Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Long Beach Unit | Broken Group Islands Unit | Cape Beale | West Coast Trail

Hiking

A couple hiking along the shoreline on a boardwalk
Hiking is the best way to explore Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
© Parks Canada

Long Beach Unit

The Long Beach Unit (LBU) is ideal for casual strolls through the temperate rainforest and along sandy beaches. There are approximately 22 km of beaches and 12 km of trails. The seashore of Pacific Rim is one of the most dynamic places in the park. Whether you prefer to walk on the beach or hike a nature trail, there is always something new to discover.

Click here for a map of the area

Points of Interest

Hiking TrailsDistanceBeach AccessDifficulty

Willowbrae Trail

Of Interest: This historic trail formed part of a two-day travel route between Ucluelet and Tofino prior to the establishment of a road in 1942.

Location: Willowbrae Road intersects Highway 4, 2 km south of the Ucluelet-Tofino junction. Trail access is not signed from the highway. Turn west onto Willowbrae Road to the trailhead parking lot.

1.4 km one way  Yes Long flight of stairs

Halfmoon Bay Trail

Of Interest: This trail winds through an old growth cedar-hemlock forest where fallen trees serve as nurseries for seedlings, giving way to a spruce fringe forest on the steep climb down to the sheltered bay and sands of Halfmoon Bay.

Location: The Halfmoon Bay Trail branches from the Willowbrae Trail 1.3 km from the Willowbrae parking lot.

500 m one way    Yes Steep sections and long flights of stairs
South Beach Trail

Of Interest: South Beach offers spectacular, but potentially dangerous, wave watching. Very large waves and strong currents form at this pebble beach. Water activities not recommended.

Location: South Beach Trail branches from the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail.
800 m one way  Yes Some stairs
Nuu-chah-nulth Trail

Of Interest: This trail offers a glimpse into the Nuu-chah-nulth culture. Learn what Hishuk ish ts’awalk means and how this belief influences the lives of the Nuu-chah-nulth-aht.

Location: Trailheads are located at Florencia Bay and behind the Kwisitis Visitor Centre (formerly known as the Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre).
2.5 km one way  Yes Some stairs

Shorepine Bog Trail (wheelchair accessible)

Features: An old growth coastal temperate rainforest with a twist.

Location: On Wickaninnish Road, 300 m south of the Florencia Bay turnoff.

800 m loop  No No stairs

Rainforest Trail – Trail A & B

Of Interest: Both trails help you explore the temperate rainforest. Look up to see the gigantic western red cedar and western hemlocks. Scan the upper canopy for birds, listen to the trickle of water and smell the life of this highly productive forest. Loop A signs emphasize forest cycles. Loop B signs emphasize forest structure and inhabitants.

Location: Trail A is located on the opposite side of the highway from the parking lot. Trail B starts from the parking lot.

Each loop 1 km  No Many short flights of stairs
Combers Beach Trail

Of Interest: This trail leads from the parking lot down to Combers Beach. Beach access is dependent on tides, currents and erosion.

Location: Along Highway 4.
500 m one way  Seasonal Steep slope

Schooner Cove Trail

Of Interest: The trail descends through young and old stands of cedar/hemlock forest, gradually
giving way to the Sitka spruce fringe. Coming to the beach, you will catch glimpses of the village of Esowista, belonging to the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, who have lived along this shore for centuries.

Location: Along Highway 4.

Note: Access to Schooner Cove may be cut off during high tides.

1 km each way  Yes Long flights of stairs

Facilities and Services

Availability Details
Potable water  Yes • Available in campground
Restrooms  Yes • Outhouses
Dogs  Yes • Must be on leash at all times
Garbage Facilities  Yes • Can be found at trail heads
Camping Areas  Yes • Designated camping available at Green Point campground
Maintenance  No x
Bus/Motor home/Trailer Access  Limited • No access to Radar Hill, Schooner Trail, Willowbrae Trail, Rain Forest Trails, Florencia Bay or Incinerator
• Parking for bus/motor home and trailers is available at Kennedy Lake, Wickaninnish Parking Lot (follow signs), Combers Beach, and Long Beach

Click here for safety tips.


Broken Group Islands

This archipelago of over 100 islets is located in Barkley Sound, south of Ucluelet. The Broken Group Islands (BGI) are part of the Tseshaht First Nations’ traditional territory. Explore the unique character of each island. Informal trails on many of the islands will lead you to some of the less visited areas of the park.

