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Clayoquot Hiking Trails

Kennedy River Bridge Aerial VideoTofino Aerial VideoVargas Island Aerial Video

Clayoquot Sound Trails - Tofino to Ucluelet

Florencia Bay Aerial ViewGrice Bay Aerial ViewVargas Island Aerial View

 

Wild Pacific Lighthouse Trail in UclueletThe Wild Pacific Trail is a must see on any visit to Pacific Rim National Park, Ucluelet and/or Tofino.  Located in Ucluelet, the Wild Pacific Trail is actually a set of three trails that connect into a wonderful 8.4 kilometre route.  The Lighthouse Loop trail is a great place to start is wild meandering 2.6km trail that has endless amazing ocean views and an amazing array of twisted, weather beaten, and endlessly interesting trees along the trail.  There are several great access points to the ocean where you can clamour over the rocks and see all sorts of sea life lurking in the pools and crevices where the ocean pours in and out of.  The Wild Pacific Trail is wide and leisurely with numerous viewpoints to the ocean and guides you in and out of the forest on a constantly interesting route.  The Lighthouse Loop takes less than an hour to walk, though considerably more if you explore.  You can continue walking along Peninsula Road and Marine Drive to reconnect to the trail or a good idea is to drive to the parking on Marine Drive near Browns Beach.  This positions you in the middle of the other two section of the Wild Pacific Trail, Big Beach and Brown's Beach.  Big Beach has a large picnic area and a great ocean viewpoint.  There are three beach access points.  Browns' beach begins near Black Rock Resort and runs through a section of forest then three kilometres of beautiful ocean views until reaching Peninsula Road.  If you turn right here you can follow the bike trail to Forbes St and connect back to Marine Drive or simply retrace your steps to your car.

Why should you hike the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet?

The Wild Pacific Trail is an easy and constantly interesting trail to hike anytime of the year.  Storm-watching in the colder months and a relaxing and very interesting trail all year-round.  Lighthouse Loop Trail is a beautiful route that allows you to walk the trail without having to retrace your steps.  Very family friendly with its easy, wide and interesting trail.

More Info, Maps & Directions to the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet >>

Willowbrae and Halfmoon BayThe Willowbrae Trail is a fairly quiet trail as compared to other beach trails in Pacific Rim National Park.  The trail is easy and flat to begin as you hike along the straight and flat gravel path.  This trail is prominent in the local history as a connecting route to Tofino.  Before the current highway was built in 1942, the route to Tofino was usually via sea and land right through what is now the Willowbrae Trail.  A nice map and information board along the trail points out what historic interests to look out for..  "Notches on old growth stumps that held springboards on which loggers stood to fell the giant trees.  Abandoned homestead sites characterized by young second growth trees crowded together with littler shrubbery or undergrowth."  The abandoned homestead sites have been obliterated by the forest but the notches in fantastically huge tree stumps are everywhere.  Another beautiful look into history is the remaining sections of the "Corduroy Road".  Early settlers constructed roads in the forest by laying down logs next to each other in a fashion that resembles corduroy fabric.  The Willowbrae Trail takes you straight to the southern end of the beautiful Florencia Bay which is reached in 1.4 kilometres from the trailhead. The final descent to the beach is down a wonderfully long and somewhat steep boardwalk and stairs section.  Florencia Bay is certainly one of the most beautiful beaches in Pacific Rim National Park due to its secluded feel, sunny south facing direction and interesting shipwreck history.  The beach is big and beautiful and you will usually find just a handful of surfers enjoying the whole area to themselves.

Why should you hike the Willowbrae Trail in Pacific Rim Park?

The Willowbrae Trail is a quiet alternative to the much busier trails in Pacific Rim National Park.  It is a trail with lots of historic interest and info on the trail depicting this.  The Willowbrae Trail leads to Florencia Bay which, on a sunny day is very beautiful.

More on the Willowbrae Trail and Halfmoon Bay in Pacific Rim National Park >>

Glossary of Hiking Terms - Tofino & Clayoquot Sound Trails


Highpointing: the sport of hiking to as many high points(mountain peaks) as possible in a given area.  For example, highpointing the Highpointing - Clayoquot Hiking Termslower 48 states in the United states.  This was first achieved in 1936 by A.H. Marshall.  In 1966 Vin Hoeman highpointed all 50 states.  It is estimated that over 250 people have highpointed all of the US states.  Highpointing is similar peakbagging, however peakbagging is the sport of climbing several peaks in a given area above a certain elevation.  For example, a highpointer may climb the summit of Wedge Mountain, the highest peak in the Garibaldi Ranges, then move to another mountain range.  Whereas a peakbagger may summit Wedge Mountain, then Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge, Mount Garibaldi and many more high summits in the region.

Panorama Ridge Aerial Video

Hoary Marmot: the cute, invariably pudgy, twenty plus pound ground squirrels that have evolved to live quite happily in the hostile alpine areas of much of the world. In the northwest of North America, marmots have a distinct grey in their hair, a hoary colour, so have been named hoary Hoary Marmot - Clayoquot Hiking Termsmarmots. They manage to survive quite happily in the alpine, largely by hibernating for 8 months of the year and largely for having a surprisingly varied array of food in such an inhospitable environment. They live off of grasses, berries, lichens, mosses, and roots and flowers. And live quite well it seems, as they always look chubby, which has one great drawback. They are sought after by bears and wolves. They have a wonderful defense system though. They are constantly on watch and whistle loudly at the first sign of danger, alerting the colony. The prevalence of these "whistlers" as they came to be locally called, in the early days of London Mountain resulted in it's name being changed to Whistler Mountain in the 60's. Hiking on Whistler, Blackcomb or Wedgemount Lake in the summer will almost guarantee an encounter with a chubby, jolly little whistler marmot.

Aerial Video of Adit Lakes - Tarns

Tarn: a small alpine lake.  The word tarn originates from the Norse word tjorn which translates to English as pond.  In the United Kingdom, tarn is widely used to refer to any small lake or pond.  In British Columbia however, tarn is used specifically for small mountain lakes.  Around Whistler tarns number in the hundreds and many are so small and/or hidden as to remain unnamed.  Russet Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park could be called a tarn, however its relatively large size dominates the area and the term lake seems more appropriate.  The nearby Adit Lakes are more accurately called tarns as they are small, shallow and sit in an alpine zone, buried in snow most of the year.

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