Best Hikes Near Tofino
Hiking in Tofino, British Columbia is a truly unique experience. From the breathtaking Pacific coastal views to exploring lush west coast rainforests, there is something for everyone. Visiting the west coast of Vancouver Island really feels like you’re at the edge of the earth.
Here are some of the best hiking trails to explore near the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet.
Canso Plane Crash
This unique hike takes you to a piece of history in the rainforest off of Radar Hill. On February 12, 1945, a Royal Canadian Airforce Canso crashed just after taking off from the Tofino airport. That wreck still rests there today and has become a popular hike.
However, it’s not the easiest of hikes. To reach the site of the Canso Plane Crash, you must park just off the Highway at the bottom of Radar Hill, then walk south along the Highway until the 15th Telephone Pole. Follow the trail into the forest but be prepared, the route is extremely muddy. By extremely muddy, there are many stories of people losing a shoe in the deep mud that can come up to their knees. Once you make it through the muddy section, follow the worn trails until you see the plane wreckage perched in the trees on the side of the mountain.
Hikers looking for a challenge and an incredible view will want to tackle the steep trail up Lone Cone. Located on Meares Island and requiring a water taxi ride to the trailhead, the route climbs 730-metres in just 3.5km, although most of the elevation gain is the last 2km. It’s very steep! The reward is an incredible view of the Clayquot Sound area as you look directly across the water to the town of Tofino.
Walking On A Beach
Not really a hike but walking along a beach next to the roaring waves of the Pacific Ocean is a must when visiting Tofino. There are several beaches along the coastline between the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet and each has its own charm. Long Beach is a popular area since you can park right next to the beach. However, here are a few other great beaches to visit in the region, some of which involve hiking to them:
Tonquin Beach – Located in walking distance of the town of Tofino, Tonquin Beach faces west and is a popular beach to watch the sunset.
Combers Beach – Located just south of the Green Point Campground, the trail from the parking lot is about 500-metres downhill to the scenic Combers Beach.
Wild Pacific Trail
The Wild Pacific Trail is located in the community of Ucluelet on the south end of the region and boasts some of the best storm watching. The shoreline is rocky and rugged and the waves can be big, creating power displays of waves crashing into the shores.
The most popular spot along the trail is at the Lighthouse, which offers a picturesque view of the Pacific coastline’s ruggedness. The trail is quite long though and follows the coastline, offering various views.
The Rainforest Trails are one of the gems of the Tofino area. There are two trail loops, one on the west and one on the east side the highway, both taking you into the lush west coast foliage, filled with lichen, ferns, lush forest, and a variety of trees. The trail is mostly along raised boardwalks to lessen the ecological impact on the sensitive forest.