Sandcut Beach Waterfall

Shirley / Jordan River Regional Park Reserve, British Columbia, Canada

About Sandcut Beach Waterfall


Hiking Distance: 1.8km round trip
Suggested Time: 60-75 minutes

Date first visited: 2017-08-03
Date last visited: 2017-08-03

Waterfall Latitude: 48.41271
Waterfall Longitude: -124.01377

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The Sandcut Beach Waterfall was a modestly-sized 10-15ft tall set of waterfalls spilling right onto a pebbly beach.

Sandcut Creek ultimately rejoined the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separated Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula.

Sandcut_Beach_050_08032017 - Sandcut Beach Waterfall
Sandcut Beach Waterfall

Therefore, this waterfall represented one of those rare instances where we could combine a waterfall with a beach so it was fun for the whole family.

Perhaps most pleasant of all was that the long and spacious beach only had a few dozen people so it didn’t feel crowded at all!

I guess getting to the beach required a short hike through a temperate rainforest as well as a bit of a drive well west of Victoria so we had to work a little for it.

In addition to being family friendly and naturesque (how many places on earth does a rainforest meet the Pacific?), it was also a nice place to view the sunset.

Sandcut_Beach_067_08032017 - Looking in the other direction across a pair of segments of the Sandcut Beach Waterfall
Looking in the other direction across a pair of segments of the Sandcut Beach Waterfall

Indeed, this place introduced to us the type of relatively “hidden” or lesser known treasures of Vancouver Island (at least outside of Victoria Harbour and Butchart Gardens).

I’m sure on a return trip to British Columbia, we’ll be sure to spend more time outside the usual spots and seek out more gems like this.

Sandcut Beach Waterfall Logistics – timing and trip planning

Logistically, our visit took place in early August on a year when there was pretty heavy rainfall in the Winter and Spring but very dry and hot conditions since the beginning of June.

During our visit, the Sandcut Beach Waterfall took on a light-flowing two-segmented shape.

Sandcut_Beach_023_08032017 - Looking to the east along Sandcut Beach
Looking to the east along Sandcut Beach

I’ve seen pictures where the falls could easily widen out to three or more segments under heavier flows earlier in the year.

The rainforest hike separating the highway from the beach was roughly 300m in length (about 10 minutes each way).

The hike itself was all downhill on the way there so it was a slightly more strenuous uphill hike on the return.

However, walking to the waterfall slightly more than doubled the length of the hike as it was all beach walking to get there.

Sandcut_Beach_081_08032017 - Looking back towards the west of Sandcut Beach, where our daughter was enjoying herself
Looking back towards the west of Sandcut Beach, where our daughter was enjoying herself

As far as the tides were concerned, our visit took place while it was transitioning to high tide, but there was still ample space on the beach to reach the waterfall while staying dry.

We checked this tide forecast to make sure we didn’t come when the waterfall was inaccessible.

Sandcut Beach Waterfall Trail Description – the rainforest hike

Our hike began from a modest car park along Hwy 14 (see directions below).

Then, we promptly walked past a Jordan River Reserve sign (talking about beach ethics to protect the ecosystem) before we followed a well-maintained trail.

Sandcut_Beach_009_08032017 - Julie and Tahia passing through the temperate rainforest flanked by ferns and tall trees as we headed down to the Sandcut Beach
Julie and Tahia passing through the temperate rainforest flanked by ferns and tall trees as we headed down to the Sandcut Beach

The path was flanked by tall trees and lower bush providing ample shade from the afternoon sun.

Boards were placed on the ground to help when the trail would be muddy and prone to erosion.

Perhaps the roughest part of the hike involved climbing over and past some exposed tree roots.

Eventually, we left the canopy of the rainforest and descended right towards the calm pebble beach of Sandcut Beach.

Sandcut_Beach_016_08032017 - Julie and Tahia neogitating some of the rougher parts of the trail to Sandcut Beach, which involved getting past exposed roots like this
Julie and Tahia neogitating some of the rougher parts of the trail to Sandcut Beach, which involved getting past exposed roots like this

While Julie and Tahia were content to play and relax at the beach, I was still interested in seeking out the waterfall so I continued hiking.

Sandcut Beach Waterfall Trail Description – the beach scramble

So once on Sandcut Beach, I pretty much followed the shoreline east (to the left after facing the sea) and resumed walking for another 450m or so.

I pretty much skirted the wet sand to make the walking easier.

The further away from the water I was, the more pebbles and stones would make the walking more challenging.

Sandcut_Beach_089_08032017 - I noticed lots of driftwood along Sandcut Beach as I pursued the Sandcut Beach Waterfall
I noticed lots of driftwood along Sandcut Beach as I pursued the Sandcut Beach Waterfall

Along the way, I noticed some interesting things like some seaweed that looked more like giant worms.

I also noticed lots of driftwood that made their way to these shores.

The water was calm with gentle waves (more like wakes) because it was protected from the open ocean in the channel known as the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

So it behaved similarly to the way the English Channel did between the southern shores England and the northern beaches of France.

