Camping in Canada: Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Find your way to the west coast of Canada and be prepared for some of the most scenic views in Canada. The Pacific Rim National Park has a rugged ocean coastline and hundreds of kilometers of dense rain forests, perfect for hiking and camping. This luscious area is one of British Columbia’s most popular National Parks. The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a hefty 511 square kilometers and is made up of three regions, Long Beach, The Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. Wherever you decide to stay, I guarantee you’ll have a tough time leaving.


So you coughed up the $50 for the ferry ride to Vancouver Island, you’ve got your camping gear, now what? First off, you’re going to want to decide what you’ll be doing during your stay in the Pacific Rim National Park. This is going to be a tough decision. So choose wisely!

Things to do in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Because this national park is so incredibly massive, the availability of activities really depends on where you plan on staying. Some of the few activities that are possible in just about every region include Bird Watching, Fishing, and Whale or Sea Lion Watching. Personally, that seems like a lot of sitting and watching. If you want a little more adventure and want to work up a sweat. You’ll be glad to hear there are more options to choose from.


If you happen to be in the Long Beach area

So you’ve decided the Long Beach area is where you want to be huh? Lots to do in these parts. There are several licensed commercial tour operators in this area, so if you’d like to have a guide show you around, this is something you might be interested in. However, if playing the roll of “Lonewolf” better suits your personality, you’ll be happy to hear that there are numerous hiking trails and beaches around to gather your thoughts and stretch your legs. The Long Beach area is the only region that allows for bicycling in the area. However they do recommend you keep it to the beaches. If getting wet and salty is more your style, The Long Beach region is a great spot for ocean kayaking and canoeing. Most padddlers choose to launch from Grice bay when the tides are high. This gives you the best chance of spotting some of the large marina animals in the area. Just be warned, watch the tide! During low-tide, Grice Bay becomes a big mudflat and you might find yourself grounded. Parks Canada advises paddlers to read the tide tables before launching.

Find your own piece of paradise in the Broken Group Islands

This wild and lush chain of islands is perfect for any boat and marine fanatic. There are countless places to hike and hundreds of hidden coves and bays to explore. Over 5000 paddlers come here during the summer to take it all in. The one place that you should watch out for is the Loudoun and Imperial Eagle, as these can be the most dangerous places to find yourself paddling through. Locals typically advise visitors to avoid hauling out the canoe or kayak for these areas as the weather has the notorious habit of changing on a dime, causing the water in this area to be more unpredictable than a drunken prom date. It definitely helps to have a boat in in this region, so this area might be a little tough to do for those with only their backpacks on their backs.

Take on the rugged West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail is the mecca of hiking trails in Canada. It’s been proud to proclaim itself the Best Hike in the World (according to BestHike.com) since 1999. So for those who don’t know, the West Coast Trail is a 75 km (47 miles) long backpacking trail that follows the south western edge of Vancouver Island. It’s typically open between May and September, however be sure to double check as damage to the trails by weather has been known to delay opening dates.

Quick fact: The west coast trail was originally designed to save shipwrecked survivors. Rescuers and survivors would use this trail to find their way back to civilization.

If you happen to find the guts to tackle the West Coast Trail, you’ll may or may not find comfort in hearing you’re not alone in the forest. Wildlife in the area include cougars, bears, wolves, whales, sea lions, along with hundreds of types of birds. So using your good judgment in this area should be on the top of your list of things to do in and around here. If you don’t plan on doing the typical 6 days hiking the trail, there are also day hikes available in the area.

Park Fees

As with just about any National Park, you can expect some camping fees to be included in your little escape from society. A daily entry will set you back $7.80, however if you plan on camping, expect to pay between $17.60 and $23.50, depending on amenities included in your campsite. If you plan on taking on the West Coast Trail, the cost is $127.50 per trip. For more information on prices, head to the Parks Canada Website

If you’d like more information, you can call the Pacific Rim National park Reserve at (250) 726-3500 or call for a camping reservation at 1-8877-737-3783.

Campsites

One of the most popular campsite in the area is the Green Point Campground, which is located on Highway 4 between Ucluelet and Tofino. There’s plenty of RV and Campervan sites as well as lots of private sites for those tenting it. Each site has a picnic table and fire basket. There’s some great scenic views in this area and the beach is just a short walk from the campgrounds.

If you’d like to find a campground around Tofino there are a couple options:

Bella Pacifica Resort & Campground
400 MacKenzie Beach Road, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0‎ – (250) 725-3400‎

Tofino Campground
1850 Pacific Rim Highway, Tofino, BC‎ – (250) 725-3314‎

If you’d prefer to find a campground near Ucluelet there is:

Ucluelet Campground
260 Seaplane Base Road, Ucluelet, BC‎ – (250) 726-4355‎

Surf Junction Campground
2650 Tofino – Ucluelet Highway
Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0 – (250) 726-7214

Camping in the Broken Chain islands has recently stopped, due to the cultural significance of the area to the Tseshaht First Nations. However visiting and paddling through the area is still allowed, so given the chance, you should try to see these parts.

Remember to dress for the weather while visiting the west coast. Vancouver Island can go from one extreme to another, so be sure to have some warm clothes for the night, along with any rain gear you think you’ll need. Despite the potential wet and cold, the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is one well worth exploring. It’s a great launching point for checking out some of the hiking trails, beaches, and the famous Tofino Surf. Vancouver Island has lots to offer the budget traveller, and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is just one of the many gems in this group of islands.

, , , , , , , ,

  • http://www.theplanetd.com Dave and Deb

    What a fantastic post filled with great tips! We want to do the west coast trail in the near future.
    We met a guy in Sri Lanka that was there strictly for the whale watching. He made a snide comment to us once saying “no wonder you want to travel so much, what is there to do in Canada!” Completely offended, We made a point of saying that Canada has incredible whale watching (among everything else that this great country has to offer)
    Thanks for all the great information, we will keep it in the files for when we finally do tackle the west coast trail.
    .-= Dave and Deb´s last blog ..Top 10 Things we Hate About Travel =-.

  • http://www.shorttraveltips.com Vi

    It looks like very nice park. May be one day :)
    .-= Vi´s last blog ..How much does it cost trekking in Nepal =-.

  • http://www.biis.ca Michelle Hara

    Hey Corbin,

    Love the blog! Made me realize I need to explore the Pacific Rim further. I’ve been there once before even though I was born and raised in Vancouver.

    Love the pictures as well!

    Just letting you know when I was travelling around Canada, i found this site useful for my insurance needs! http://www.biis.ca

    Have a good time travelling Canada!

    Michelle Hara

  • http://solotravelerblog.com Janice

    The west coast of Vancouver Island is fantastic. On one trip in the 80s I took the mail boat from Ukuelet to Tofino. I’m not sure if that’s still an option but it was fantastic. More recently, I’ve camped near Tofino. Wonderful!
    .-= Janice´s last blog ..Traveling Alone? Not for long in Ibiza =-.

    • http://ibackpackcanada.com Corbin

      @Janice – Couldn’t agree more, I wish I was able to get out there this summer. Such an amazing area.

  • http://www.LiveTravelMountains.com Sonya

    Brilliant post! Traveling Pacific Rim National Park is wildly blissful.
    .-= Sonya´s last blog ..Living Like A Local In Italy =-.

  • http://www.canadianpacificimmigration.com Canadian Pacific

    Hi, I like your article on:
    Things to do in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
    I truly love when you mention about
    I will come back often to see your blog updates.
    .-= Canadian Pacific´s last blog ..My Online Gaming Experience =-.

advert