LONG BEACH NATURE JOURNAL

Official Trail Guide to Tofino & Ucluelet

HOME > LONG BEACH NATURE JOURNAL > TOFINO AND UCLUELET'S OFFICIAL TRAIL GUIDE

Tofino and Ucluelet are known for their endless beaches and Canada's best year round surfing location but it is also a haven of peaceful rainforest trails with incredible west coast scenery. From short trails & walks to the famous West Coast Trail multi-day trek, the Pacific Rim region has a lot to offer for the hiking enthusiast. Below is our official trail guide to Tofino, Ucluelet and the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Short Walks

NEAR TOFINO & UCLUELET


  1. Tonquin Trail
  2. Wild Pacific Trail
  3. Lighthouse Loop Trail
  4. Combers Beach Trail
  5. South Beach Trail
  6. Willowbrae & Halfmoon Bay Trail
  7. Nuu-chah-nulth Trail
  8. Rainforest Trail
  9. Shorepine Bog Trail
  10. Schooner Cove Trail
  11. Big Tree Trail

Day Hikes

NEAR TOFINO & UCLUELET


  1. Pacific Rim Coast Trail
  2. Wildside Trail
  3. 5040 Peak via Cobalt Lake Trail
  4. Lone Cone

Trekking

NEAR TOFINO & UCLUELET


  1. West Coast Trail
  2. Nootka Trail

Tonquin Trail - Tofino

The Tonquin trail is a wonderful walk close to the town of Tofino and is perfect for anyone looking to get out and stretch their legs during any month of the year. This easy trail is a mix of wooden boardwalks and gravel, with a number of quiet and secluded pocket beaches along the way. Hikers might go as far as Middle Beach before heading back to the starting point at the end of Tonquin Beach Road. Otherwise you have the option to continue on and hike the Tonquin Industrial Connector Trail and enjoy a drink at the Tofino Brewery Co before heading back on the trail. This brings the walk to approximately 7km out and back. (about 2 hrs plus drinks).

  • 3-7 kilometres
  • Easy

Wild Pacific Trail - Ucluelet

The Wild Pacific trail is a breathtaking coastal walk close to the town of Ucluelet. Known for its dramatic and rugged shoreline and epic winter storm watching locations, this trail is perfect for anyone looking to get out and enjoy the outdoors during any month of the year. This easy trail is a well maintained gravel route with a number of quiet secluded coves and many lookout view points along the way. We recommend starting at its northern end; the Ancient Cedars trailhead, where you can explore the Rocky Bluffs and work your way to the Blackrock Oceanfront Resort where we suggest a visit at their spectacular restaurant patio for lunch before heading back on the trail. This brings this walk to approximately 7km out and back. (about 2 hrs plus the restaurant stop.)

  • 6-7 kilometres
  • Easy

Lighthouse Loop Trail - Ucluelet

As part of the larger Wild Pacific trail, the Lighthouse Loop trail features a stop at an active lighthouse, located at the southern point of the Ucluth Peninsula in the town of Ucluelet. Also known for its dramatic shoreline and epic winter storm watching it is also a great location during the months of March and April during the annual Grey Whale migration. If you are planning a visit during the spring, we highly recommend spending some time to explore this trail and count how many whales pass in front of you as it is common to spot many from the trail.

  • 2.5 kilometres
  • Easy

Combers Beach Trail - Pacific Rim National Park

This trail is a short access route to visit Combers Beach. This is relatively a quieter section of Pacific Rim National Park and provides excellent opportunities for birding and also spotting sea lions on neighbouring sea lion rock a short distance off the beach. This is a good trail to have a pair of binoculars handy for wildlife viewing. The trail itself is quite short but we recommend as you arrive on the beach to head to your right (northwest) and walk to Green point and back. This brings the walk to approximately 4km (about 1.5 hrs).

  • 4 kilometres
  • Easy

South Beach Trail - Pacific Rim National Park

As one of the most scenic walks in the Park, the South Beach Trail follows along the shoreline and offers stunning views of Wickaninnish Bay and Lismer Beach on route to the warm black sand of South Beach. This is a great place to go during the summer for a warm beach picnic or during the winter to watch some big storms roll in. We suggest to continue on and connect with the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail.

  • 3 kilometres
  • Easy

Willowbrae & Halfmoon Bay Trail - Pacific Rim National Park

A short walk that follows a wide gravel route through the forest before descending down a wooden staircase to a beautiful, secluded beach known as South Florencia. To access Halfmoon Bay turn left nearing the end of the Willowbrae Trail and walk the boardwalk down a steep staircase to a quiet pocket Halfmoon beach.

  • 2 kilometres (one way)
  • Moderate

Nuu-Chah-Nulth Trail - Pacific Rim National Park

This trail is the longest boardwalk in the National Park, which winds through the rainforest between Wickaninnish Bay and Florencia Bay. With a few viewpoints along the route this is one of our favourite short walks in the region. It is also great to pair this walk with the South Beach Trail for a longer excursion.

  • 2.7 kilometres (one way)
  • Moderate

Rainforest Trail - Pacific Rim National Park

The Rainforest trail has 2 boardwalk trails, one on each side of the Pacific Rim Highway listed as Route A and B. This is a beautiful wooden boardwalk loop that visits some magnificent old growth trees and provides a great opportunity for the rejuvenating practice of forest bathing (Shinrin Yoku).

  • 2 kilometres (loop)
  • Easy

Shorepine Bog Trail - Pacific Rim National Park

This short loop trail consists entirely of boardwalks and has zero elevation gain making this one of the easiest walks in the National Park. Along with it being the easiest walk, it also is considered the most unique as you go through a completely different landscape than the rest of the trails in the area.