Sandcut_Beach_033_08032017 - Approaching the Sandcut Beach Waterfall
Approaching the Sandcut Beach Waterfall

Eventually after another 10 minutes of walking, I finally reached Sandcut Beach Waterfall.

Around the waterfall, I saw that there was also a rope swing next to it.

I also noticed that there was some private home or building above the short cliffs nestled within the rainforest a short distance upstream.

Authorities

The Sandcut Beach Waterfall resides in the Jordan River Regional Park near Sooke in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is adminstered by BC Parks. For information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Sandcut_Beach_005_08032017 - Julie and Tahia getting started on the rainforest part of the hike to Sandcut Beach
Sandcut_Beach_008_08032017 - It was a downhill hike on the way to Sandcut Beach so we knew it was going to be a little tougher on the return hike
Sandcut_Beach_011_08032017 - Julie and Tahia descending towards boardwalks on the floor of the rainforest en route to Sandcut Beach
Sandcut_Beach_013_08032017 - Boardwalks and stepping boards were set up to minimize the trail erosion when the path to Sandcut Beach would get muddy during wetter times
Sandcut_Beach_014_08032017 - Julie and Tahia continuing to meander through the temperate rainforest en route to Sandcut Beach, but the trail went over some tree roots in its more rougher spots
Sandcut_Beach_019_08032017 - Descending towards Sandcut Beach as the Strait of Juan de Fuca came into view
Sandcut_Beach_030_08032017 - During my scramble to the Sandcut Beach Waterfall along Sandcut Beach, I noticed that this bit of seaweed or kelp looked like a giant worm that had washed ashore
Sandcut_Beach_039_08032017 - Finally making it before the Sandcut Beach Waterfall, which was a twin waterfall during my visit in August 2017
Sandcut_Beach_042_08032017 - Looking across both segments of the Sandcut Beach Waterfall during my August 2017 visit
Sandcut_Beach_055_08032017 - Looking towards the Sandcut Beach Waterfall from closer to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Notice the house nestled amidst the trees above the falls as well as the rope swing further to the right of this photo
Sandcut_Beach_072_08032017 - After having my fill of the Sandcut Beach Waterfall, it was time to scramble back to where Julie and Tahia were hanging out. But as you can see in this photo, there really weren't that many people around so the overall experience was very tranquil
Sandcut_Beach_077_08032017 - Closer look at some of the driftwood that made their way to Sandcut Beach
Sandcut_Beach_084_08032017 - Someone had arranged the rocks into this formation called 'Inukshuk' at Sandcut Beach
Sandcut_Beach_086_08032017 - Context of Tahia enjoying herself at Sandcut Beach
Sandcut_Beach_087_08032017 - Looking over more of the driftwood that washed ashore as I was making my return hike to rejoin Julie and Tahia on Sandcut Beach
Sandcut_Beach_093_08032017 - Julie and Tahia starting the return hike through the rainforest to the trailhead after having their fill of Sandcut Beach
Sandcut_Beach_098_08032017 - The uphill hike from Sandcut Beach meant we hiked at a slower pace, which also meant we got to pay more attention to the subtleties of the rainforest
Sandcut_Beach_099_08032017 - Tahia traversing one of the boardwalk sections of the rainforest part of the hike back from Sandcut Beach
Sandcut_Beach_100_08032017 - Making it back to the trailhead parking lot for Sandcut Beach

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Since we had based ourselves in Victoria during our visit to the Sandcut Beach Waterfall, we’ll describe the driving directions from there.

So we first headed north on Douglas St, which eventually became the Hwy 1.

We followed Hwy 1 for about 12km before keeping right to exit 14 bound for Hwy 14 towards Langford, Sooke, and the Highlands.

Sandcut_Beach_003_08032017 - The parking lot for Sandcut Beach
The parking lot for Sandcut Beach

Once onto Millstream Road, we then followed this surface street for the next 3.4km before turning right onto Sooke Rd (Hwy 14).

Then, we continued on Hwy 14 for about 50km before reaching the trailhead parking for Sandcut Beach on the left (about 3km beyond Point No Point Resort, 7km past French Beach, and 26km past Sooke).

Since parking space was limited, we found some space on the road shoulder to park nearby.

Overall, this drive took us about 75 minutes.

Sandcut_Beach_002_08032017 - Outside the parking lot for Sandcut Beach Waterfall, there was some shoulder space along the Hwy 14 that we took advantage of
Outside the parking lot for Sandcut Beach Waterfall, there was some shoulder space along the Hwy 14 that we took advantage of

However, most of that time was spent waiting to pass slower vehicles as it was pretty much two-lane highway with very sparse passing opportunities throughout Hwy 14.

To give you some geographical context, Sooke was 40km (around an hour drive) east of Victoria, 71km (about 75-90 minutes drive) east of Port Renfrew, about 122km (about 2 hours drive) south of Nanaimo.

Comprehensive video showing both of the remaining Sandcut Creek Waterfalls seen from all different angles

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Tagged with: sandcut beach, shirley, juan de fuca, point no point, sooke, vancouver island, british columbia, waterfall



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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