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Pacific Rim - Tofino, Ucluelet
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Pacific Rim National Park  
   
 
 
  Barkley Sound Pacific Rim   Rugged rocky headlands seperating long sandy beaches make up the west coast of this fascinating peninsula. Rain forest, wetlands and distant mountains form the back drop. The town of Tofino at the northern tip is surrounded by the waters of Clayoquot Sound. In the peninsula's central region you find the Long Beach sector of Pacific Rim National Park.  
 

At the other end is the Town of Ucluelet with the waters of Barkley Sound just to the south of it. Once a local getaway for those in the know, the region has turned into a major destination for surfers, kayakers, beachcombers, nature lovers and those that just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Fine restaurants, art galleries and other vestiges of creeping culture are a big part of the scene now. The area has come a long way from it's logging and fishing past but fortunately has retained some of the best facets of its heritage.

Most visitors make their way to the Pacific Rim area on one of the regions ferries (flights from the lower mainland, Victoria and Washington State are also available), which for many is an adventure unto itself, particularly for the kids. If you're traveling from the Vancouver area take the Horseshoe Bay ferry to Nanaimo. If you plan to visit Victoria first take the Tswwassen ferry to Swartz Bay. From Nanaimo head north along the Island Highway (19 or 19a) to just passed Parksville where you pick up the 4 heading west. It takes several hours to drive across the island but the scenery and parks along the way are a wonderful diversion. If you want to pick up supplies or do a little touring Port Alberni is the major centre on route. Once you reach the T intersection on the peninsula (the Info Centre is on your right) turn left (south) for Ucluelet or right (north) for Pacific Rim National Park or Tofino.

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Pacific Rim National Park

Culture

 

Pacific Rim National Park makes up a large part of the Pacific Rim peninsula but that's only a part of it. The park is broken up into three separate sectors. The Long Beach area in the north, which is accessible by car, is the by far the busiest. With this sector you'll find great areas to practice your surf launches and landings in your kayak, great surfing beaches, rain forest hikes and wonderful areas to observe nature. South of Ucluelet is the Barkley Sound sector of the park, with the Broken Group of Islands providing an exceptional sea kayaking destination. The third sector is the world famous West Coast Trail that stretches from Bamfield in the north to Port Renfrew in the south.

The areas hiking trails offer a variety of different environments. From rain forest walks taking you passed the moss strewn big trees to seaside hikes along the rocky shorelines. Beach hikes are another alternative, many of which are connected by short trials through the forest. Ucluelet's Wild Pacific Trail is a wonderful introduction to the areas rugged beauty and should definitely be on your list. On any shoreline hike be sure to have tide tables and a watch to avoid getting stranded when the tide come in. Keep a close eye on the ocean for the possibility of rogue waves. Do not attempt to cross or swim surge channels.

Intermediate and expert sea kayakers can choose from some of the finest paddling areas in the world. Barkley Sound south of Ucluelet has campsites available on many of the islands. North of Tofino you can paddle through the islands of Clayoquot Sound where you'll find campsites, hiking trails and a wonderful hot spring in Maquinna Provincial Park at the north end of the sound.

Mountain bikers can take advantage of the areas logging roads as well as the 26 km Log Train Trail outside Port Alberni, which has a number of trials leading off of it. Both Ucluelet and Tofino have bike paths which lead out of town giving you access to the nearby beaches and area accommodations. Plans are for the path to be extended from one end of the peninsula to the other - that would be awesome!

Surfing is what it's all about in the Pacific Rim. Winter is best for the waves but summer is the best for all out fun. Most days see good conditions but you have to be flexible and willing to work for your rides. Wet suites are essential any time of year, most particularly in the winter. There are a number of surfing schools available for the uninitiated, have a look at our resources section for more information

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Pacific Rim National Park


Outdoor Adventure

 
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Long Beach Pacific Rim
 
Visiting from outside British Columbia
 
 
 
Visiting from outside Canada: Depending on your country of origin you may have little to understand or adapt to when you visit Canada. On the other hand many of Canada's customs, its commerce and cultural may be vary new to some visitors. We have put together a list of helpful information to assist you in your planning and when you have reached your destination.
 
 
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Interactive Map of Pacific Rim, Tofino and Ucluelet


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Resources

Pacific Rim, Tofino and Ucluelet

Links of Interest

Canadian Geographic
Conde Naste Traveler

Islands Magazine
National Geographic
National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Traveler
Outside Magazine
Sunset Magazine
Travel and Leisure Magazine

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