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Local Attractions

Provided is a list of the top 10 plus things to do while visiting the Pacific Rim. Whether your staying in Tofino or Ucluelet you will enjoy many activities and sites in both communities as each offers a unique visitor experience. Tofino and Ucluelet are approx 40 kilometers apart separated by the Pacific Rim National Park and share the all the long sandy beaches, rainforest & oceanside hikes. The list of things to do is not in a rated order they are a list of things to do for all types of travelers, do them in order that best suites you and your interests.

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Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a 500 square kilometre west coast treasure that lies between the Vancouver Island coastal mountain range and the open Pacific Ocean. Established in 1971, the park has three separate areas: the Long Beach unit lies between the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet on Pacific Rim Hwy., the Broken Group Islands are made up of approximately 100 islands in Barkley Sound, and the West Coast Trailis a challenging 75 km (47 mile) that stretches along the ocean from Port Renfrew to Bamfield. From lush rainforest hiking, to beachcombing and surfing on endless sandy beaches, Pacific Rim provides a wealth of activities for all types of adventurers. The park also allows visitors the opportunity to see all sorts of wildlife in its natural habitat, both on and off shore. From bald eagles and migrating shorebirds to hulking sea lions and furry sea otters, to foraging black bears and giant 30-ton humpback, grey and orca whales, it's an adventure seekers' paradise. This is the traditional territory of several Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, including the Ucluelet, the Tla-o-qui-aht, the Ditidaht, and the Toquaht. Archaeological evidence from 290 sites within the entire park suggests the Nuu-chah-nulth inhabited this area for 4,300 years. The most accessible section of the park is the Long Beach unit. With more than 10 accesses along Pacific Rim Hwy., visitors have an abundance of choices. Coming from Ucluelet before you enter the park, visitors can access Florencia and Half Moon Bay from Willowbrae Rd.

Two hiking trails lead to the beach. Entering the park from Pacific Rim Hwy you'll first come to Wick Rd which has several beach access and hiking trails. First is the main entrance to Florencia Bay, accessible off Wick Rd. A wide path leads to a lookout point with information plaques and a steep wooden staircase provides access to the beach itself. Also called Wreck Bay, this area was named for the Wreck of The Florencia, a Peruvian vessel that was on its way home loaded with lumber from Victoria when it became unmanageable and was drifting helplessly. The HMS Forward took her in tow but then developed engine trouble and had to cut the Florencia adrift, and she shattered on the islet in the bay. The area of the West Coast is part of the "Graveyard of the Pacific" that stretches from Oregon to the northern tip of Vancouver Island; named for its historical treacherous navigational characteristics. A little further along Wick Rd. is the Shorepine Bog Trail, a level boardwalk trail through some of the most unique vegetation in the park. Three hundred year-old shorepine dwarf trees dominate this somewhat eerie 1km trail, so gnarled because of water accumulated in this geological depression. Sphagnum moss is prevalent throughout the bog, causing the soil to remain acidic and stunting the growth of all the plants and trees in the area. This trail is wheelchair accessible and washrooms are located at the parking area at the trailhead. The Wickaninnish Centre is located on Wickaninnish Beach at the end of Wick Rd. An interpretive centre that's been newly redesigned, you'll find a wealth of information about the park, its historical inhabitants and its flora and fauna here. Public interpretive programs are available throughout the summer and educational and tour groups can be booked individually. Learn about such topics as intertidal life or traditional First Nations wild foods from Park staff. You'll find numerous beach accesses for Wickaninnish Beach by turning right at the end of Wick Rd.

