Whistler Hiking TrailsClayoquot Sound has a staggering array of hiking trails within it.  Between Tofino and Ucluelet, Pacific Rim National Park has several wilderness and beach trails, each one radically different from the last.  The Islands in the area are often Provincial Parks on their own with perfect beaches well away from the crowds.  This is a list of the best of the best of the areas hiking trails.

Clayoquot Hiking Trails

The Big Tree Trail Hot Springs Cove Lone Cone Nuu Chah Nulth Radar Beach Radar Hill Vargas Island Virgin Falls Wild Pacific Trail

8 West Coast Trail RatingHot Springs Cove is a wonderful day trip from Tofino.  Lots of whale watching companies offer whale watching/hot springs tours for very reasonable prices.  The boat ride is out on the open ocean is quite fun and there is a fair bit to see, not least the whales that you hopefully encounter.  The hot springs themselves are wonderful, and the 25 minute (1.2 kilometre) walk to them is unexpectedly beautiful and interesting.

Intricate cedar boardwalks and bridges move you up and through massive trees and wind through the forest.  Years of interesting carvings into the boardwalk planks adorn the route.  Hundreds of names of visiting people, groups, and vessels, give the walkway a historic and artistic feel to it.  Along the boardwalk there are a couple very nice viewpoints looking out to the ocean beyond the forest.

Upon reaching the hot springs there are some nice, beautifully built, cedar changing rooms and yet another viewpoint.  Finally a short path takes you to the hot springs.  Flowing through fissures in the rock the amazing 50 degree water (122F) flows from a small waterfall and continues through five wonderfully natural pools that lead to the ocean... Hot Springs Cove is an amazing day out from Tofino that can include whale watching and an enjoyable boat ride to reach them.

The amazing, natural hot springs are beautiful and due to their remoteness, relatively serene.  To enjoy hot springs that cascade into the violent Pacific Ocean is amazing!  The hiking/walking trail to reach the hot springs is very nice and entirely enjoyable.  The cost to reach Hot Springs Cove from Tofino is quite reasonable ($120) when you consider all that you pack into the journey, there and back.

Hot Springs Cove Hike in Clayoquot

Clayoquot Hiking Trails - Lone Cone

8 West Coast Trail RatingLone Cone is the wonderful cone shaped mountain that dominates the skyline in Tofino.  It is just 6k from Tofino on the north-western end of Meares Island.  Lone Cone is an incredible hike to do while in Tofino.  There are several attributes that make it fantastic.  First, its location.  Very close to Tofino.  Just a short and very scenic boat taxi takes you to the trailhead.  Second, is it is such an abruptly steep hike that you go from the ocean to absurdly sweeping views in just over an hour.  Due to the location of Lone Cone requiring a water taxi to access, ensures that it remains serene and quiet most days.  In the 15 minute, fast taxi, you will see a quick look at the spectacular scenery that has made Tofino famous.  Small and large islands crammed almost solid with beautifully huge trees.  Sandy beaches that make you think more that you are in Hawaii than in Canada.  Abrupt, rocky outcrops with chaotic, swirling, clear and green water that the boat taxi/tour guide continuously points to unexpectedly beautiful creatures lurking in.  Then you look up in the trees and spot a resident eagle staring menacingly down from a tree branch next to its nest full of offspring.  And that's just the first five minutes from the pier.  15 minutes from the pier you arrive at the grungy, though at the same time, strangely beautiful pier at the now abandoned town, Kakawis.  There are still a few dozen houses that line the gravel road you will see as you make your way to the trailhead.  In 2013 another trailhead was opened closer to Tofino but much further from Lone Cone.  This trailhead also has a $5 fee to access. Lone Cone is a challenging, abruptly steep and very rewarding hiking trail.  The views from the top are sensational.  The trail is a bit muddy at the start, then mostly shrouded in trees most of the way to the top, however it is relatively short at just 3.3 kilometres (drop off pier to viewpoint near the summit).  The boat taxi fare to Lone Cone is quite reasonable at just $40 for the round trip.

Lone Cone Hike in Clayoquot

Clayoquot Hiking Trails - Vargas Island

9 Rating IconVargas Island Provincial Park is a popular Kayak camping destination due to its wonderful location close to Tofino.  It has wonderful, wilderness camping for free and a beautiful feeling of remoteness from the world.  And if you are lucky you might see whales pass in the distance from Ahous Bay.  The relaxing trail from the Tofino side of Vargas Island to Ahous Bay is 3 kilometres.  Making this an easy day-hike from Tofino or Ucluelet at just 6 kilometres roundtrip, trailhead to trailhead.  Most of the western and most beautiful side of Vargas Island is within the Vargas Island Provincial Park.  The massive and beautiful Ahous Bay is the camping destination for most on Vargas.  You can camp anywhere on the beautiful beaches in the park for free, and there are outhouses available at the campsites.  Though it is a popular kayaking destination, Vargas Island is so close to Tofino that many simply canoe across to it.  You never lose sight of land and are in sheltered water the entire way.  You can stash your canoe in the vicinity of the Vargas Island Inn and you will see the trail to Ahous Bay next to the Inn.  The trail is easy and well used 3k trail has little elevation gain though an amazingly varied plant life.  Remember to bring lots of water as Ahous Bay has very little drinkable water. Vargas Island is conveniently located close to, and actually visible from Tofino.  The boat taxi to the trailhead is cheap and fun. Vargas Island Provincial Park is a great way to escape the crowds at busy times.  Ahous Bay is breathtaking and camping there is free!

