Scenic Drives around Victoria, BC (Vancouver Island)
A Scenic Drive from Victoria to East Sooke
Victoria is a cosmopolitan, tourist town with a secret. Just minutes outside of the city limits awaits exciting scenic drives along windy, forest-shrouded roads. One of my favourite routes is Victoria to East Sooke.
Distance: 45 km one way.
Time: 45 minutes.
In less than an hour, you can be hugging the windy roads along southern Vancouver Island and enjoying the grand ocean views framed by the Olympic Mountains of Washington State.
Getting to East Sooke, BC - The photo below shows the rocky cliffs of Possession Point in East Sooke at sunset.
East Sooke is a rural community in the southwest corner of Vancouver Island. The local highways are in good condition and will take you through dense rain-forests along rocky shorelines. The area is known as 'Nature's Gallery' and chances are high that you'll encounter some of Vancouver Island's wildlife such as deer, owls and eagles.
The scenic drive starts as soon as you leave suburban Victoria. The roads to East Sooke become curvy and undulating as they follow the Sooke Hills out to the Juan de Fuca Strait.
The towering trees of Douglas fir, maple and hemlock are so thick in places that you won't be able to see the waterviews. At the end of this journey, you'll find an open peninsula with ocean, mountain and coastal views.
Possession Point is located on an exposed peninsula with full views of the Juan de Fuca Strait, the snow-capped Olympic mountains and the west coast of Vancouver Island. The picture above is of the rocky shores where the waves of the open Pacific Ocean strike the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Looking west, you'll see the tree-line shores of the west coast that leads up to Port Renfrew (as shown in the sunset pictured above). On a clear day, the sunsets are bright and spectacular.
To the South, you'll see the city of Port Angeles, Washington in front of the towering peaks of the Olympic Mountains. This mountain range stretches up to the tip of the Juan de Fuca Strait.
Most boat traffic going to and from Seattle and Vancouver travel by Possession Point. You'll see cargo, container and cruise ships at all times of the day. If you're lucky, you'll even see an American nuclear submarine surfacing as it heads to or from the inland navel base.
How to Get Here
The scenic drive starts from downtown Victoria. Click here for a detailed Google Map.
#1 - Head North on Douglas Street.
#2 - Take Highway #1 North (the Trans Canada Highway).
#3 - Take Exit #14 south on Millstream Road/Veterans Memorial Parkway (Highway #14). This leads through the suburbs of Langford & Colwood.
#4 - Turn right at Sooke Road which is the continuation of Highway #14 South. Follow the curvy highway out of Colwood and into the Sooke district.
#5 - Look for the 17 Mile Pub (an old English Tutor-style building) and turn left on Gillespie Road. The road is in good condition with many curves and hills.
#6 - At the T-intersection, turn right on East Sooke Road. Follow it to the end.
You'll find a 'new' subdivision under construction. The roads and utilities were put in years ago and most lots are still vacant and for sale. The locals usually explore these rocky shores and enjoy the expansive ocean views and sunsets.
Cautions to Watch for:
- The roads are in good condition but weather conditions can change quickly. Click here for weather details.
- If you are prone to motion sickness, this route may not be for you. The roads around southern Vancouver Island go through the Sooke Hills, which can be quite nauseating to even some locals. Gravol may help.
- There is abundant wildlife in East Sooke which becomes especially active at dusk. Watch for deer, raccoons, black bears and tons of birds. Birdwatching in BC is specatular!
- Possession Point is an exposed peninsula that has no natural wind barriers. Always wear a jacket or sweater, even in summer. Viewing is not recommended during storms.
- There are open cliffs and bluffs. Watch your step.
- There are no restaurants or coffee shops in East Sooke except for one convenience store. The closest gas station is in Colwood or Sooke.
*** DO NOT PARK BEHIND THE GATES or you may locked in! There's lots of parking just outside the gates and walk around.
Time Elapsed Videos
Local information for your drive
- Find romantic getaways in Victoria, BC and Sooke at Heavenly Hideaways.
- Rejuvenate at an oceanfront cottage on the Sooke Basin - Comfort Cove Cottage.
- Local weather forecast for Sooke, BC
- Enjoy a day hike along the Galloping Goose
- Find a petfriendly accommodation at Petfriendly.ca.
- Try going for a hike in East Sooke Park.
- Looking for things to do in Sooke, BC?