Avatar Grove & Botanical Beach Visit

I like to go to Botanical Beach once a year if I can and managed 2 weeks ago. Some of the most interesting tide pools in the world. At the same time I decided to visit the new Avatar Grove containing some huge gnarly cedar trees. My wife and I stayed overnight and drove down from Nanaimo to Port Renfrew and visited Avatar then after a nice dinner and sleep I got up at 6AM (low tide) to photograph Botanical Beach. Here is a map to orient you to the area at the south end of Vancouver Island (click for larger view):

Botanical Beach is in the lower left corner of the map and Avatar Grove is seen on the upper left. Its a 20 minute (not well developed trail) hike down or up for Avatar and can be accessed mostly on paved road. Botanical Beach has a parking lot from paved road and is about a 20-30 minute hike down and up on excellent trail.

There are two Avatar trails; one up (to the biggest tree) and one down. We went down and didn't have time that day to go up. So here are two big trees we found; these are pans, consisting of several photos stiched together to create the view. I've included my hat in both images as a size reference. Enjoy then make the trip yourself! Click to see bigger version.

OK, on to Botanical Beach. These shots are also panos; please click on for a bigger view:

This is a great area to visit. Try to plan on 2 or 3 days at least. There is a nice campground on beach just outside the town. If your budget allows we recommend the Soule Creek Lodge, very nice place to stay with a gourmet chef for dinner if you wish. (http://soulecreeklodge.com)