The paths to the beach will lead you through windswept sand dunes, and there are picnic areas near most of the parking lots. Washrooms are also available. Parking fees are in effect in all areas of the Long Beach Unit, with kiosks scattered throughout the area. The South Beach trail and Wickaninnish Trail begin at the same point just south of the Wickaninnish Centre. This trail will either lead you to South Beach along a gravel pathway, boardwalk and staircase to the beach or to the Wickaninnish Trail, a trail that connects with the trail head at Florencia Bay. Wickaninnish Trail contains some of the old logs that made up a corduroy road between Tofino and Ucluelet used by early European settlers. The trail also has boardwalk sections, but can get wet so bring your boots if it's raining! The Rainforest Trail will transport you into an ancient hushed world where towering trees reign (see Hiking Trails for a detailed description of all trails in the park). Combers Beach is the next park access point. An older trail located where Sandhill Creek and the ocean meet had to be repositioned after extensive shoreline erosion damaged the original access. This erosion is still visible from the new trail, a combined gravel and boardwalk that ends in a ramp and stairs. Watch your step here and keep a look out for species of birds that frequent this area. Green Point Campground and Theatre hosts free nightly park programs during the summer at the heated indoor theatre. Check out program listings at the Wickaninnish Centre or the Junction Information Centre. Long Beach is the jewel of the West Coast and the next point of access in Pacific Rim Park. The longest stretch of beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island, this beach is what dreams are made of. Walk the length of it and be transported into a windswept world of barking sea lions with eagles overhead and white sand beneath your toes. The Tla-o-qui-aht community of Esowista is located at the northern end of Long Beach and is set to expand. Follow the beach all the way around to Schooner Cove at its northern tip. You can also access Schooner Cove from Schooner Trail, a 1km boardwalk trail that will take you over streams and through a canopy of vibrant forest. Grice Bay Rd. is one of the only access points on the western side of the park and it leads to a boat launch on Tofino Inlet.

A calmer, more serene landscape greets you here, although it is no less teeming with life than the open ocean. Access to Long Beach Golf Course and the Tofino-Ucluelet Airport is also off Grice Bay Rd. The last point in the Long Beach Unit is Radar Hill, a beautiful vantage point from which to gaze off over the western horizon towards Japan, and appreciate the lush green-carpeted mountains of Clayoquot Sound. This was a radar station during the Cold War and interpretive information and remnants still remain on the site. The Kap'yong Memorial at the lookout point (up the boardwalk) commemorates the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry's involvement in the Korean War. The border of the park is the southernmost border of the District of Tofino.


While nearby 16km sandy Long Beach on Vancouver Island's west coast is the region's most famous, the unique beaches of Ucluelet and the southern peninsula are great for hikes, beachcombing and picnics, photographers and storm watching! Many of Ucluelet's beaches have access to the Wild Pacific Trail, with its incredible views of ocean, temperate rainforest and the many reefs and islands. ​Big Beach - Located a short walk from town at the foot of Matterson Drive this Beach faces west and makes way for glorious sunsets! Big Beach is a fantastic spot to watch pounding surf, or to have a picnic, or to enjoy a great book! Little Beach - Little Beach is located along the stretch of Wild Pacific Trail. Little Beach is south of Big Beach, just minutes from town, it is a quaint private little beach, kayakers launch from little beach a lot of the time. Terrace Beach - Terrace Beach is located in He Tin Kis Park just a few short minutes from Little Beach. Fletchers Beach - Fletchers Beach is a pretty, secluded beach a few kilometers north of town. The trail to the beach is located on the west side of the highway across from Fletchers Cove.

From the highway this Ucluelet beach is a 15 minute walk. Fletchers Beach is a great place to have some rest and relaxation in a secluded area, which offers great views, with a back drop of temperate rainforest! Halfmoon Bay/Florencia/Wreck Beach - Located in Pacific Rim National Park, these three beaches are worth checking out. They are about 2km south of the Tofino-Ucluelet junction. Coming from Ucluelet turn left on Willowbrae Road, and the parking lot and trailhead are at the end of the road. It is about a 20-minute trek to the fork for either Half Moon Bay or Florencia/Wreck Beach. Halfmoon Bay is secluded with a sandy, steep beach which is best visited at low tide. Then you'll see many tidal pools where inter-tidal life abounds. To reach the tide pools, walk to the left at the end of the stairs to the rocks along the edge of the cove. Florencia/Wreck Beach is a 5-kilometer long beach with another access at the north end via Wick Road. Florencia and Wreck beaches are favorites of local surfers.

