***UPDATE JUNE 2021: Access to Avatar Grove is currently limited. Gates have been installed approximately 2km before the grove by logging company Teal-Jones and the RCMP in response to the independent protests against old-growth logging taking place in Port Renfrew. It may be possible to walk to the grove from the gate but you cannot currently drive to Avatar. A gate is also in place on the Cowichan end of Gordon River Main, preventing access from that direction as well.***
Driving directions from Victoria. Time: approx. 2.5 hours. From Port Renfrew, 15 – 20 minutes. For the latest information on COVID and Port Renfrew please see: https://portrenfrewcovid.com/
The Avatar Grove is wilderness area! The Ancient Forest Alliance has worked hard to construct and maintain boardwalk throughout much of the grove but good balance and basic hiking experience is required in certain areas ie. possible muddy sections, slippery roots or slopes, logs, etc. The trail is not like Cathedral Grove and the last few kilometers of driving are along a rough logging road. Please enjoy within your abilities.
- Drive to Port Renfrew along West Coast Rd / Highway #14
- Immediately upon reaching Port Renfrew turn RIGHT onto Deering Rd.
- Cross the big bridge over the San Juan River and continue down Deering Rd., staying to the RIGHT at the next Y
- You’ll cross a small, single lane bridge and reach a “T”. Turn LEFT onto Gordon River Main (right goes to Lake Cowichan)
- Stay on the mostly-paved road and after approximately 5 km, you will reach a “Y”. Go LEFT and cross a tall, beautiful bridge over the Gordon River
- After crossing the bridge, stay on Gordon River Main (now a bumpy gravel road) for about 1.5 km, keeping to the RIGHT at the next “Y”
- You will soon cross a small bridge at Baird Creek. Park on the right side after the bridge. Look for signs at the trailheads
- The trail on the right hand side will take you into the Lower Grove which is flatter and has some giant, burly cedars and large Douglas-fir trees
- The trail on the left side of the road takes you through the Upper Grove, where, at the top, you’ll see “Canada’s Gnarliest Tree”! This side is a bit steeper and has many large cedar trees alongside the path
“Avatar Grove” is a popular nickname for the Pacheedaht name of “T’l’oqwxwat” and is in the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation. It was protected by the BC government in 2012 after an intense two-year public awareness campaign led by the AFA in partnership with the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce. Please support the local business community whenever possible and be sure to treat the land and all creatures with respect. Pack it in/pack it out. Note: camping is not permitted at Avatar Grove.