Best times to visit
We want to ensure that your time with us is both safe and enjoyable. Since there are a limited number of facilities and parking, we recommend you plan ahead.
From June to September, visitation is extremely high. The following holidays and weekends are especially busy:
- Victoria Day weekend (May 17-20)
- Canada Day weekend (June 29-July 2)
- Civic Holiday weekend (August 2-5)
- Labour Day weekend (August 30-Sept 2)
- Thanksgiving weekend (Oct 11-14)
West Coast Trail
The West Coast Trail (open May 1st to September 30th) is very busy from mid-May to mid-September. Reservations are required for this backcountry trail so check the reservation website for cancellations. You will also need to purchase your West Coast Trail Overnight Use Permit well in advance.
The West Coast Trail has a mid-point entrance at Nitinaht Narrows. Reservations for this entrance tend to have more availability.
Broken Group Islands
July and August are the busiest months for this area. A BGI Overnight Use permit should be purchased in advance at reservation.pc.gc.ca
Late afternoon and evening visits can be the most enjoyable. The light is better for photography and viewing the park reserve features, temperatures are cooler, and the parking areas and trails are less crowded.
What about taking an evening picnic on the beach and watching the sunset? Remember to not leave food unattended, and to pack out what you pack in so that you do not attract wolves, bears or cougars.
Spring and fall are less busy times, and come during winter to stay in the many accommodations of the area and experience storm season!
West Coast Trail
Spring and fall are less busy times to do the West Coast Trail, also the Nitinaht Village trailhead tends to be less busy. Reservations are required for this trail. Please check the reservation website for cancellations.
Broken Group Islands
Visit in the shoulder season (May, June and September). During this time, weekends will be the busiest and mid-week will be the best time to explore with fewer people.
Gates to parking lots are open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. throughout the Long Beach area of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Between mid-June and mid-September, you can expect most parking lots to be full during the day.
For safety reasons, we will not be able to accommodate more visitors when parking spaces are all occupied.
When parking lots are full, please remember:
- Do not park illegally.
- Do not wait for spots to open; please move on and try again later.
- Do not park on vegetation or in a manner that blocks traffic.
- Leave enough room for RVs and buses to manoeuver.
- Parking for large vehicles (RVs, trailers) is extremely limited. Leave oversized vehicles in town if possible.
- Follow instructions from Parks Canada staff. They will redirect you if there are other areas where parking is available.
- Consider returning later in the day. Evenings are a beautiful time to visit the beaches!
If travelling to Long Beach:
- Get your Discovery Pass in advance or pick one up from a Parks Canada facility when you arrive. Day Use Passes are available on site at national park reserve facilities and at automated machines in most parking areas (machines take credit cards only).
- Reserve a place to stay. If you are planning on staying at Green Point Campground or in the local communities of Tofino and Ucluelet, it is advised that you make a reservation before arriving. If you are not able to secure a reservation at Green Point Campground, you can contact the local Visitor Centres for possible vacancies at other accommodations, including campgrounds, hotels and resorts. If you arrive in the area in the peak season without a reservation, it is possible you will need to return across the island.
- Plan your visit to the national park reserve and check out one of our guided walks or other interpretive programs.
If planning to hike the West Coast Trail:
- Make your reservation and pay for your permit well in advance.
If planning a trip into the Broken Group Islands:
- Purchase your Overnight Camping Permit in advance.
Additionally, for any area of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve you should:
- Check for seasonal closures or construction.
- Check local weather.
- Check for any Wildlife Warnings and Closures.
- Cell phone coverage is intermittent – brush up on safety tips and become CoastSmart.
- Keep informed – when it is safe to do so, check our Facebook and Twitter channels for up to date information while you are en route.
- If visitor levels are too high, consider visiting another National Park or National Historic Site, or provincial park such as:
- If you like exploring, do not miss our 150 Adventures in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This “ultimate Pacific Rim bucket list” is a list of 150 things visitors can do in the park reserve. We encourage you to post pictures of yourself on our social media channels completing an adventure using the hashtag #PacificRim150adventures.
- Do not miss the Kwisitis Visitor Centre – This one-of-a-kind interpretive centre presents the captivating natural and cultural history of the region. Learn about the Nuu-chah-nulth people, their language and their culture. Discover something you might not have known about the wildlife and the special ecosystem that Pacific Rim National Park Reserve protects. If you are lucky enough to be visiting Pacific Rim National Park Reserve when a pacific storm arrives, the Kwisitis Visitor Centre will give you a front row seat to one of nature’s most spectacular shows!
- Take a walk through the Rainforest! Look up…way up, to see the rainforest canopy that shelters you from the more than 300 cm of rain that falls annually in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This rain is needed to support the growth of the large trees and rich green undergrowth of this temperate rainforest. Follow the boardwalks that wind through the lush, misty rainforest, and identify strange and wonderful creatures and plant life like Old Man’s Beard, Deer Fern and the impressive Banana Slug!