You'll need to watch for tides on this beach as well, with the best time to visit at low tide. Long Beach, Vancouver Island's iconic beach, is located in Wickaninnish Bay, just to the north of Florencia Bay. Long Beach - This long stretch of sand is a must see on your Trip to Pacific Rim Park! Cox Bay - popular with surfers, Cox bay is a small bay which attracts storm watchers and nature lovers. Radar Beach - Radar Beach becomes quite fierce with pounding surf, a great place to view storms! Tonquin Beach - A short boardwalk pathway leads to this sandy beach tucked away on the northern side of the Tofino Village. A great hide away beach to escape the crowds! Chesterman Beach - One of the most sought after Beaches in Tofino, tourists come from all around the globe to stay on and enjoy the sun, surf and views of Chesterman Beach.


Some experience the raw power of the mighty Pacific Ocean as ferocious waves roll in from Japan and pound the shores of the rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island. During storm season waves can reach heights of 10-12 metres, come witness the incredible beauty and heart pounding drama of a West Coast winter storm from one of our spectacular privately owned storm-front vacation rentals. After a thrilling day watching the crashing surf from the many viewing points scattered along the coast, arrive back, start the fire and warm the jetted Jacuzzi tub and continue storm-watching right from the comfort and luxury of your vacation home. Natural Elements Vacation Rentals has a select portfolio of vacation rentals located on the west side of Ucluelet, strung closely along the Wild Pacific Trail where rugged coastline meet with pounding surf.

The location is awe inspiring with open Pacific Ocean as far as the eye can see and proximity to all asset's that are must have's for even the most dis-concerning storm-watchers, being steps to Big Beach, open ocean, Wild Pacific Trail and oceanfront dining. How the West Coast storms are formed? Storms are formed by low pressure systems forming over the Gulf of Alaska. When winds run North East 30-40 knots, the low pressure system shifts southward from Alaska and reaches over our coastal waters bringing wind/rain and Gale to storm forced winds to the Pacific Rim. The most common wave heights are 8-9 meters when Gale/storm winds occur on the coast but every so often winds reach up to 63 knots bringing near hurricane force winds, and 10-12 meter seas. At these times the coast is engulfed in pounding surf, beaches become flooded with Sea foam, wind feels as though you can lean forward and wind almost sustains your body weight, the sights and sounds are nothing short of thrilling and invigorating.

When is the best time for storm-watching? The best time for storm-watching is November through until the end of February. During this time the extreme forces of nature are completely unpredictable, one moment there is sun and blue skies, the next rain is pouring adding to the nearly 5 meters of annual rainfall, and then a few hours later a low pressure system may bring 10-12 meter seas! The swells still continue For 8-12 hours after the storm has passed. The very best way to predict storms is by following the local weather forecast, and waiting for the word that a low pressure system is approaching and high winds are expected along West coast Southern Vancouver Island. If you want to go a step further in your storm-watching endeavours, listen to marine forecasts, compare weather forecasts to Beaufort Wind Scale so that you can differentiate between Gale Force and Storm Force, and km per hour to knots, in order to be aware of precisely how big of swells will be bred from the report from La Perouse Bank Buoy.


Imagine mile upon mile of beautiful sandy beaches and the crashing Pacific Ocean teaming up to create Canada's own surfing paradise: Tofino. Truly a surf town, there are several quality breaks in town and a total of six within 30 minutes of downtown Tofino. Surfing is also one of the main reasons people travel to Ucluelet - because of its proximity to the quality surf breaks of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Surfing is usually synonymous with Long Beach, but there are many more spots to choose from. With consistent year-round beach break conditions at many easily accessible local beaches, the area has a lot to offer everyone from beginner to expert level surfers. Waves in this area are generally bigger and a bit more challenging in the winter as stormy weather can bring big swells. Summer brings warmer temperatures and calmer surf; it's an ideal time for learning. But conditions can vary year round - and you can luck out year round with world-class waves. No matter what time of year, you will need a wetsuit, ranging from a 3-4.5mm in the summer to a 6.5mm in the winter. Water temperatures range from about 4°C (40°F) in the winter to around 20°C or warmer in the summer (low 70s).

