Known for their diverse wildlife, abundant forests, and sprawling coastlines, Tofino and Ucluelet are a nature lover’s dream. We’re fortunate to call this area home, and have spent years exploring and appreciating its natural beauty. People come from all over the world to experience the lush environment of this unique and rare temperate rainforest.
We strongly believe that nature can improve mood and well-being. What’s more? Spending time outdoors in nature has been known to decrease stress, boost creativity, and have positive physical side effects. There’s never been a better time to get out in nature!
Whether you’re discovering Tofino and Ucluelet for the first time, or you’re a seasoned Vancouver Island traveler, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite hiking trails for you to explore. Be aware of high tides cutting off access, so refer to local tide guides. Enjoy!
Wild Pacific Trail - Ucluelet
One of the most popular trails in the Ucluelet area, the Wild Pacific Trail showcases 8 km of unique ecosystems and breathtaking scenery. This trail is split into two main sections: the Lighthouse Loop (2.6 km) and the Big Beach trail (5 km one way), giving you the opportunity to experience a variety of settings during your hike.
We’ve heard of people spotting orcas and whales along the coastline on this trail – so keep your eyes and ears open for wildlife!
Best For: All skill levels, with low impact walking surfaces
Rainforest Trails - Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
If you’re interested in getting fully immersed in the lush, old growth rainforests of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, we have the perfect duo for you. Nestled right in between Tofino and Ucluelet, the Rainforest Trail offers beautiful views of huge Balsam Firs, Red Cedars, Western Hemlocks, and Sitka Spruces. These are all accessed by a wooden stair and boardwalk trail.
This trail offers two 2 km routes (marked as Route A and Route B) on each side of the Pacific Rim Highway. Expect to see a variety of trees, foliage, and mosses as you peacefully hike through the forest.
Best For: Moderate skill level, quite a few stairs.
Tonquin Trail - Tofino
If you’re staying in Tofino and want to hike somewhere a little closer to town, we recommend the Tonquin Trail. This gravel trail begins at the Tofino Community Hall and continues to beautiful Tonquin Beach and picturesque Third Beach.
This is a 6 km out-and-back trail and includes a set of stairs leading up to Tonquin Beach Road. It is dog-friendly, just remember to clean up after your pooch, have them on a leash, and leave no trace to keep the trail looking its best.
Best For: Moderate skill levels and dog walkers.
Shorepine Bog Trail - Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Surrounded by a unique ecosystem, the Shorepine Bog Trail offers walkers an experience very different from the beach and forest hikes. Set right in the middle of stunted, bonsai-like wetlands, this hike provides hikers with a spectacular view of the region’s sphagnum moss (some of it is up to 400 years old).
The short 0.8 km trail is entirely built with wooden boardwalks, making it wheelchair accessible and a favourite for strollers and young families.
Best For: All skill levels and people with strollers.
Willowbrae Trail - Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Located a little closer to Ucluelet, the Willowbrae Trail offers access to some of the more remote areas of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserves’ coastline. It’s a beautiful 4.6 km out-and-back trail that gives hikers the option of descending two branching stair sets to explore south Florencia Beach, or Half Moon Bay.
This trail is a little more challenging than some of the ones listed above. It takes an average of 1.5 hours to complete.
This is a little off the beaten path, therefore, a quieter option to the other trails.
Best For: Moderate skill levels and beachcombers.
If you’ve built up an appetite during your hike, stop by one of our favourite food and drink establishments and enjoy the local fare. Happy hiking!
Did we miss your go-to beach in the area? Share your suggestions in the comments below and connect with us on Instagram @tofinosoapco for more Ucluelet and Tofino inspiration.