Trip – fogust in the Klanawa valley

Quick report on a four day trip into the Klanawa valley here on Vancouver Island. It’s the main east west valley between Nitinat watershed and the Alberni Inlet. We like this watershed despite it being extensively logged, you don’t meet many other travellers and it has a few special spots. We’ve exported this area a few times, “Klanawa” and the search box on the right will bring up previous posts.

First night was at a small lake. You have no idea how good it felt swimming in that lake after the 3.5 hr hot and dusty drive. Ok it’s hyperbole, but jeez it felt good.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but the fog from the Pacific was thick the next morning. Dripping wet and chilly. So off we went further west into the fog and found a hill to climb out of it.

About 450 meters elevation we broke through the fog.

We parked on the side of the hill, facing south. By about 2 pm the fog retreated back to the coast. We got too hot, drove down to the Tsocowis river/creek and cooled off. This creek never seems to warm up, its not head numbing cold but it’s not “let’s just float around and enjoy life” warm either.

Than back up the hill and set up for the night. 

The road went a bit higher but no better southern view up there. Spot the van?

Yup, the fog/cloud creep back in the evening.

We smelled propane that day, I tried (soapy water) to find the leak. Somewhere at the tank I thought. No luck at detecting it. Ran out of propane during that night. Sheesh. So on Monday we packed up and drove into Bamfield to fill up with propane. Also took the guard off the tank and was able to get a bit of tightening on one fitting. Or maybe it was the spit valve leaking? In any event the leak didn’t re occur. Thought about staying at the campsite at Pacheena Bay, but decided to go back to our spot on the hill after some unsuccessful exploring for the other perfect spot. Do you get the idea we like high places with no one else around?

Yup, fog back in the morning. Actually I forget which morning.

Next day we drove back down into the clouds ( to be honest, the entire valley cleared up around 12 pm). This shot gives you an idea of the maximum grade of most of the roads. I think this is about 18, maybe 20%. Sometimes you find it steeper, and often it’s quite a bit steeper around the switch back corners.

Well that’s it, short report. To be honest it all seems much of a muchness and pretty dull stuff. But the pics don’t do justice at all to how spectactular the area is, and really how much fun it is to explore.


  1. #1 by Paul on August 18, 2016 - 2:37 am

    Great Pics thanks for sharing. P;-)

    • #2 by albell on August 18, 2016 - 7:21 am


      Bit of a rushed blog post Paul , but you get the idea of the area.



  2. #3 by TV ThatWorks on August 18, 2016 - 7:53 am

    Alistair – wow great photos – thanks for sharing – when i was a kid i used to dream about being able to fly, walk or drive into the clouds – it was not until i was comfortably ensconced in my VW Westfalia and driving around BC that i had the experience you have so well documented in these photos – the internet then was dawning as a public entity so i did not share 😦
    Also I am always grateful for the work of the lumber barons who provided the amazing network of roads we are able to use to access such remote and obscure places especially on the coast –
    Roger Whittaker

    • #4 by albell on August 18, 2016 - 8:21 am

      Hi Roger,

      Driving up through the clouds into the bright bright sunshine was great, yes, like flying.
      And here’s another obvious observation I had sitting there looking out over the area… Each of these tress was cut one at a time. Yeah yeah, I know, but for some reason it really hit home that time.
      Was just after my wife was commenting on how hard it must have been to climb and plant seedlings on the hill we were perched on. I agreed and then fully realized how hard it must have been to cut the trees.

      Maybe you had to have been there 🙂



  3. #5 by daswolfgang on August 18, 2016 - 1:48 pm

    Excellent wilde adventures there Alistair. Most of the camping I do in Wolfgang is pretty tame urban. Love to see you going away for days on end enjoying what most people dream of. Keep up the traveling / documentation. Thanks. Andy

    • #6 by albell on August 18, 2016 - 3:05 pm

      Thanks Andy,

      It’s funny with us, when we go away camping most of the time we really want to be isolated. Seeing someone else spoils it for us 🙂

      But then again we have gone to, and totally enjoyed, organized camp spots. It’s all in the mood you’re in, what style to do.

      The roads weren’t bad, on some of the steep climbs and especially on the hairpins which are very tight and steeper grade, you really can feel the front wheels grabbing. But it would be do able in 2wd.

      I pushed the van hard, the tired old wbx got very hot. The engine temps really rise fast when going slow up the steep hill.

      Had a recurrence of aN old problem with the engine. It’s so annoyingly intermittent and I haven’t nailed the cause. I think I’ll do a separate post on that and maybe someone will have an idea what’s going on.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: