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Tofino Hiking Guide July

Tofino Aerial VideoVargas Island Aerial Video 3Vargas Island Aerial View

July Guide - Tofino, Ucluelet & Clayoquot Sound


July is the peak weather season for Tofino, Ucluelet, Pacific Rim National Park and the all encompassing Clayoquot Sound.  Tofino and Ucluelet become packed with people and accommodations fill up most days until the end of the summer.  The average temperatures range from about 19c to 10c(hi and low).  Located in the British Columbia Coastal Rainforest, Clayoquot Sound is the larger area that encompasses Tofino, Ucluelet, Pacific Rim National Park and beyond.  It rains considerably year-round, so being prepared for rain at all times is a good idea.  Hot Springs Cove Near Tofino and UclueletHot Springs Cove is a wonderful day trip from Tofino.  Lots of whale watching companies offer whale watching/hot springs tours for very reasonable prices.  The boat ride is out on the open ocean is quite fun and there is a fair bit to see, not least the whales that you hopefully encounter.  The hot springs themselves are wonderful, and the 25 minute (1.2 kilometre) walk to them is unexpectedly beautiful and interesting.  Intricate cedar boardwalks and bridges move you up and through massive trees and wind through the forest.  Years of interesting carvings into the boardwalk planks adorn the route.  Hundreds of names of visiting people, groups, and vessels, give the walkway a historic and artistic feel to it.  Along Kennedy River Bog Park - Clayoquot Sound Trailsthe boardwalk there are a couple very nice viewpoints looking out to the ocean beyond the forest.  Upon reaching the hot springs there are some nice, beautifully built, cedar changing rooms and yet another viewpoint.  Finally a short path takes you to the hot springs.  Flowing through fissures in the rock the amazing 50 degree water (122F) flows from a small waterfall and continues through five wonderfully natural pools that lead to the ocean. Kennedy River Bog Park is just another feature of the Radar Hill - Clayoquot Sound Trails JulyTofino/Ucluelet part of the world that is just amazing.  You paddle down the wide, Amazon-like river channel into an amazing bog full of life all around you.  A fantastic window to a seemingly untouched oasis in the middle of a rainforest world full of life.  Paddling to Kennedy River and the gateway to Kennedy River Bog Park is less than a ten minute paddle from where you launch.  You can launch at the Kennedy River bridge, but the launch is simply a steep dirt path beside the bridge and there is just barely room enough to park your vehicle.  Long Beach is the wonderfully accessible beach that spans the middle of Pacific Rim National Park for several kilometres.  It's the longest stretch of surf swept sand on west coast ofLong Beach - Clayoquot Sound Trails July Vancouver Island.  In fact, if you include Florencia Bay, Wickaninnish Beach, Combers Beach and Schooner Cove with Long Beach, then it is the longest sand dune on Vancouver Island.  Surfing, walking and wandering the beach are the main activities here.  Winter storm watching and summer sunshine make Long Beach hard to beat.  It is popular and huge, so you don't feel crowded even in the busiest of summer days.  Radar Beach is one of the innumerable places that makes this part of the world so amazing.  Florencia Bay - Tofino, Ucluelet & Clayoquot Sound TrailsIt is difficult to get to due to it having an unmarked trailhead, steep and muddy trail, and considerable climbing and crawling above and below fallen trees.  Where the other popular beach trails in the area have elaborate and expensive boardwalks and stairs, Radar Beach does not.  And hopefully never will.  This difficult trail ensures Radar Beach as a secluded paradise in the midst of the sometimes crowded and chaotic, nearby beaches.  The unmarked hiking trail begins at the end of the Radar Hill parking lot.  The beautiful trail to Schooner Cove starts just at the top end of Pacific Rim National Park near Tofino.  Schooner Vargas Island - Tofino, Ucluelet & Clayoquot Sound Trails JulyCove also sits near the top or northern end of Long Beach which continues south from here for 10 kilometres!  Almost immediately you are struck by the enormous trees.  Hundreds of years old, these monsters are everywhere along this trail.  The Schooner Cove trail and Schooner Cove itself is much quieter and even at times secluded feeling when compared to other Pacific Rim National Park beaches and hiking trails.  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 day-hike 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.

Virgin Falls in Clayoquot Sound Near Tofino

Virgin Falls in Clayoquot Sound


The beautiful, narrow and paint scraping Virgin Falls Road

At 53 metres, Virgin Falls is quite an impressive sight.  You walk through the short, two minute forest trail to reach it and it fills your view.  It is located in a beautiful oasis it has created.  A large, ice cold and crystal clear pool with pebble rocks and waterfall battered logs that flows out in a large, meandering stream through the Virgin Falls Camping Area Partly Shown - July Hikingtrees.  The whole area is surrounded by huge trees and you feel a strange sense of comfort, like you are in protected place.  And when you roll out your sleeping bag in the spectacular setting, you will never want to leave.

The small, but very inviting camping area is amazing.  Huge trees to your back, phenomenal waterfall to your front.  Room for two tents near the cozy and clean fire pit.  Endless firewood litters the edge of the waterfalls pool beautifully.  Though the loud waterfall makes conversation a bit tough.  The wonderful area where the fire is is somewhat sheltered by a couple large trees deflecting some sound and making the camping area all the better.

The logging road to Virgin Falls is pretty bad, though very beautiful.  It is hardly maintained, though still used logging road that hugs the coast much of its 31k length from the Kennedy River bridge turnoff.  The potholes are numerous, though expected.  What isn't expected is the narrow, overgrown sections.  If you value your vehicles paint, you will find yourself gritting your teeth quite a bit.  But then if you have a 4x4, you should likely be used to that and be fine barrelling through these narrow sections.  If you are planning on driving up without a 4x4 you should be able to make it, though there are a couple of steep sections that you may have to make a couple runs at to get up.

Vargas Island Aerial Video 4Kennedy River Bridge Aerial VideoCirque Lake Aerial Video

Madeley Lake Aerial VideoPanorama Ridge Aerial VideoGoldstream Park Train Trestle Aerial View

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