Points of Interest

Hiking TrailsDistanceBeach AccessDifficulty

Undesignated Trails

Of Interest: The rocky shorelines and lush forests of BGI are home to a large diversity of plants and animals. Benson Island, one of the many Broken Group Islands, is a great destination for walking. Enjoy a self-guided tour and learn about the archeological research that dates its use back to over 5,000 years ago. Trails on BGI are not maintained by park staff. 

Location: These islands are accessible by boat only. See a map of the islands and our list of licensed business operators to book a boat ride

Up to (0.5) km  Yes Bare roots, mud, and some slopes

Facilities and Services

Availability Details
Potable water No • Bring adequate amount of freshwater with you
Restrooms Yes     • Solar composting outhouses are available at designated camping areas
Dogs Not permitted x
Garbage Facilities No • Pack out all waste
Camping Areas Yes • Designated camping areas located on Hand, Turret, Gibraltar, Willis, Dodd, Clarke and Gilbert Island
Maintenance No • Trails on BGI are not maintained by park staff
Bus/Motor home/Trailer Access No x

Click here for safety tips.


Cape Beale Headlands

Located near Bamfield, this rugged section of shoreline is home to the historic Cape Beale light house. Cape Beale Headlands provide a chance for visitors to sample the same terrain as the 75 km West Coast Trail. These challenging hikes wind through temperate rainforest to spectacular west coast beaches. All day and overnight users of the Cape Beale Headlands are required to register at the West Coast Trail Information Office at Pachena Bay.

Click here for a map of the area

Points of Interest

Hiking TrailsDistanceBeach AccessDifficulty

Cape Beale Lighthouse Trail

Of Interest: Built in 1874, the Cape Beale Light Station is located close to the West Coast Trail. In fact, the trail from Topaltos Beach to Cape Beale Lighthouse is part of the same telegraph route that the West Coast Trail Follows. Observant hikers can still see remnants of the old line while they are hiking.

The Cape Beale Lighthouse Trail has linked the community of Bamfield to the lighthouse for over a century.

Location: Cape Beale trailhead road is located at the end of South Bamfield Road. Parking is well marked and is 400 metres up the road from the trailhead Follow the trail to the junction and then take the right trail west to Topaltos Beach. From Topaltos hike to the southwest end of the beach and watch for the trailhead marked with floats hanging from the tree. The trail passes through a swampy bog then rises over a steep, rocky hill with drier vegetation and dwarfed trees. At the end of the trail, the lighthouse can be reached by crossing the sand flats at tides below 1.8 metres.

7 km one way  Yes Strenuous hike through fairly flat terrain. Expect mud, bare roots, log crossing and slippery sections. A 1.8 metre tide, or lower, is required to cross the tidal flats on the way to the Cape Beale Lighthouse. There is no camping at Cape Beale Lighthouse so leave plenty of time for a return trip.

Keeha Beach

Of Interest: Keeha is a beautiful crescent shaped beach with rocky headlands at both ends, Crashing waves, tidal pools, sea arches and a spectacular open ocean view from the beach. The trail passes through hemlock and cedar groves.

Location: At the trail junction take the trail to the left which follows the east side of Kichha Lake. See Cape Beale above.

3.5 km one way  Yes Fairly flat terrain, bare roots, slippery sections with precarious footing are common. Although this is a short hike make sure you allow plenty of time for return trip or plan to camp overnight at Keeha Beach.

Facilities and Services

Availability Details
Potable Water  No

• No reliable freshwater sources are found along the Cape Beale Lighthouse Trail, Bring an adequate amount of freshwater with you
• Kichha Lake and its outflow creek at Keeha Beach provide fresh water but all water should be treated prior to drinking

Restrooms  No • There are no outhouses in the Cape Beale Headlands.  Backcountry etiquette for the disposal of human waste: dig a hole 20 centimetres (7 inch) deep, at least 30 metres (three bus lengths) away from water sources, campsites or the trail. Bury the human waste. Pack out all toilet paper and feminine hygiene products
Dogs  Not permitted x
Garbage Facilities  No • Pack out all waste
Camping Areas  No •Designated camping at Keeha Beach, no camping at Cape Beale Lighthouse
Maintenance  No • Trails in Cape Beale are not maintained
Bus/Motor home/Trailer Access  No x


Safety Tips

  • Bears, wolves and cougars live here. Learn more about safely sharing the park with Vancouver Island’s native predators.
  • Check weather and surf conditions before heading out.
  • Be aware of tides, swells, and other water hazards.
  • Creeks in the Long Beach Unit may be impossible to cross at high tide and after heavy rain.  
  • Review the latest trail closures and important bulletins before you plan your trip.