The local surf industry has also expanded to serve a growing numbers of locals and visitors who enjoy surfing here. Six shops in Tofino and Ucluelet provide surfboard and wetsuit rentals as well as boogey boards, and six schools teach lessons. It's highly recommended that beginner surfers take a lesson the first time they venture out into the waves, in order to understand the dangers associated with the sport, local conditions, and surf etiquette. The beaches closest to Ucluelet for surfing are: Florencia Bay, Wickaninnish Beach and Long Beach. Florencia Bay faces south and has some rocks close to the beach you should make note of before paddling out. Wickaninnish Beach faces west and Long Beach also faces south. From Tofino, North and South Chesterman, Cox Bay and even Mackenzie Beach and Tonquin Beach (on a big swell) are the go-to surfing beaches. Mackenzie Beach and North Chesterman face west to northwest, South Chesterman faces south and Cox Bay faces west. Long Beach is about halfway in between both towns and is a popular surfing spot for both towns. Rip currents are a factor on the west coast, and surfers always need to be aware of their position in the water. If you feel like you're caught in a rip current, paddling directly back to shore likely won't get you anywhere. You will have to paddle at a 90-degree angle to get yourself out of the rip current and then proceed to shore. It's unadvisable to surf alone, so bring a buddy for greater safety.

Knowing surf etiquette before you paddle out will ensure that everyone has a positive experience. The basic code of conduct for safety in the water involves four basic points: 1. only one surfer should be on a wave and the surfer closest to the peak (or the point where the wave is breaking) has the right of way 2. do not drop in or "snake" someone already riding a wave - look both ways before you take off 3. never throw your board - always hold onto it, this is very important for the safety of others around you Some other useful tips to keep in mind: 1. Do not paddle out to a break that is beyond your ability (if the waves look too big, they probably are!) 2. Once you've made it out past the break, taking the first wave you see is considered poor etiquette. Remember that there is a lineup and take your turn. 3. Take the time to see where the best place to paddle out is, and where the "take-off" spots are - do not paddle directly into a take-off spot. 4. Smile and don't be afraid to ask questions of other surfers. Locals have a lot of knowledge about local beaches. 5. Don't paddle around someone who is in position to catch a wave by paddling further out or further inside.The most important thing to remember while surfing is common sense, but please take the time to either take a lesson or learn proper etiquette before paddling out. It will make the difference between a fun and enjoyable first session and the possibility of getting seriously hurt your first time out. Surfing has been around for a long time on the West Coast, showing up as early as the 1950s and it has grown steadily in popularity since then. In the fall of 2009 Tofino was host to the O'Neill Cold Water Classic, the first ASP (Association of Professional Surfers) event ever to be held in Canada. Local Tofino pro surfer Pete Devries won the event, much to the delight of the hundreds of locals who gathered to watch and cheer him on at North Chesterman beach.


Numerous local companies offer whale-watching tours in the Clayoquot and Barkley Sound areas. There are resident pods of humpback and grey whales, and many migrants also make the trip northward from their rearing water in Baja, California to hang out here for the season. Orca whales are also often seen on the West Coast, with residents and transient pods present here. You can choose a covered boat with indoor seating or a zodiac boat for you whale-watching adventure. If you choose the latter, you will be provided with a full survival suit that doubles as a personal flotation device and keeps you warm on the open ocean. Whale-watching tour guides are very knowledgeable about the area and will share their knowledge of wildlife with you on your trip. They operate under regulations that govern how close they can come to the whales, but you will be able to get a good view of them so bring your camera! Grey Whale ( ​Eschrichtius robustus ) - Each year, thousands of grey whales migrate over 20,000 km from the Beaufort Sea to the Baja Peninsula. This spectacular sight can be seen all along the coast line and is one of nature's most impressive shows. Grey whales feed on a diet of bottom-dwelling molluscs. To feed, a grey whale swims to the sea floor, turns sideways and pushes its head through the top-layer of sediment, filtering food.

