

rocks piled in a stack infant of a rock face
Leaning tower of rock

I usually get out to Botanical Beach about once a year, but with all there is to see there, it is a place you could keep going back to and see something different every time.  Being exposed to the open ocean the weather could put on quite a good show at times, but for this visit, it was an enjoyable spring day.

a painterly look at the beach with a ship in the distance
Painted Dreams of Botanical Beach

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