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Easy Hiking Trails Near Tofino and Ucluelet

Florencia Bay Aerial VideoTofino Aerial VideoVargas Island Aerial Video

Easy Trails and Beaches Map

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Spruce Fringe Trail to Combers BeachThe Spruce Fringe Trail in Pacific Rim National Park is located at the edge of Long Beach, 22 kilometres from Tofino or 19 kilometres from Ucluelet.  The trail begins as gravel then a wonderful boardwalk and then leads to a stunning force of nature.  The Krummholz Tunnel is a weather blasted tunnel of trees.  Thick and surprisingly dense, this bizarre feature of the Spruce Fringe Trail has a nice information board explaining it and it's wondrous formation.. "Closer to the sea, the trees contort and huddle together against the weather.  The ocean's influence has created the spruce fringe but also limits plant growth and form.  Strong winds, laden with salt spray and abrasive sand have shorn off the seaward tips of the trees, pruning them into a tight wedge.  Behind this living windbreak, other spruce are able to grow tall and straight.  Inside the krummholz tunnel the dense tree canopy blocks the light so few plants can grow on the forest floor.  Instead, some shrubs have grown as tall as the trees!"  A short side trail leads to Combers Beach.  Combers Beach is yet another beautiful and huge beach.  Similar to the neighbouring Long Beach it is fun for everyone with lots of room to play and stunning sunsets.

Why should you hike the Spruce Fringe Trail in Pacific Rim Park?

The Spruce Fringe Trail is a relaxing loop trail through a very unusual looking forest.  The bizarre and interesting Krummholz Tunnel is amazing to walk through.  Combers Beach is beautiful.

Spruce Fringe Trail - Easy Hiking Trails Near Tofino and Ucluelet >>

The Big Tree Trail on Meares IslandThe Big Tree Trail is located on Meares Island just across from Tofino.  A quick and cheap boat taxi will get you to the trailhead and back for $30.  Meares Island was the centre of dispute in the 80's when the Nuu-chah-nulth protested Macmillan Bloedel's intent to log the island.  The Nuu-chah-nulth together with environmental groups blockaded the island and fought in the courts.  The court ruled that until the Nuu-chah-nulth's land claim to the island was settled, no development can occur on the whole of Meares Island.  This tremendous victory enabled the creation of The Big Tree Trail and its breathtaking star feature, the Hanging Garden Tree.  This monster of a tree.  A Western Red Cedar, estimated to be older than 1500 years, is enormous.  18 metres around and magnificently tall, it easily is included among Canada's greatest trees.  A nice boardwalk takes you from the trailhead to the Hanging Garden Tree.  Most people return from there the same way.  You can however, continue on and do a circle route taking in some more of the amazing, and unexpectedly pristine forest, that was the centre of such a chaotic battle not so long ago.

Why should you hike the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island?

Meares Island is beautiful and The Big Tree Trail is a well designed way to explore this wilderness island.  Magnificent and enormous trees along a manicured boardwalk make this trail relaxing and very enjoyable.  Very informative.  You get to see what a 1500 year old tree looks like up close!

Big Tree Trail on Meares Island - Easy Hiking Trails Near Tofino and Ucluelet >>

Wild Pacific Lighthouse Trail in UclueletThe Wild Pacific Trail is a must see on any visit to Pacific Rim National Park, Ucluelet and/or Tofino.  Located in Ucluelet, the Wild Pacific Trail is actually a set of three trails that connect into a wonderful 8.4 kilometre route.  The Lighthouse Loop trail is a great place to start is wild meandering 2.6km trail that has endless amazing ocean views and an amazing array of twisted, weather beaten, and endlessly interesting trees along the trail.  There are several great access points to the ocean where you can clamour over the rocks and see all sorts of sea life lurking in the pools and crevices where the ocean pours in and out of.  The Wild Pacific Trail is wide and leisurely with numerous viewpoints to the ocean and guides you in and out of the forest on a constantly interesting route.  The Lighthouse Loop takes less than an hour to walk, though considerably more if you explore.  You can continue walking along Peninsula Road and Marine Drive to reconnect to the trail or a good idea is to drive to the parking on Marine Drive near Browns Beach.  This positions you in the middle of the other two section of the Wild Pacific Trail, Big Beach and Brown's Beach.  Big Beach has a large picnic area and a great ocean viewpoint.  There are three beach access points.  Browns' beach begins near Black Rock Resort and runs through a section of forest then three kilometres of beautiful ocean views until reaching Peninsula Road.  If you turn right here you can follow the bike trail to Forbes St and connect back to Marine Drive or simply retrace your steps to your car.

Why should you hike the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet?

The Wild Pacific Trail is an easy and constantly interesting trail to hike anytime of the year.  Storm-watching in the colder months and a relaxing and very interesting trail all year-round.  Lighthouse Loop Trail is a beautiful route that allows you to walk the trail without having to retrace your steps.  Very family friendly with its easy, wide and interesting trail.