Humpback Whale ( Megaptera novæanglia ) - Humpbacks are distinguished by extremely long flippers (up to a third of their body length), butterfly-shaped tail flukes and the small dorsal fin. The colouration on their tale flukes is unique to each whale. They can weigh up 36 tonnes (80,000 lbs) and, unusually for mammals, females are larger than males. The name "humpback" comes from the high arch of their backs while diving. Killer Whale ( Orcinus orca ) - Killer whales are social animals living in pods of four to 40 from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Each pod has a unique system of calls that help them distinguish each other from many miles away. Killer whales are top predators in the ocean. They require up to 5% off their body weight in food each day and an abundant and reliable food source is essential. By hunting with their pod, killer whales are able to catch fish, seals, dolphins and even mammoth blue whales. Steller Sea Lion ( Eumetopias jubatus ) - Steller sea lions are the largest member of the seal family and are distinguished by their long flippers and yellowish colour. Starting off life as pups weighing around 40 lbs, they put on mass quickly and weigh an average 600 lbs for females and 1,200 lbs for males. California Sea Lion ( Zalophus californianus ) - Steller and California sea lions often live in the same areas. California sea lions can be distinguished by their smaller size and darker fur, as well as by their sound; California sea lions make barking noises, whereas steller sea lions growl.

American Mink ( Mustela vison ) - Mink are members of the same animal family as weasels, wolverines and polecats, and are distinguished by their long bodies, short legs and pointy faces. Mink spend their days in forested areas near rivers or the sea shore. They are solitary animals and males are very territorial. A mink's territory is established using visual, auditory and, especially, chemical signals. River Otter ( Lontra Canadensis ) - River otters are solitary animals that spend their lives roaming vast waterways in search of food. When they are still young, river otters spend their days diving, burrowing, sliding and throwing mud at each other. These play games help the young otters gain motor skills and dexterity. By the time they are adults, river otters can run up to 30 km/h on land and stay underwater for up to eight minutes. Sea Otter ( Enhydra lutris kenyoni ) - Sea otters are very rare in the Pacific Rim. Their pelts were once worth over $1,000 each and the fur trade wreaked havoc on their population. They spend much of their day foraging in kelp beds, cracking mollusc shells open using a rock or other tool, and will often wash their food before eating it. At night, they secure themselves by wrapping their bodies in kelp and sleep floating on their backs.


Many of the whale-watching companies also offer bear watching tours from their boats as well. These tours normally take you to protected areas in Clayoquot and Barkley Sounds. Being on a boat means you can view all sorts of wildlife safely from the water, especially the area's magnificent black bears. They come down to the water's edge to feed on salmon, and this is where you'll most likely catch a glimpse of these gorgeous creatures.It's also possible to view wildlife at Thornton Creek Hatchery in Ucluelet. Please use extreme caution, bears are wild animals and therefore unpredictable. Do not approach the bears; safest viewing is from your vehicle. Juveniles often frequent the hatchery from March-June, and adults from mid-October-November. The hatchery is accessible off Hwy. 4 by turning towards Port Albion and continuing approximately 2km until you see a sign for the Thornton Creek Hatchery. Turn right and continue for 1km, the hatchery is on the right-hand side. You can tour the hatchery operation; donations are most appreciated.

Bear watching at it's best during the months of September, October, November and by December things are starting to quiet down again. The best time for viewing bears at Thornton Creek is during low tide where they are taking advantage of the returning Chinook that are caught in tidal pools at the mouth of the creek. Thornton creek hatchery is located in Ucluelet's inner harbour and is accessible by car although the roads are not very well marked. Black bears come across as very clumsy and docile but don't be fooled as they are very explosive and move very quickly. When at the creek watching the bears feeding on the returning salmon will absolutely amaze you with the accuracy speed and power the bears show case as they chase down their next meal.

Never under estimate a wild animal, Black bears are quite peaceful animals when viewed from a safe distance it's advised that you don't get to close as bears are unpredictable especially when cubs are present. Thornton Creek Hatchery Driving Directions and Bear Watching Hours ** Bear Watching Season starts September to mid November ** Open 10am - 3pm Daily Thornton Creek Hatchery now offers safe bear watching the charge is by donation. The recommended donation is $10 - $20, a donation box is located at the beginning of the entry gate where you will be greeted and let in for viewing. Vancouver Island Wolf Canis lupus crassodon The Vancouver Island wolf is a sub-species of the grey wolf. They are highly social animals, living in packs of five to 35 wolves. Life in the wolf pack is dominated by rank and being near the top means eating first and the first choice of mate. The Vancouver Island wolf is an endangered species; moreover, it is very shy. You are much more likely to hear them howling in the still West Coast night than to see one in person.


