Port Renfrew is a community on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, located about 90 minutes west of Victoria, British Columbia. Port Renfrew is the western terminus of the Juan de Fuca Trail.
Port Renfrew is the home of the Pacheedaht First Nation, meaning "People of the Sea Foam", who have traditional village sites in and around the main town centre. The West Coast Trail, a world famous hiking trail built in 1907 along the west coast of Vancouver Island to save shipwrecked sailors, is located on the Gordon River adjacent to Port Renfrew. During the days of sail, 1830–1925, 137 major shipping tragedies occurred in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. International recognition was given to this stretch of water off Port Renfrew. It became known as the Graveyard of the Pacific. Originally named Port San Juan, the settlers changed the name to honor Lord Renfrew who planned to settle crofters there. The name was changed due to mail being sent to the San Juan Islands instead of Port San Juan. Port Renfrew's bay is still called Port San Juan. Like many coastal Vancouver Island communities, Port Renfrew has a rich history in forestry and fishing.
Places to See
In recent years, Port Renfrew has seen an increase in tourism. The Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) has worked hard to locate and preserve some of North America's largest trees located around Port Renfrew. This preservation is paying off as people from all over the globe are now witnessing Avatar Grove and Canada's "gnarliest tree." The Red Creek fir, the world's largest Douglas fir, and San Juan Spruce, Canada's largest Sitka spruce, are also located in the area. Port Renfrew is filled with options that encompass all outdoor enthusiasts' needs. Local natural attractions include the West Coast Trail, Juan de Fuca Trail and Botanical Beach. Port Renfrew is considered one of the best locations for salmon and halibut fishing in North America. There is also excellent sea and freshwater (San Juan and Jordan River) kayaking and birding. The locals of Port Renfrew have been enjoying those trails and forests for decades.