Northwest Hiking Trails

Pacific Rim NP, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

After spending the better part of an afternoon driving from east to west across the middle of Vancouver Island, we arrived at Pacific Rim National Park. It was late September, and we had to search around a bit for an open campground, even though campgrounds are scattered all along the highway between Long Beach and the fishing village of Tofino. The ranger at Green Point campground told us a bear had been sighted there earlier, and to take precautions.

By morning light, we saw that the beach trail departed from our campsite. We followed it to a long, sandy crescent beach. "Sea Lion Rocks" are some distance offshore, but the sea lions are visible with binoculars. We always carry our Wellingtons (rubber boots) for exploring the tide pools among the rock outcroppings characteristic of northwestern shores. There is even a small cave, which was flooded with the incoming tide by the time we discovered it.

For lunch, we headed north a few miles to tiny Tofino. This is the place to go if you want to watch whales or kayak (or both). Float planes and water taxis will take you to the secluded Broken Group Islands. If fishing is your thing, guides abound here. We had lattes in a bookstore, where they rent kayaks, then headed our camper bus east.

Note :   This is backcountry wilderness travel. Any trail can become very dangerous in winter conditions. You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards and taking the necessary precautions.

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