North America > Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
The reserve covers a total area of 511 km² (197 sq mi), including marine are of 221 km² (85 sq mi) and land area of 290 km² (110 sq mi).
It comprising three regions: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. It is characterized by rugged coasts and lush temperate rainforests.
The reserve is open from mid-March until mid-October.
- Park office, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Long Beach is the most visited and most accessible of the three regions. It is made up of the coastal region from Tofino to Ucluelet.
The primary feature in this area is Long Beach itself. The area also contains the Green Point campground, which has 94 campsites for tents and small trailers. There are also many trails in this region, running through bogs and temperate rainforest areas.
The Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre is the main educational centre in the area and contains exhibits about local wildlife, plants, native culture, and history. The centre has a theatre, restaurant, gift shop, and information desk.
Broken Group Islands
The Broken Group Islands region is made up of over 100 small islands and islets in Barkley Sound. The largest forested islands are Effingham, Turret, Turtle, Dodd, Jacques, Nettle and Gibraltar Island. The area is accessible only by boat, and is popular with kayakers. There are seven camping areas scattered on the islands. There is no fresh water available in the Broken Group Islands, so any water needed will have to be brought in.
West Coast Trail
The West Coast Trail is a 75-km (47-mi) trail along the west coast of Vancouver Island from Port Renfrew to Bamfield. The trail was built to aid in the rescue of shipwrecked sailors. Construction on the trail started in 1907 and by 1910 the "Lifesaving Trail" was complete. The trail was abandoned in the 1950s. By 1970, the trail was transformed into the West Coast Trail, a challenging trail that takes visitors along rocky beaches, through rainforest, and across sometimes rough and muddy terrain. The trail has been improved greatly over the years and can be traversed in 5–7 days.
The reserve was established in 1970.
The coast of the Pacific Rim region remain integral to the livelihood and heritage of the Nuu-chah-nulth people. The sandy beaches and the lush rain forests of the Long Beach Unit are part of the traditional territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ
The park encompasses a thin strip of land on the south-west coast Irel Island. To the east of the park lies the Vancouver Island Ranges of the Insular Mountains and to the west is the Pacific Ocean.
Flora and fauna
This park reserve is home to mammalian species of raccoon, black-tailed deer, cougar, wolf, black bear, marten, and mink.
Seals, porpoises, sea lions, and many species of whales frequent this shoreline.
During fall and winter, the area is continually subjected to moist air masses from the Pacific Ocean. The presence of the mountain ranges causes the air masses to rise and deposit large quantities of precipitation, a phenomenon known as orographic precipitation. The area averages over 3,000 mm (118 in) of precipitation per year, a key factor in producing temperate rainforests. During the drier summer months the area is sometimes covered in fog.
Long Beach Unit
On the west coast of Vancouver Island between the villages of Ucluelet and Tofino.
By vehicle: Follow Highway 4, the "Pacific Rim Highway" west from Port Alberni. This 108-km (65-mile) steep, twisting road takes at least 90 minutes to drive. The scenery along the route is beautiful; allow ample time and use the pullouts to let traffic pass you. The highway is very busy during the summer. At the Tofino-Ucluelet junction, turn right to enter the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Drive time from other Vancouver Island locations to Long Beach: Victoria 5 hours, Nanaimo 3½ hours, Parksville 2½ hours, Courtenay 3½ hours, Port Alberni 2 hours.
Broken Group Islands
The Broken Group Islands are in Barkley Sound and are only accessible by boat.
West Coast Trail
- To Pachena Bay Trailhead (5 km south of Bamfield): Drive on gravel logging roads from Port Alberni (1-2 hr) or Duncan (3 hr). Bus from Victoria (4 hr), Nanaimo (3 hr) or Port Alberni (1.5 hr). Passenger ferry from Port Alberni (4 hr)
- To Gordon River Trailhead (5 km north of Port Renfrew): Drive from Victoria via Highway 14 (2 hr). Bus from Victoria (2 hr). Drive from Nanaimo (3.5 hr) or Duncan (1.5 hr.) via logging roads through Lake Cowichan.
