Chesterman Beach Tofino & Ucluelet Hiking Trails
Chesterman Beach is a wonderful 3 kilometre white sand beach just a 10 minute drive from Tofino. 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, storm watching, 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.
Chesterman Beach derives its name from one of the many colourful characters of the regions past. John Chesterman was one of the early non-native settlers to the region and acquired land along this beach a century ago.
You quickly realize that Chesterman Beach is a favourite for the local surf schools. All year-round you will spot surfers of all abilities out in the consistently surf-able waves. The natural separation of Chesterman Beach by Frank's Island, allows for differing surf conditions north and south. Depending on the wind direction and tides will partly dictate where surfers will gravitate to.
Chesterman Beach is one of the few beaches that is off the radar. There is no big yellow gate and sign off the highway directing you. It's a quiet street, really a cobweb of streets, off the highway. This neighbourhood is beautifully characteristic of what happens when you put modern houses in a rainforest. Everything is ridiculously overgrown and wet. Always wet. Extravagantly expensive houses with absurd fences. You can barely see the fences through the jungle of rainforest. Here you can see the capitalisation of Tofino. It seems every house is a Bed and Breakfast, or some other accommodation.
As you meander through the rainforest B & B metropolis, you come to a very indistinct trailhead to Chesterman Beach. The sign and map board identify it. Standing in the overgrown and small parking lot. Really an edge or large sidewalk. Room for maybe five cars, you get the impression that this trailhead is just for locals.
Directions to the Chesterman Beach Trailhead Tofino & Ucluelet Hiking
Finding Chesterman Beach is pretty easy. From Tofino: about 5-10 minutes from Tofino watch on your right for Chesterman Beach Road. Turn here and watch for one of two trailhead parking lots. Both are small and convenient. The three minute walk to the beach is easy, flat and short.
Other Hiking Trails & Beaches Near Chesterman Beach:
Radar Hill Trail - nice distance views, 5 minutes to views
Grice Bay - nice bay view, boat launch, drive right to bay
Long Beach - spectacular beach, quick access from parking