The Wild Pacific Trail - Easy Hiking Trails Near Tofino and Ucluelet >>

Willowbrae and Halfmoon BayThe Willowbrae Trail is a fairly quiet trail as compared to other beach trails in Pacific Rim National Park.  The trail is easy and flat to begin as you hike along the straight and flat gravel path.  This trail is prominent in the local history as a connecting route to Tofino.  Before the current highway was built in 1942, the route to Tofino was usually via sea and land right through what is now the Willowbrae Trail.  A nice map and information board along the trail points out what historic interests to look out for..  "Notches on old growth stumps that held springboards on which loggers stood to fell the giant trees.  Abandoned homestead sites characterized by young second growth trees crowded together with littler shrubbery or undergrowth."  The abandoned homestead sites have been obliterated by the forest but the notches in fantastically huge tree stumps are everywhere.  Another beautiful look into history is the remaining sections of the "Corduroy Road".  Early settlers constructed roads in the forest by laying down logs next to each other in a fashion that resembles corduroy fabric.  The Willowbrae Trail takes you straight to the southern end of the beautiful Florencia Bay which is reached in 1.4 kilometres from the trailhead. The final descent to the beach is down a wonderfully long and somewhat steep boardwalk and stairs section.  Florencia Bay is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches in Pacific Rim National Park due to its secluded feel, sunny south facing direction and interesting shipwreck history.  The beach is big and beautiful and you will usually find just a handful of surfers enjoying the whole area to themselves.

Why should you hike the Willowbrae Trail in Pacific Rim Park?

The Willowbrae Trail is a quiet alternative to the much busier trails in Pacific Rim National Park.  It is a trail with lots of historic interest and info on the trail depicting this.  The Willowbrae Trail leads to Florencia Bay which, on a sunny day is very beautiful.

The Willowbrae Trail and Halfmoon Bay - Best Easy Hiking Trails Near Tofino and Ucluelet >>

Best Island Hikes - Tofino & Clayoquot Sound Trails


The Big Tree TrailMeares Island was the centre of dispute in the 80's when the Nuu-chah-nulth protested Macmillan Bloedel's intent to log the island.  The Nuu-chah-nulth together with environmental groups blockaded the island and fought in the courts.  The court ruled that until the Nuu-chah-nulth's land claim to the island was settled, no development can occur on the whole of Meares Island.  This tremendous victory enabled the creation of The Big Tree Trail and its breathtaking star feature, the Hanging Garden Tree.  This monster of a tree.  A Western Red Cedar, estimated to be older than 1500 years, is enormous.  18 metres around and magnificently tall, it easily is included among Canada's greatest trees.  A nice boardwalk Flores Island and Wild Side Trail Near Tofinotakes you from the trailhead to the Hanging Garden Tree.  Most people return from there the same way.  You can however, continue on and do a circle route taking in some more of the amazing, and unexpectedly pristine forest, that was the centre of such a chaotic battle not so long ago.  Flores Island Provincial Park is located just a 40 minute water taxi ($20 scheduled or $25 on demand) ride away.  This beautiful, remote and wild feeling island is a popular beach camping destination, relatively close to Tofino.  Hot Springs Cove Near Tofino and UclueletSome of the beautiful beaches have excellent vantage points for whale watching as Gray whales pass here on their annual migration between Alaska and California.  Hot Springs Cove is an amazing day out from Tofino that can include whale watching and an enjoyable boat ride to reach them.  The amazing, natural hot springs are beautiful and due to their remoteness, relatively serene.  To enjoy hot springs that cascade into the violent Pacific Ocean is fantastic!  The boardwalk trail to reach the hot springs is Lone Cone - Clayoquot Sound Hikingvery nice and entirely enjoyable.  The cost to reach Hot Springs Cove from Tofino is quite reasonable ($120) when you consider all that you pack into the journey, there and back.  Lone Cone is the wonderful cone shaped mountain that dominates the skyline in Tofino.  It is just a 6 kilometre boat taxi ride from Tofino as it lays on the north-western endVargas Island - Ahous Bay of Meares Island.  Lone Cone is an incredible, short but very challenging hike to do while in Tofino.  There are several attributes that make it fantastic.  First, its location.  Very close to Tofino.  Just a short and very scenic boat taxi takes you to the trailhead.  Second, is it is such an abruptly steep hike that you go from the ocean to absurdly sweeping views in just over an hour.  Due to the location of Lone Cone requiring a water taxi to access, ensures that it remains serene and quiet most days.  Vargas Island Provincial Park is a popular Kayak camping destination due to its wonderful location close to Tofino.  It has wonderful, wilderness camping for free and a beautiful feeling of remoteness from the world.  And if you are lucky you might see whales pass in the distance from Ahous Bay.  The relaxing trail from the Tofino side of Vargas Island to Ahous Bay is 3 kilometres.  Making this an easy dayhike from Tofino or Ucluelet at just 6 kilometres roundtrip, trailhead to trailhead. Most of the western and most beautiful side of Vargas Island is within the Vargas Island Provincial Park. More island hiking in Clayoquot Sound.

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