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Nuu-chah-nulth Trail in Pacific Rim National Park

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Nuu-chah-nulth Trail in Pacific Rim National Park


Nuu chah nulth is a pay to use, dog friendly trailThe Nuu-chah-nulth (aka the Wickaninnish Trail), has the amazing distinction among all the other beach hikes in the Tofino-Ucluelet corridor, in that it is flanked on one side by the amazing, and historic Florencia Bay.  And on the other side by the unexpectedly, extraordinary and beautiful, Kwisitis Visitor Centre.  The Kwisitis Visitor Centre(previously called the Wickaninnish Centre) is in fact a pretty impressive little museum.  They have taken a very small space and filled it with jaw dropping murals, carvings, exhibits and an amazing full sized native whaling expedition in mid-attack.  Fantastic!  You certainly don't expect such a well designed exhibition to be so understated.. and free.The Nuu chah nulth Hiking Trail Near Tofino & Ucluelet

And if that wasn't enough there's more.  The Kwisitis Feast House(previously the Wickaninnish Restaurant) is excellent.  Reasonably priced and good food.. and every table has a million dollar view of the wild Pacific beyond and below.

The restaurant juts out, over the ocean, and the waves crash here as you dine, loud, big and beautiful.  You would be hard pressed to find a more amazing view for lunch or dinner, at such a reasonably priced restaurant, anywhere.  But enough about the great restaurant, back to the great trail.

The Nuu-chah-nulth is an interpretive trail that gives a glimpse of the local First Nations culture as it meanders 2.5 kilometres through the rainforest from Florencia Bay to Wickaninnish Beach.  Certainly a good way to hike this area is to park at the Florencia Bay/Nuu-chah-nulth parking lot and take the short hike to Florencia Bay.

Take a look at the view from where the Florencia shipwreck memorial plaque is, with a beautiful view out to the island that the Florencia wrecked near.  Go down and see the beautiful beach at Florencia Bay, then backtrack up the trail to where the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail branches off toward the Kwisitis Visitor Centre and Kwisitis Feast House.  And then finally walk back to your car at the Florencia parking lot.

Give yourself about an hour to enjoy the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail (each way), plus an hour at the short side-hike to Florencia Bay, and however long you take at the restaurant and Visitor Centre.  Maybe five hours total for this roundtrip hike and museum/restaurant tour.  But an amazing five hours immersed in the native history, shipwreck history and natural history of Clayoquot Sound.

Nuu-chah-nulth Trail Viewpoint

Nuu-chah-nulth Trail Map

Directions to the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail


Parking for the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail13k from Ucluelet or 28k from Tofino look for the turnoff to Wick Road.  This road leads to Florencia Bay, the Shorepine Bog Trail, the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail and the beautiful Kwisitis Information Centre(museum) and Kwisitis Feast House(Restaurant).

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Kwisitis Visitor Centre in Pacific Rim Park


The Kwisitis Visitor Centre is a beautiful and astonishingly elaborate little museum next to the very nice Kwisitis Feast House(previously the Wickaninnish Restaurant). Both the Centre and the Restaurant lay in the rainforest of Quisitis Point that separates Wickaninnish Beach and Florencia Bay.  The restaurant has incredible views and the Kwisitis Visitor Centre is free.

Kwisitis, in the Nuu-chah-nulth language, means "other end of the beach".  The restaurant and visitor centre are in a very nice building perched on a point in the middle of seemingly endless beaches in either direction.  The restaurant is perched so far out on this point of land that you feel as though you have ocean all around you.  There is a huge sundeck outside the restaurant where you have the ocean crashing below you.Kwisitis Visitor Centre Life-size Whale Tail Exhibit

You hear about "must-see" mentioned about places, however in the case of the Kwisitis Visitor Centre, it is definitely a must-see.  The restaurant alone is worth the drive(or hike) to with its amazing ocean views.  Even on a dreary day you will be captivated by the wonderful view.

The Kwisitis Visitor Centre exhibits are stunning.  A full size recreation of a whale hunt takes up much of the main room.  The attention to detail is amazing as you can see the intensity in the hunter's faces as they go for the kill.  Several other depictions line the walls.  You may only spend 15 minutes in the visitor centre, but you will appreciate the wonderful look into the history of the area.

The Kwisitis Visitor Centre is in the midst of some great hiking trails that can all be done in an afternoon.  Florencia Bay is widely considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Pacific Rim National Park.  Branching off from Florencia Bay is the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail that takes you past a wonderful array of interpretive murals, then along the South Beach Trail to the Kwisitis Visitor Centre.

After lunch at the Kwisitis Feast House you can either retrace your steps the way you came back to your car at the Florencia Bay/Nuu-chah-nulth trailhead parking or you can follow Wick Road back to your car via a more direct, though not very scenic route.  On Wick Road you will pass the Shorepine Bog Trail.  This very unusual forest bog is well worth walking through.  A short boardwalk trail takes you on a circle route through this weather-beaten, though captivating forest unlike any other in Pacific Rim National Park.

Kwisitis Visitor Centre Life-size Whale Mural

Kwisitis Visitor Centre Life-size Whale Hunt Exhibit

Directions to the Kwisitis Visitor Centre


Parking for Kwisitis Visitor Centre13k from Ucluelet or 28k from Tofino look for the turnoff to Wick Road.  This road leads to Florencia Bay, the Shorepine Bog Trail, the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail and the beautiful Kwisitis Information Centre(museum) and Kwisitis Feast House(Restaurant).  All these are located in Pacific Rim National Park, so make sure you have purchased or purchase a park pass for the dash of your car.

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More Trails Near the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail


Kwisitis Visitor Centre in Pacific Rim National ParkMore Trails Near the Nuu-chah-nulth TrailThe Kwisitis Visitor Centre is a beautiful and astonishingly elaborate little museum next to the very nice Kwisitis Feast House(previously the Wickaninnish Restaurant). Both the Centre and the Restaurant lay in the rainforest of Quisitis Point that separates Wickaninnish Beach and Florencia Bay.  The restaurant has incredible views and the Kwisitis Visitor Centre is free.  Kwisitis, in the Nuu-chah-nulth language, means "other end of the beach".  The restaurant and visitor centre are in a very nice Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim Park, Tofinobuilding perched on a point in the middle of seemingly endless beaches in either direction.  The restaurant is perched so far out on this point of land that you feel as though you have ocean all around you.  There is a huge sundeck outside the restaurant where you have the ocean crashing below you. 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.

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