Sunset, Chesterman Beach, Tofino (Destination BC/Danielle Hayes photo)
Stand in an ancient rainforest, gazing in awe as giant trees rise through mist and cloud to the sky.
The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is located on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. Kayak among clusters of alluring islands, where inner waters abound with marine life, and rocky shores are lined with twisted cedars, secret caves, and startling blowholes. Relax on soft-sand beaches and watch for whales, or in winter watch the storms that furiously pummel the coast.
Pacific Rim Communities
Port Alberni and the pastoral Alberni Valley is located at the end of the longest fjord on Vancouver Island. Surrounded by mountains, lakes, and salmon rivers, it is the start of the Pacific Rim experience.
Tofino sits on a narrow peninsula bordered by Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west, north, and east.
Ucluelet is one of only a few population centres on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. Its name means "safe landing place" in the language of the Nuu-chah-nulth people who have lived here for at least 4,300 years.
Pacific Rim Facts
- Pacific Rim National Park Reserve consists of three portions of coastline on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast running from just south of Tofino to Port Renfrew.
- Visitors stay in Tofino, Ucluelet and Bamfield, the area's most popular vacation destinations.
- Hot Springs Cove, the only hot spring on Vancouver Island, is located north of Tofino and is accessible by boat or seaplane.
- The West Coast Trail and the Broken Group Islands draw hikers and kayakers from around the world.
Beaches and Hiking Trails
Miles of rugged shoreline, dramatic old-growth forest and sprawling beaches make for an ideal outdoor recreational playground. Learn about the area’s natural and cultural heritage at an interpretive centre, or head to Clayoquot Sound to explore one of the largest areas of ancient temperate rainforest left in the world.
There are many walking paths and hiking routes to explore, including Pacific Rim National Park Reserve's 75km/47mi West Coast Trail and Ucluelet's Wild Pacific Trail. Walk along or lounge on the area’s expansive beaches, renowned for their soft sand and amazing scenery. Popular beaches include Long Beach, Schooner Cove and Wickaninnish Bay.
Beginning in late fall and continuing through winter the west coast of Vancouver Island is lashed by a succession of Pacific storms. The exposed coastal area becomes a coveted storm watching destination as epic squalls beat down with storm-force winds and waves that top 9m/30ft. Watch the fury of Mother Nature from the comfort of a luxurious lodge or cozy beachfront cabins.
Boasting deep inlets, multiple islands and a surfeit of protected nooks and crannies, the area’s waterways were seemingly carved for kayakers. Clayoquot Sound features beaches, headlands, old-growth rainforest, protected inner waterways, kilometres of rocky coastline, and a cornucopia of marine wildlife. The Broken Group Islands is one of the world's premier sea kayaking destinations. Discover more than 100 secluded islands and their sheltered waterways.
View nature at its most amazing and powerful. Approximately, 20,000 grey whales pass through the Pacific Rim en route to their Arctic feeding grounds in March and April, and from May to October many whales, such as humpbacks and Orcas, call these waters home. Watch from land or take a guided tour on the water.