Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (Long Beach Unit)

Words by Liam Ogle | May 4, 2020

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, in the heart of the Pacific Northwest’s enchanted coastal temperate rainforest. Its pristine nature, towering mountains, awesome views, splendid lakes, and forests are the main reasons why to visit this destination on Vancouver Island.

The best way how to explore this part of the National Park is for sure by hiking, and the good news is that it is not hard to get to Pacific Rim from Tofino or Ucluelet and choose one of its many hiking trails - there are many hikes to choose from for every type of traveler. Whether you’re looking to explore this region’s rich natural history, enjoy a couple of relaxing days at one of Tofino’s luxury retreats, or pack in the action for a family fun day out, Tofino's must-do activities have got you covered. The national park and overall Tofino area is outstanding because of the superb nature and activities, featuring the sandy beaches of the Long Beach Unit, over 100 sheltered islets of the Broken Group Islands popular for kayaking expeditions, and the 75-kilometre multi-day West Coast Trail. Tofino and Ucluelet are popular destinations, particularly for surfing, hiking, and whale watching.

You can visit and hike Pacific Rim year round. The National Park got its name “Pacific Rim” comprising of the lands around the rim of the Pacific Ocean. Including Vancouver Island, the Aleutian Islands, Kamchatka, the Kurile Islands and Japan.  The Pacific Rim roughly overlaps with the geologic Pacific Ring of Fire.


There are several hiking trails available within Pacific Rim National Park, and it is only up to you, your itinerary and level of fitness, which one you will decide to choose.  Some of the best self guided trail are: Nuu-chah-nulth Trail | Pretty easy, 2.6 kilometers long one way trail leads first on a wooden boardwalk alongside Wickaninnish, Lismer, Florencia and South Beach. Later take a moment to visit the Parks Canada Kwisitis Visitor Center for exhibits on natural history and culture. Halfmoon Bay Trail | A short, 1 kilometer one way trail follows a long set of wooden stairs that lead down to the secluded Halfmoon Bay. At the far end of the beach and across the headlands offers the visitor great tide pooling opporunities and the chance to see a blow hole in the rocky cliffs if the tide and swell is right.

But at LBNT we have created our own routes. Linking the best trails in the Park to create our coastal trek of Pacific Rim: Rainforest Discovery | This hike is also not very demanding, and it is a great option for every traveler looking for a peaceful time spent in nature. Approximately 8km, this hike is flat almost all the time on either a sandy beach or wooden boardwalk. Expect for exceptional views of the Pacific Ocean, you will have a chance to closely explore different trees and native plants. We start this route at Florencia Bay and finish at Combers Beach. Pacific Rim Traverse | The moderate route will take you on the entire southern half of Pacific Rim National Park’s Long Beach Unit. Approximately 12km we begin this route just north of Ucluelet on the Willowbrae Trail and hike northwards along the coast and finish at Combers Beach. You don't need to bring much when doing this walk with Long Beach Natures tours as we provide a packed picnic lunch and snacks. If you feel up for the challenge we also have the opportunity to hike from Willowbrae to Schooner Cove for the Full Pacific Rim Traverse, which covers approximately 20.5km of sandy beaches and beautiful rain forest trails. From 2km, 8km, 12km and 20+km options to choose from; we are confident we will have the right adventure for you to explore the best of the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park during your visit to Tofino and Ucluelet.

Based in Tofino BC, Long Beach Nature Tours strive to create a unique private experience for you, our guest. With a variety of trails to explore ranging from leisurely walks to more adventurous pursuits, your tour will be customized to your interests and abilities. Our hiking guides are accredited by Parks Canada, are experienced and professional interpreters and biologists. Our goal is to connect our guests with nature, to educate visitors to this region and to discover wild places.