Pacific Rim National is a 511 km2 (197 sq mi) park located along the rugged west coast of Vancouver Islands in British Columbia, where the lush temperate rainforests meet the rough and tumble waves of the mighty Pacific, making it one of Canada’s most diverse and impressive places… a must for a nature lover’s bucket list!
The reserve, established in 1970, is divided into three areas: Long Beach, located between Tofino and Ucluelet, it’s the most accessible of the three regions; The Broken Group Islands, including more than 100 islands accessible only by boat; and The West Coast Trail that features the famous 75 km (47 mi) hiking trail connecting the villages of Bamfield and Port Renfrew.
Between ancient rainforests, sandy beaches, amazing flora and fauna, and a rich Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation culture, there’s plenty to explore in this gorgeous natural playground: approximately 290 native archaeological sites, activities such as hiking, cycling, mountain biking, geocaching, kayaking, surfing, fishing, whale watching and much, much more.
Long Beach: A 16 km sweep of surf-pounded sand and rock between the two villages of Tofino and Ucluelet. It’s the most popular of the 3 regions, and absolutely stunning! The long sandy beaches with wide ocean views, big waves, and abundant marine life attract surfers/windsurfers, beachcombers, and wildlife enthusiasts. Also, its spectacular scenery hosts Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar and Pacific Silver Fir trees, so you can choose to hike through forests or walk the seemingly never-ending beaches with a beautiful mountain backdrop.
Due to its ferocious winter squalls, it’s also a popular storm-watching destination.
Looking for more? 27 nautical miles northwest of Tofino you can soak in the natural geothermal Hot Springs with incredible views of a cascading waterfall and the pacific ocean! Keep your eyes peeled along the way! You might see grey whales, sea lions, sea otters, and black bears foraging for beach delicacies… all possible (seasonally) in one breathtaking tour!
Green Point is the only campground located in the Long Beach area and features 94 vehicle drive-in campsites, 20 walk-in campsites one group site and one oTENTik. Reservations are highly recommended.
The Broken Group Islands: Located in Barkley Sound, the archipelago is known internationally for its unique geography: islands, beaches, old-growth temperate forests. No specifically hiking trails exist on any of the islands in the Broken Group, instead, you’ll find a popular destination for awesome sea kayaking, wildlife viewing, and wilderness camping. Also, you have a chance to learn about the ancient cultural history of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, present in these three different regions for at least 4,300 years.
There are seven designated camping areas scattered on the Hand, Dodd, Willis, Turret, Clarke, Gilbert, and Gibraltar Islands.
The West Coast Trail: The area, named for the 75 km backpack route between Port Renfrew and Bamfield (originally constructed in 1907, as an emergency rescue path for shipwrecked mariners), boasts both temperate rainforest trails (dominated by old-growth spruce, hemlock, and cedar), and wonderful beaches. Along the challenging path, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, caves, creeks, coves, tidal pools… you can find it all there! Nature at its most raw and beautiful!
There are three designated camping areas located at Bamfield (Pachena Bay campground), Port Renfrew (Pacheedaht campground), and Nitinaht Village (Ditidaht First Nations Campground).