Ucluelet Salmon Charters - Guided Salmon and Halibut fishing charters in Ucluelet, BC. Fishing the west coast of Vancouver Island is exciting with explosive action during most months of the year. Best times to fish are starting in March till early October with peak months being July, August and early September. During these months limits of Chinook, Coho, Halibut are caught everyday. If you have your own boat when sport fishing in Tofino or Ucluelet waters offshore or along the shoreline make sure you have all safety equipment, maps and electronics such as radar, gps, flares and a vhf and a back up motor is definitely a good idea. It's always a good idea when fishing unfamiliar waters to book a charter this way you will be catching fish not trying to find the hot spots for the first few days and returning home with a half full cooler. Book a charter and get the results you are looking for and that's non stop action!

Ucluelet Charters


Phone: 250 266 0595



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West Coast Wild Zip lining


Hot Springs Tours departing from Tofino go regularly to Hot Springs Cove, located in Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. This idyllic setting is located 27 nautical miles northwest of Tofino, or roughly one and a half hours. Home of the Hesquiaht people, this area is also home to a natural hot springs that bubbles up from a crack in the earth. The springs are located at the end of a boardwalk forest walk. The simmering sulfur water flows as a gentle brook and then cascades as a waterfall into five natural interconnected pools. It's the most incredible meeting of the cold ocean with a naturally heated hot spring. Getting there from Tofino is half the fun. A number of different tour operators offer transportation via water or air.

Most of these tours usually include whale watching, bird watching and other eco-interpretive activities along the way. Once at the dock it's a 30-minute hike to the hot springs. You can also take a floatplane from Tofino harbour to Hot Springs harbour and do some sightseeing along the way. Hesquiaht Peninsula Provincial Park occupies most of the eastern shore of Nootka Sound and is where Cougar Annie's Garden is located. A significant area for hiking, boating and sea kayaking, this remote area is without facilities and recommended only for experienced outdoors campers and kayakers.

You can take a boat or plane from Tofino to visit Cougar Annie's Garden on a day trip. Early 20th century homesteader Ada Annie pre-empted this land, bore 8 of her 11 children here and carved a magical garden out of the wilderness. This is the only wilderness homestead that endured in Clayoquot Sound. The five-acre garden and heritage site is now managed by the Boat Basin Foundation. The foundation conducts tours of the garden, visit Marvel at the amount of work it would have taken to clear this plot from rainforest using no modern machinery at all. A visit to Cougar Annie's garden is unforgettable! ​


Kayaking in Barkley Sound (Broken Island Group) and Clayoquot Sound is an opportunity to experiences the amazing sights, sounds and tranquility of the area. View vast rugged shorelines from afar, see the temperate rainforests that hug the shorelines, view all sorts of marine wildlife from eagles and herons, to shorebirds, anemones, sea lions, seals, sea otters and even whales! Beginners are welcome on tours that range from harbour tours in Tofino, to Meares Island Big Tree Trail tours to overnight trips in the Broken Group Islands.


First and foremost, the west coast is home to the Nuu-chah-nulth people and has been for thousands of years.Nuu-chah-nulth means "all along the mountains and sea," and indeed there are many tribes scattered around the area. The Nuu-chah-nulth culture is prominent locally. Skilled carvers and all types of artists display traditional artwork in galleries in Tofino, Ucluelet and in between. One of the primary teachings of the Nuu-chah-nulth culture is "Hishuk ish is'awalk" or "everything is one." It's not hard to see this belief in practice on the wild West Coast, where these people lived off the land for centuries. In Tofino visit the Eagle Aerie Gallery on Campbell St. to view the paintings of First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers. The House of Himwitsa located on Tofino's waterfront on Main St. features local First Nations carving, artwork, masks, totems and gold and silver jewellery.

