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9 extremely challenging but worthwhile hikes

By: Josh Lew on June 25, 2013, 12:22 p.m.
West Coast Trail, Vancouver

Photo: BigA888/Flickr

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West Coast Trail

This trail on nature-dominated Vancouver Island has some of the most stunning scenery in the entire Pacific Northwest. Rugged coastline and lush forests surround the path, giving hikers contact with a variety of landscapes. The going is rough, with cliffs that are scaled with nothing more than wooden- ladders, rickety bridges, and steep slopes that require scrambling. And we also have to mention the high populations of bears, wolves and cougars inside the island's Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the park inside which the entire trail is located. At 48 miles, the West Coast Trail is not a particularly long hike, but people have been known to take up to a week to make the journey because of the difficult conditions.