Even as you break a sweat trekking along winding pathways and climbing steep flights of stairs, Vancouver Island hiking in Tofino and Ucluelet feels more like a meditative journey than an arduous workout.
Calming and healing, the trails offer some of the best hikes in BC. They’re treasures of nature, where you’ll feel the inescapable yearning to reconnect with both your inner self and the world. There’s no need to force it. It just happens.
You can start with one — or, better yet, both — of these trails:
Located in Tofino on the north end of the Pacific Rim National Park and north of Long Beach, this 2 km path takes hikers through a spectacular old-growth forest of moss-covered cedar and hemlock trees.
The purifying and invigorating properties of the air — oh, that moist, cool air — will leave you worshipping the rainforest because you’ll come to understand its profound significance to our ecosystem and our health. Rainforests are the “lungs of the earth”, responsible for producing the clean oxygen so vital to our well-being.
So, breathe — and breathe deeply.
Wooden boardwalks and long flights of stairs that both ascend and descend through valleys and across gentle streams eventually open onto an enchanting, secluded beach.
During low tide, you can take your chances by making your way to the rocky outcrop, but be warned: a sudden change in the tide can leave you stranded on the tiny island.
Wild Pacific Trail
For a less demanding but equally stunning outdoor adventure, don’t pass up the opportunity to explore the striking beauty of the Wild Pacific Trail. This system on Ucluelet’s rugged coastline is broken into three sections — the Lighthouse Loop, Big Beach, and Brown’s Beach to Ancient Cedars — with an ancient spruce and cedar forest, and panoramic views of the sea, Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands.
The 2.7 km Lighthouse Loop can be hiked with ease in an hour, but one hour will turn into two if you pause at the multiple viewpoints along the route. Each stop reveals its own dramatic sight: the surge channels, the still active Amphtrite Point Lighthouse or the ocean tides thrashing the rock formations below.
Just Take a Hike
Vancouver Island hiking promises people of all fitness levels an intimate and heightening experience with the Canadian west coast. Pair it with beachcombing — another essential activity for nature-loving visitors to Vancouver Island — and you’ll leave more rejuvenated than ever.