Canada’s west coast shapes the people as much as it shapes the geology. The Pacific Ocean slams into the land with giant waves and abundant rainfall. Vancouver Island lies about 51km (32 miles) off the mainland west coast of the country. Its location straddling the 49th parallel ensures mild temperatures.
The conditions on the west side of the island are perfect conditions for a temperate rain forest. Temperate rain forests are very rare. They are usually difficult to access, but here they can come with a well maintained boardwalk.
One of the adjacent islands has active hot springs. The small, hot stream results when water seeps into geologic faults and encounters heated rocks. Here, it emerges close to the ocean as a little stream and waterfall into some small pools.
The pools can be difficult to access as the area is kept in its natural state. We accessed the pools on a winter morning and found them deserted. Summer has a reputation for many soakers.
The hot springs are a good reminder to locals and visitors alike that this is an active geologic area.
Winter is best for storm watching. The waves, and the rain, can be impressive. And dangerous. Coastal people know to never turn your back on the ocean. The photos describe the west coast in winter better than words.