- From Nitinat Narrows to Nitinat Village : Passenger ferry usually makes a trip at 5PM from the Narrows to Nitinat Village. Nitinat Village is a small remote community. An overnight stay may be required.
- Between Port Renfrew, Nitinat and Bamfield: Bus (3 hr), reservation must be made. Passenger ferry (4 hr) (minimum 4 people).
Fees and permits
Admission, daily/annual (2018):
- Adult $7.80/$39.20
- Senior $6.80/$34.30
- Youth and children free
- Family/group $15.70/$78.50
Beach Walk (valid at Long Beach, Kwisitis, Incinerator and Wickaninnish parking lots only (four-hour maximum):
- Adult $4.90
- Senior $4.30
- Youth free
- Family/group $9.80
Parks Canada Passes
The Discovery Pass provides unlimited admission for a full year at over 80 Parks Canada places that charge a daily entrance fee. It provides faster entry and is valid for 12 months from date of purchase. Prices for 2020 (taxes included):
- Family/group (up to 7 people in a vehicle): $136.40
- Children and youth (0-17): free
- Adult (18-64): $67.70
- Senior (65+): $57.90
The Cultural Access Pass: people who have received their Canadian citizenship in the past year can qualify for free entry to some sites.
- Kwisitis Visitor Centre: See the carved post marking the traditional territory of Kwisitis, enjoy stories told by Nuu-chah-nulth elders, and experience interactive displays. The work of Nuu-chah-nulth artisans is available at the Quisitis Gift Shop, run by the Ucluth Economic Development Corporation.
- Nuu-chah-nulth Trail: Take a self-guided interpretive walk along the trail and learn about the lands and seas essential to this people’s survival. A unique hand-carved totem pole depicts the land (Bear with Salmon), sea (Killer Whale), and sky (Thunderbird) of this area.
- First Nation guest speakers: Check at park visitor centres for guest speaker events.
- National Aboriginal Day Celebrations in local communities with local First Nations every year on June 21 with salmon BBQs, singing and dancing.
Broken Group Islands Unit
- Benson Island, also known as C’isaa: the birthplace of the Tseshaht First Nation, is unique in the Broken Group Islands. Parks Canada archaeologists and the Tseshaht believe the site has been occupied for at least 5,000 years. This ancient village was once a year-round home to over 8,500 Tseshaht and was considered the cultural centre of the territory.
West Coast Trail Unit
- First Nation Guardians of the West Coast Trail:
As the traditional guardians of the lands and waters, Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht Guardians work with Parks Canada to care for the trails and protect the land and visiting hikers.
- Hike the West Coast Trail [formerly dead link]: the trail is open May 1 to September 30. Reservations for the West Coast Trail can be made for any date between May 1 and September 30 through the Parks Canada Reservation Service. Spaces fill quickly. The West Coast Trail is a six- to eight-day hike for serious hikers. A mid-point entrance at Nitinaht Narrows (only accessible by water from Nitinaht Village), allows hikers to tackle a shorter portion of the West Coast Trail. Hikers using the Nitinaht Village Trailhead should plan for the same rigorous and challenging excursion as those hiking the entire length of the West Coast Trail.
- Surfing: Beaches in the Long Beach unit provide a variety of surf experiences that change daily with tides, weather, and other conditions. Pacific Rim offers year-round surfing; summer generally means moderate surf conditions while winter surf is for experienced surfers only. Long Beach offers a 16-km stretch of surf. Wickaninnish Beach provides a good mix of waves suitable for beginner riders.
Reservations: reservation.pc.gc.ca online or toll-free +1-877-737-3783
Camping per night (2018):
- Long Beach - Serviced with Electricity (Drive-in) $ 32.30
- Long Beach - Unserviced with washroom buildings having toilets and showers $ 27.40
- oTENTik (glamping) $120.00
Backcountry use and camping (2018):
- West Coast Trail per Trip, per person $127.50
- Reservation, per person $24.50
- Additional ferry fees are collected on behalf of the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations.
- Broken Group Islands per person, per night $9.80
|Routes through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve|
|END ← Tofino ←||W E||→ Ucluelet → Parksville-Qualicum Beach|