With dozens of easy and relaxing hiking trails between Tofino and Ucluelet. The hardest part is picking from so many. These are most of the best of the best easy hikes in Pacific Rim National Park as well as some further out in Clayoquot Sound. Most of the island hikes are easy as well, however are listed separately above under "Island Hiking".
A Walk in the Forest Trail is a wonderful new boardwalk trail that has a peculiar, though recent history. Originally built in 1997 by the District of Ucluelet and the Ministry of Forests. Unfortunately it fell into neglect for several years. The boardwalk rotted and vandalism and garbage defaced the trail. Restoration began in 2010, funded by the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust and Iisaak Forest Resources Limited. In 2012 the Central Westcoast Forest Society extended the boardwalk and created a large viewing platform that overlooks Lost Shoe Creek. This new platform will be used to host outdoor educational programs. The Central Westcoast Forest Society has joined with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts to co-manage this now designated BC recreational site. Parks Canada has created new interpretive signs...
Why should you hike the A Walk in the Forest Trail?
It is a wonderful and new boardwalk hike through the beautifully chaotic rainforest. It represents the wonderful work of The Central Westcoast Forest Society to breathe life back into this recently forgotten an brutalized place.
Chesterman Beach is a wonderful 3 kilometre beach just a 10 minute drive from Tofino. The walk to the beach from your car takes just 3 minutes with the roundtrip distance covered to the beach and back to your car is about 500 metres (or a third of a mile). It lays just outside of Pacific Rim National Park and as a result has a local feel that you don't get from most other beaches. From the wind battered houses that line the beach though shrouded in the coastal forest, to the magnificent Wickaninnish Inn sprawling to the ocean, Chesterman Beach is a beautiful beach oasis. The Wickaninnish Inn is a fabulously luxurious resort that ranks as one of the top resorts in Canada and sits at the far end of the beach. Chesterman Beach appeals to everyone. Surfing, walking, relaxing, playing and beach exploring are all popular here. In the spring and summer you may even spot whales passing by. Frank Island sits out from the middle of the beach and during low tide can be reached on foot.
Why should you go to Chesterman Beach in Tofino?
Chesterman Beach is enjoyable for everyone. It can be romantic at sunset or hauntingly beautiful at sunrise. Kids love exploring the endlessly interesting and lively beach. It is close and convenient from Tofino. It appeals to surfers of all abilities. Despite its popularity and wide array of possibly activities, Chesterman somehow keeps a tranquil, calm feeling. Wonderful to bring your family to, but equally enticing as a quiet, solo retreat.
Florencia Bay, named after the ship that was wrecked here in 1861 is certainly one of the most amazing places in the world. Just a short, 1 kilometre (.62 mile) walk to the beach you descend down a wonderfully sketchy tangle of wooden stairs onto a fantastic, wild and secluded feeling Canadian beach. Florencia Bay seems to have it all. Gorgeous, sandy beach. Excellent waves for surfing. An absurdly wild jungle forest that spills over the beach alive with colour. It has to be explored to be appreciated. The 5 kilometre bay cuts a wide arch, often with abrupt cliffs just off the beach. Florencia Bay is known locally as Wreck Beach due the shipwreck that happened here. Four people died when the 200 tonne ship, the Florencia was wrecked. The Florencia actually capsized elsewhere, however, during the salvage effort, the ship towing the Florencia had engine trouble and cast off the Florencia to be wrecked here. The Bay's name was officially changed to Florencia Bay in 1930, but the original name is often still used.
Why should you hike to Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park?
Florencia Bay is secluded feeling and beautiful. Much of the beach is south facing and wonderfully sunny. The sunsets are spectacular and the surfing is often very good. The wonderful history can be read from an excellent viewpoint monument on the trail to the beach.
Grice Bay is not really a hike but a setting off point for kayakers and boaters. Tofino Inlet, Cannery Bay, Tranquil Inlet, Fortune Channel, Dawley Passage Provincial Park as well as Kennedy River are all attractions for boaters from here. There is a nice boat launch and lots parking. Kayakers frequently depart from here to explore the sheltered waters away from the open ocean out past Tofino. Usually quiet and serene, sometimes Grice Bay can be a hive of activity due to its popularity as a boat launch for tour operators, recreational boaters as well as fishermen. At Grice Bay you will find a small picnic area and pit toilets and a small grassy area. There are great views of the bay and islands beyond. You could easily entertain yourself by sitting on the cute rocky beach and watching the wildlife in the area. Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons are sometimes spotted here. The boat launch of course is free to use however you will require a parking pass if you plan on leaving your vehicle unattended for any length of time. You can't get a pass at Grice Bay, but rather at one of the Parks offices, tourist Info Centre's or at the Long Beach Parking Lot. If you plan on needing a parking permit, it is convenient to pick one up at the huge Tourist Info Centre on your way to Tofino. The one at the three way junction where left takes you to Ucluelet and right to Tofino.
Why should you drive to Grice Bay?
Grice Bay is a great place to escape the crowds and soak in nature. The silence is wonderful and the scenery is pretty. Certainly if you have a boat, kayak or canoe, Grice Bay is a great place to visit and launch. The amount of wildlife in the area is unexpectedly huge. If you sit on the hot, sun warmed rocks on the shore of Grice Bay for a few minutes you will easily spot a dozen different residents of this tranquil and usually overlooked corner of Pacific Rim National Park.
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 of 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. Storm watching is advertised to off season visitors to Pacific Rim National Park, and for good reason. The Pacific Ocean crashes here with nothing to impede it for thousands of kilometres. The nearby West Coast Trail, is closed to hikers for more than half of the year due to these ferocious storms and brutal weather. These storms along this stretch of coast the nickname, the "Graveyard of the Pacific" after decades of continuous inbound ships wrecking along the shores near here.
Why should you go to Long Beach in Pacific Rim National Park?
Long Beach is a huge, white sand beach that is just steps from where you park your car. Located in the middle of Pacific Rim National Park, it is convenient and beautiful. Surfing, suntanning, relaxing, exploring, picnicking and swimming are all fantastic here.