Cedar Corner Gallery (at Fourth and Campbell Sts.) features both Native and other art from the West Coast and elsewhere on Vancouver Island. The Village Gallery on Main St. features paintings, carvings, pottery and jewellery from West Coast artists. Tofino Art Glass studio has handmade kiln-formed glass art, masks, trays, etc. by a local artist and Reflecting Spirit Gallery also features a unique and eclectic blend of artwork, including sculpture, pottery and woodwork. Artistry also abounds at the other end of the highway in Ucluelet. The Du'Quah Gallery on Peninsula Rd. features local First Nations artwork and the Mark Penney Gallery located in the Whiskey Landing building on Ucluelet's waterfront boasts an impressive collection of paintings. West Coast culture has been largely defined by being so far removed from the rest of the world. "End of the road culture" typifies these communities, where locals are hearty and welcoming people. "Slow down this ain't the mainland," and "Think fast hippie" are some of the bumper stickers you might see around these towns that are indicative of the typical laid back attitude. Many often refer to "being on Tofino time," or not necessarily on any particular schedule. This is a place where you can slow down, relax and appreciate both the scenery of the place and the culture of those who inhabit it. Enjoy!


Ucluelet's recently developed Wild Pacific Trail is the "ultimate" hiking/walking trail for nature enthusiasts. Voted in the top 31 things to do in the New York times, it is easy to see how this spectacular trail attracts guests from all around the globe! The trail is best described as a boardwalk that twists and loops along the coastline in through giant timbers and rainforest and back around skirting the rocky rugged coast. Overlooking Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands to the east and the open Pacific Ocean to the south and west, it offers spectacular shoreline panoramas and seaward vistas through ancient cedar and spruce-framed viewing platforms constructed on the best headlands along the route.The vast Pacific Ocean borders the trail and offers visitors a serene placid and peaceful Pacific Ocean in the summer months with close up views of marine wildlife, and common spectacles of otter's, water foul, seals, sea lion's and Gray Whales passing by in the spring (February to late May) when over 20,000 Gray whales pass by the coastline on route to their northbound migration from the Baja Peninsula to Alaska's Bering Strait and beyond.

The trail offers many excellent viewing points to view the Gray Whales passing by. In the winter time the Pacific Ocean turns into a ferocious body of water encompassing the coastline where views from the trail offer unparalleled vantage points of the untamed beauty and drama of a winter storm. Storm watching has become a favourite activity on the West Coast, and there is no better views to experience the fury of the open ocean that the view points along the Wild Pacific Trail where hikers get an up-close-and-personal look at the ocean's fury while viewing from the protection of the trail itself. The trail forms a 3 Km loop along the southern tip of Ucluelet and takes approx. 1 hour to complete at a leisurely pace.​

At all times of the year the views along the ever-changing outer coast line afforded by this route are breathtaking - sunset and sunrise are a must see. Storm-watching is a natural on this trail with many breath-taking views 20-30m above surge channels and outer reefs constantly pounded by ocean swells. During the annual gray whale migration (late February to late May), whales can be spotted not more than 5 km offshore of this location as well as sea lions, seals, mink and otter playing in the nearby surf. Natural Elements Vacation Rentals portfolio of vacation rental accommodations include a selection of luxury rentals within very close proximity (steps away!) to the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet. These rentals offer panoramic open Pacific ocean views where in the spring and summer months guests can view the Gray Whales passing by right from the comfort of your vacation rental, and in the winter months guests can experience the breath-taking exhilaration of a West Coast winter storm right from the warmth of their vacation rental just steps away to the access point to the Wild Pacific Trail!


The Pacific Rim area is hiker's dream. With trails ranging from rainforest boardwalk stroll to more challenging shoreline hikes, there is something for everyone. Be prepared before you head out by checking tide tables and weather reports. Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet Starting off in Ucluelet, the world famous Wild Pacific Trail is not to be missed. This is the West Coast's only oceanside trail, the perfect place to see the grandeur of the coastline and view the ocean in all its rugged power from the safety of the trail. Currently there are three sections of the trail, and the community of Ucluelet is planning to extend the Wild Pacific Trail all the way to connect with Halfmoon Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The Lighthouse Loop, the Big Beach Section and the Brown's Beach Section all offer spectacular viewpoints for watching storms whipping in, whales going by and the sun rising and setting.