  • 0.8 kilometre (loop)
  • Easy

*Closed Indefinitely* Schooner Cove Trail - Pacific Rim National Park

This is one of the most scenic rainforest walks in the park, with a beautiful trail winding through a moss covered forest as you descend towards Schooner Cove. To explore further; once arriving at the beach it is best to turn to your right and continue walking around the corner to Schooner Cove where you will find yourself as the only ones on the entire beach. This is one of our favourite and most beautiful secluded pockets of the National Park. The boardwalk trail is approximately 1 km in length but expanding this walk to Portland Point on the northern side of Schooner Cove turn this walk into approximately 8 km round trip.

  • 8 kilometres
  • Moderate

Big Tree Trail - Meares Island, Clayoquot Sound

Located on Meares Island the Wanachis-Hilth-huu-is Tribal Park a short boat ride across the harbour from Tofino, the Big Tree Trail has some of the largest western red cedars in British Columbia. This island is rich with history and the trail commemorates these stories and turbulent times. The main trail is a wooden boardwalk that winds it's way through pristine coastal rainforest approximately 1 km in length. If you feel inclined you can push past this boardwalk and continue to walk the entire Big Tree loop but this path is unmaintained and very muddy. The Tribal Park guardians are working hard to extended this trail over the coming years.

  • 1 kilometre (boardwalk) 3 km (loop)
  • Moderate

Pacific Rim Coast Trail - Pacific Rim National Park

The Pacific Rim Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park Long Beach Unit is considered one of the premier day hikes in Tofino and Ucluelet, an iconic experience within easy reach of both communities. The 14 kilometre route is comprised of 4 beautiful beaches and 5 of the National Park's trails including the Willowbrae, Halfmoon Bay, Nuu-chah-nulth, South Beach and Combers Beach trails, a moderate 4-6 hour trip for most hikers.

  • 14 kilometre (one way)
  • Moderate

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Wildside Trail - Flores Island, Clayoquot Sound

The breathtakingly beautiful Flores Island Provincial Park is the gateway to the Wildside Trail on Flores Island. The trail winds its way through old growth rainforests and visits 8 of the most spectacular beaches in Clayoquot Sound. Two days are recommended for ultimate trail experience with a stunning campsite at Cow Bay but a round trip day hike is approximately 8.5 hrs covering 22km.

  • 11 kilometre (one way)
  • Moderate

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5040 Peak via Cobalt Lake Trail - Marion Valley, Sutton Pass

The Cobalt Lake Trail and 5040 Peak is one of the best alpine day hikes near Tofino & Ucluelet. This out and back trail is approximately 7km round trip and 900m in elevation gain. It is rated as difficult but within the first 1.5hr of the hike you will reach the subalpine with 360 degree views of neighbouring peaks of Sutton Pass. With endless alpine to explore, you could easily spend 2 or 3 nights at the newly built Alpine Club of Canada 5040 Hut. This will allow you to have a lighter pack and a comfortable sleep in this luxurious and fully equipment alpine refuge. This trail can be easily done as a day hike from Tofino and Ucluelet or for optimal experience, spend a night or 2 at the hut and explore the Ridgeline to the north across to Beverly Lake and Nahmint mountain. *Note: The trailhead is accessed by the Marion Valley logging road. A 4x4 vehicle is required.

  • 7 kilometre (round trip)
  • 900m gain / 900m loss
  • Challenging

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Lone Cone - Meares Island, Clayoquot Sound

Located on Meares Island and visible across the harbour from Tofino, the towering mountain known as Lone Cone rises from the ocean. This hike leads you through a steep rainforest trail to a lookout at the top of the mountain which has one epic view over looking the town of Tofino, surround islands and the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. This is an extremely difficult trail and is not recommended for the faint of heart but if you can make it to the top, the views are extremely rewarding. Also we recommend to hike this trail on a clear day, if the mountain is obscured by clouds, you will not see the view!

  • 6 kilometre (round trip)
  • 730m gain / 730m loss
  • Very Difficult

West Coast Trail - Pacific Rim National Park

The West Coast Trail (WCT) is an iconic backcountry, multi-day backpacking trail that is a bucket list challenge for many hikers. This 75-kilometre (47-mile) thru hike is part of the ancient paths and paddling routes used for trade and travel by first nations and can be accessed from either the southern trailhead in Port Renfrew or the northern trailhead from Bamfield. Ucluelet is an easy gateway to begin your trek, with lots of amenities close by you can prepare for this adventure before taking the water taxi across the sound to begin the trail.

  • 75 kilometre
  • Challenging

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Nootka Trail - Nootka Island, Nootka Sound

The Nootka Trail is becoming known as one of the best coastal treks in British Columbia. This 37 kilometre route primarily consists of a shoreline trail with smaller sections in the forest. Lots of incredible views, varied scenery, abundant wildlife and few people makes this coastal trek rival the more popularly known West Coast Trail. Due to is remoteness and challenging logistics, it helps keep the annual number of hikers down to a few keen adventurers. There are a few main ways you can access this trail but we highly recommend Tofino as a great jumping point to start from with lots of amenities and comfortable lodging makes for a perfect pre and post trek vacation spot. An easy float plane up the west coast to Nootka Island is just as easy as the float plane ride from the other option further north of Gold River.

  • 37 kilometres
  • Moderate - Challenging

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We are honoured to be operating in the territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ, Ahousaht, Hesquiaht, Tseshaht and Huu-ay-aht Nations.