Storm Season On The West Coast

Last weekend, I headed up the west coast from Victoria for the first time since the spring to explore a couple of beaches with a friend of mine. I was instantly reminded why this particular season is my favourite time to visit this wild coastline. The rain has recently returned to Vancouver Island and with it, the wind, big surf and moody skies- elements that make this area come alive with an energy unlike any other time of year. It was so exciting to get the first taste of storm season approaching, which is sincerely a tourism draw in its own right. People travel to the island throughout the late fall and winter months specifically to experience the coastal storms.

My friend and I spent the majority of the day at a cherished beach along southern Vancouver Island’s west coast- called Sombrio Beach. Aside from the famous beaches of Tofino, this is the spot that most Vancouver Islanders I have talked to will name as their favourite west coast beach; I count myself among this group. There is just something about Sombrio that feels concretely magical and the epitome of a west coast experience. The turn-off from the highway is not very well marked and the drive to the parking lot is about 2 km of rough gravel road, but it is well worth the effort. A short hike on a well-maintained gravel path through whimsically lush green woods leads down to the main beach. Here you will likely find surfers, campers, the smell of campfire, a general vibe of conviviality and some of the most meditative waves you will ever hear.

While not the most well-renowned spot on the island to take in storm season, this would be my top recommended stop for anyone visiting Vancouver Island during the fall or winter months. Aside from the incredibly energizing atmosphere of this beach, one of the main draws is a hidden waterfall that is tucked away in a narrow, moss-covered gorge decorated with ferns at the south end of the beach. Following a tiny creek up into the woods leads you to the mouth of a cave with a misty, cascading surprise at the end.

Storm season is just beginning and I cannot wait to plan more adventures with the goal of taking in some of the wild, moody weather; it is truly something I treasure. As I typed this post, we were under a special weather advisory for heavy rain and strong winds with total rainfall of up to 70mm and winds gusting to 80 km/hr. Although I would not venture out in such extreme weather, I felt inspired by dreams of future coastal outings where the waterfalls and waves will be roaring with power- keeping my spirit alive during the cool, dark months to come. I hope to share more of my escapades with you!

Is there a storm season where you live? If so, what is the experience like for you? Let me know in the comments below.



  1. Your pictures along the west coast look breathtaking. I’m such a fan of storms (assuming I’m not camping in a tent). Sombrio Beach looks gorgeous. I’ll have to keep this in mind for when we return to Vancouver Island. Thanks for sharing. Linda


    • I am with you re: the camping haha- I do love storms but not so if I was in a tent! Definitely visit Sombrio Beach if you return to the island for a visit- you will not be disappointed! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, Laura. Vancouver Island sounds like a wonderful place to call home. Though I appreciate that winter periods could be tough. Sombrio Beach looks very beautiful and your photos have a lovely dreamy quality. We are enjoying calming autumn colours here in Kutaisi, Georgia, with lots of sunny days and an occasional gloomy, rainy day. Which we also embrace as a way to relax, stay in and have some cosy time.


    • Thank you for such a thoughtful comment, Leighton. Vancouver Island is a dreamy place to call home- I am so grateful for all that I get to see and experience here. The autumn season in Kutaisi sounds beautifully balanced and I am glad to hear you are finding nourishment in the rainy days as well! πŸ’–

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some gorgeous photography here! Crisp moody shots of a storm-swept beach, beautifully framed composition – great inspiration for a book cover! ❀


    • Hi Tom- to say that my photos could be inspiration for a book cover is one of the greatest compliments I have received! I am so grateful for your feedback, always. This beach day was truly a photographer’s dream. πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

      • You picked the perfect day for it! 😊 That penultimate photo would make a great autobiography cover – very striking foreground and backdrop 🌸


    • It makes me so happy to know that this post brought you a taste of life on Vancouver Island! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and compliments. 😊


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