Views of Barkley Sound, the Broken Group Islands and the open Pacific Ocean are possible from the trail. You'll pass through sections of overgrown forests of ancient cedar and spruce trees, you'll see mosses, fungi, lichen and ferns, you may even see a bald eagle flying by. Be sure to pick up a copy of Long Beach Maps when you arrive to town for more detailed information about the different sections of the trail and where to park to access this glorious gem in Ucluelet. (gravel, boardwalk and forested trail, some sections steep and moderately difficult). Trails in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve: Willowbrae Trail is part of the pioneer route that once linked Ucluelet with Tofino. A gravel trail somewhat hilly trail through the forest you leads to the beautiful Florencia or Half Moon Bay areas, perfect for picnics, or long beach strolls. The Half Moon Bay trail is a boardwalk and bark mulch path that leads you through old growth forest to a picturesque cove.

The final descent is a steep one. Florencia Bay (also called Wreck Bay) is also accessible from a parking lot off Wick Rd in the park (boardwalk staircase to the beach is quite steep), and is a wonderfully sheltered and expansive sandy beach for enjoying a full morning or afternoon's delight. (moderate difficulty, with steep sections nearing the beach) South Beach Trail is a short 1.5km trail on gravel and boardwalk that provides access to the scenic Lismer Beach. Hikers can connect to the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail from South Beach Trail, which traverses the Quitsitis headleads to link up with Florencia Bay. This forested boardwalk trail features interpretive signs and a Nuu-chah-nulth totem pole as homage to the original inhabitants of this beautiful land. The Shorepine Bog Trail is an inland wheelchair accessible boardwalk loop that is located off Wick Rd. This is one of the most unique displays of vegetation in the park. Three hundred year-old shorepine dwarf trees dominate this somewhat eerie 1km trail, so gnarled because of water accumulated in this geological depression. Sphagnum moss is prevalent throughout the bog, causing the soil to remain acidic and stunting the growth of all the plants and trees in the area. This is an easy trail with washrooms located in the parking lot.

The Rainforest Trail will be a favourite once you've experienced these two 1km inland loops. Both loops meander through pristine old growth rainforest so unique to this area. The hush of the forest will encircle you as you wander amongst these giants and fallen logs. Interpretive signage on Loop A (across the highway from the parking area) explains the forest life cycles, including how fallen logs become home to moss, lichen and hundreds of other organisms. Loop B teaches visitors about forest inhabitants and the interconnections between the forest life cycle and that of keystone species in the area such as salmon. This is an easy trail, though you do have to cross the highway for Loop A. The Combers Beach Trail starts out as a wide gravel trail to a steep slope through a mature forest of Sitka spruce. The trail joins up briefly with the older Spruce Fringe Boardwalk and brings hikers to the beach via a ramp and steps that may be disturbed, depending on erosion conditions. This trail is easy, but with moderately difficult sections. Schooner Trail is a boardwalk forest trail that ascends and descends stairs and ramps through a mature rainforest. Streams, nurse logs and tall trees dominate this trail that leads hikers to the wonderfully secluded Schooner Cove. On a low tide walk around the point to access miles more beach. This 1km trail (one way) is moderately difficult because of stairs. Radar Hill is the spot for panoramic views of Clayoquot Sound and the Long Beach area. You can drive to the top or park at the bottom and walk up the hill for an exhilarating climb. There is some evidence of the foundations of the radar station that existed here during the cold war. A wheelchair accessible ramp goes to a viewpoint, but cannot access the highest point. In Tofino, a boardwalk staircase leads to Tonquin Beach from the end of Tonquin Park Rd. The recently restored boardwalk features individually sponsored boards bearing the names of the benefactors. This is a sandy cove beach that is ideal for fishing. It looks across to Wickaninnish Island and the open ocean.

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