Vargas Island Hike in Vancouver

Clayoquot Hiking Trails - Virgin Falls

Clayoquot Hiking Trails RatingAt 53 metres, Virgin Falls is quite an impressive sight.  You walk through the short, two minute forest trail to reach it and it fills your view.  It is located in a beautiful oasis it has created.  A large, ice cold and crystal clear pool with pebble rocks and waterfall battered logs that flows out in a large, meandering stream through the trees.  The whole area is surrounded by huge trees and you feel a strange sense of comfort, like you are in protected place.  And when you roll out your sleeping bag in the spectacular setting, you will never want to leave.  Though you have to travel a network of logging roads to reach Virgin Falls it is surprisingly easy to find it.  The start of the Virgin Falls Road is immediately after the famous Kennedy River bridge.  The focal point of the hugely publicized logging protests in 1993 where hundreds were arrested for blockading logging vehicles.  The Kennedy River bridge is worth a look if you haven't taken a good look before.  It spans the Kennedy River above the original and now crumbling, wooden bridge.  The current one is a massive, solid steel bridge above the old one.  Several wooden pilings are severely burned under the bridge during the protests.  You can still see some burnt pilings if you look from the small boat launch area. To get to the Kennedy River bridge from the Pacific Rim Highway is easy.  From the T junction where you either go to Tofino or Ucluelet or Port Alberni, drive for a couple kilometres in the direction of Port Alberni.  Keep your eyes out on your left for the very visible though not well marked, West Main logging road.  Follow the West Main for about 11k until you cross the large Kennedy River bridge.  About 50 metres past it you will see the road branch off to the left unmarked but called the Deer Bay Rd on Google maps, but locally known as the Virgin Falls road.

Virgin Falls Directions Map

Reset your odometer to zero and follow this road (bearing left at the Y junction a few minutes in).  It is 31 kilometres(19.3 miles) from the Kennedy River Bridge turnoff to Virgin Falls.  The Falls are impossible to miss as that can be easily seen and heard from a small logging road bridge just 100 metres before the trailhead. At 28 kilometres(17.4 miles) from the Kennedy River bridge you will see an overgrown road at a 90 degree angle on your left, this is a short road to a little cabin on the river.  This road is extremely bad and overgrown, however if you are very confident in your 4x4 abilities and have a decent 4x4 you should make it.  Certainly not a good idea to attempt this short road without some sort of self rescue equipment such as a winch.  At least one deep washout may get you stuck.  There is room for 4 vehicles at the edge of the Virgin Falls Road to park and its only about a 8 minute walk to the cabin.  At 31k you will see Virgin Falls from the road, and about 100 metres (328 feet) after seeing it on your left you will spot the very visible trailhead a slight widening of the road to possibly accommodate two or three vehicles while allowing other vehicles to pass.  The trail to the falls is less than a minute long.

Virgin Falls

Preview All Clayoquot Hiking Trails Here...

Hike in Tofino & Clayoquot Sound Hiking

  The Big Tree Trail Hot Springs Cove Lone Cone Nuu Chah Nulth Radar Beach  Radar Hill Vargas Island Virgin Falls Wild Pacific Trail

Hike the West Coast Trail

  Day 1 Pachena to Darling Day 2 Darling to Tsusiat Day 3 Tsusiat to Carmanah Day 4 Carmanah to Walbran  Day 5 Walbran to Cullite Day 6 Cullite to Camper Day 7 Camper to Thrasher

Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailPrologue Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail1: The West Coast Trail Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail2: When to Hike & Fees Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail3: Trailheads Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail4: Getting There Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail5: Considerations Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail6: Campsites Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail7: Shipwrecks Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail8: Routes

British Columbia Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails & CampingWhistler   Hiking Trails & CampingSquamish  Hiking Trails & CampingVancouver  Hiking Trails & CampingClayoquot  Hiking Trails & CampingVictoria  Hiking Trails & CampingWest Coast Trail

Thrasher Cove is the first, or last West Coast Trail campsite you will encounter. It has a lot of good aspects as well as some bad. In terms of good, the beach is very pretty and quite interesting. Not a broad and long beach, the beach at Thrasher is quite varied ...
Read more
Carmanah Creek slowly flows through this wonderfully massive channel that cuts deep into the sand out to the ocean. There is a cable car crossing that connects to the forest on either side of the creek. Most West Coast Trail hikers pass the campsite here without ...
Read more
One of the most popular and beautiful campsites along the West Coast Trail is Tsusiat Falls. Tsusiat Falls is one of the main highlights on the trail with its dramatically wide and beautifully picturesque appearance. You will find Tsusiat Falls at the base of an ...
Read more
The campsite at Michigan Creek is the first or last campsite you will encounter on the West Coast Trail. First if you begin your hike at the Pachena trailhead(hiking south) and last if you begin in Port Renfrew(hiking north). The 12.1 kilometres(7.5 miles) between ...
Read more

The John Marshall shipwreck is located under the waves just outside the mouth of Camper Bay at the 62 kilometre mark of the West Coast Trail. Owing to the great difficulty and slow progress hikers ...
Read more
At about 29 kilometres on the West Coast Trail you will pass the Vesta shipwreck. This 3 masted schooner of 286 tons was wrecked here on November 10th, 1897. This 128 foot long sailing ship was ...
Read more
The Soquel shipwreck, which lies just past Seabird Rocks, was a much larger ship than the Alaskan at 698 tons. She was a four masted schooner built in San Francisco, California in 1902. The Soquel was ...
Read more
Built in 1864 the 1376 ton, 3 masted ship, Becherdass-Ambiadass was wrecked on the rocky shore only a half mile from Pachena Point. This British ship was returning from Shanghai to Moodyville (now ...
Read more