May 3, 2019 - Tofino Activities

5 More Breathtaking Tofino Hikes to Explore

Like a natural outdoor StairMaster weaving along the rugged coastline through towering, old-growth rainforests, walk and climb your way through the network of breathtaking trails in and around Tofino. If you’ve already checked the most popular hikes off your list—including Hot Springs Cove, Lone Cone and the Canso Plane Crash Site—here are five more to explore on your next visit.

Notes before you go:

  • While the majestic terrain around Tofino and Clayoquot Sound may tempt you to take a path-less-travelled, please stay on the marked trails.
  • The following time estimates are approximate. We suggest allowing extra time for plenty of beautiful distractions.
  • There’s something about hugging a centuries-old tree that transports you back to childhood. Try it!

1. Big Tree Trail – Meares Island

Tofino’s most adventurous hike.

Photo credit: McNeil / tofinoseakayaking.com

As soon as you come face to face with some very big 1,000+ year-old spruce, hemlock, and cedar trees, you will quickly see how this trail earned its name. Conceived in 1984 as a protest against logging on Meares Island by Tofino photographer Adrian Dorst and friends, the star of this old-growth forest trail—Hanging Garden—has a circumference of over 18 metres. It’s estimated to be over 2,000 years old, making it one of the oldest trees in the world.

  • Distance:  Two loop options between 2.4 and 4.2 km
  • Time:  1 to 2.5 hours
  • Fitness/skill level:  Moderate – there are stairs and some undulation, but you’ve got this!
  • How to get there:  Take a 10-minute water taxi from Tofino to Meares Island or make an afternoon of it with a kayak/hiking adventure.
  • [more info]

 

2. Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop – Ucluelet

Best hike to whale watch.

Photo credit: B. Schramm / tourismtofino.com

Stroll this scenic coastal loop for a wow-factor at every turn. From the historial Amphitrite Lighthouse and spectacular He-Tin-Kis Beach, to interpretive trail options along the way, keep your eyes open for Grey whales, sea lions, seals, otters and the occasional Orca. Also fantastic for storm watching!

  • Distance:  2.6 km loop
  • Time:  30 to 45 minutes
  • Fitness/skill level:  Super easy cruising – as in flat, paved or gravel with no stairs.
  • How to get there:  Take the Pacific Rim Highway past the junction and carry on to Ucluelet. Continue onto Peninsula Road for 6.4 km; turn right onto Coast Guard Drive.
  • [more info]

 

3. Rainforest Trail – Pacific Rim National Park

Tofino’s most romantic hike.

Photo credit:  gotofino.com

The sound of the highway quickly disappears as you descend into the dense, moss-covered rainforest of gnarled, towering hemlock, fir, and cedar  trees. Follow the weaving boardwalk across streams and gullies, and watch for highlights including a bridge made from a single, fallen old-growth log.

  • Distance:  Two-2 km loop options
  • Time:  40 minutes per loop
  • Fitness/skill level: Easy cruising to moderate inclines – depends on the Loop. Either way, it will be enough to justify a frosty, celebratory beverage when you’re done.
  • How to get there:  Head south on the highway to the Pacific Rim National Park, about 16 kms outside Tofino, where you can access both trail loops from the parking lot.
  • [more info]

 

4. Schooner Cove Trail – Pacific Rim National Park

Tofino’s most pet-friendly hike.

Photo credit:  globeguide.ca

This short winding boardwalk trail leads you through forests, across bridges, and past a 600-year old Sitka spruce before descending to the very northern end of Long Beach. You can then turn right to head to the secluded beaches of Schooner Cove, or left for a 10 km walk down the entire majestic stretch of Long Beach.

  • Distance:  Choose from two, 2 km loop options
  • Time:  40 minutes per loop
  • Fitness/skill level: Easy cruising to moderate – but you’ll be too preoccupied to notice!
  • How to get there:  Head south on the highway to the Pacific Rim National Park, about 16 kms outside Tofino, where you can access both trail loops from the parking lot.
  • [more info]

 

5. Tonquin Trail – Tofino

Best hike to watch a sunset.

Photo credit:  tofinohiking.com

Jump on this jaw-dropping trail for an easy stroll along the coastline, complete with tree house style viewing platforms and detours descending onto Tonquin, Third Beach and Middle Beach. Located less than a kilometre from Tofino’s village centre, highlights include stunning panoramic views of Templar Channel, Wickaninnish Island and the wreck site of The Tonquin.

  • Distance:  3 km
  • Time:  45 to 60 minutes
  • Fitness/skill level:  Easy cruising – and if you choose to head down the stairs to the various beaches, it’s worth the extra effort!
  • How to get there:  The beginning of the trail is within walking distance of Tofino and can either be accessed by a trail at the end of Tonquin Park Road or from the Tofino Community Hall.
  • [more info]