Discover Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, British Columbia

Ever dreamed of exploring Canada’s natural marvels along the vast Pacific Ocean? Your dream can come true at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This expansive area not just captivates with its beauty, but also promises adventure and tranquility wrapped in the embrace of British Columbia‘s wild and rugged coast on Vancouver Island.

Boasting kilometers of sandy beaches and lush temperate rainforests, Pacific Rim is your playground for activities including storm watching, beach walking, surfing, and more. You’ll be tracing the traditional territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, adding a rich cultural layer to your adventure.


Top 3 Facts About Pacific Rim National Park Reserve



The park is home to over 600 species of plants, 200 species of birds, and numerous marine and terrestrial animals, including gray whales, sea otters, bald eagles, black bears, and cougars. Its rich biodiversity attracts nature enthusiasts and researchers alike.


West Coast Trail

Known as one of the world’s top hiking destinations, the West Coast Trail stretches 75 kilometers (47 miles) along the rugged coastline of Vancouver Island within the park. Originally established as a rescue route for shipwreck survivors, it now offers adventurers a challenging trek through temperate rainforests, beaches, and cliffs.



Pacific Rim National Park Reserve spans over 511 square kilometers (197 square miles), consisting of three regions: Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. This expansive area provides diverse ecosystems ranging from coastal rainforests to rocky shores.

Camping and transportation in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Pacific Rim National Park

Getting to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in British Columbia can vary depending on your starting point and which specific area of the park you wish to visit. Here are general guidelines on how to reach the main areas of the park:

  • By Air: The nearest major airport to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ) located in Comox, British Columbia. From there, you can rent a car and drive to the park, which is approximately a 3 to 4-hour drive depending on traffic and road conditions.
  • By Car: If you’re driving from Vancouver, you can take the BC Ferries from Tsawwassen Terminal to Nanaimo (Duke Point or Departure Bay terminals). Once you disembark from the ferry, you’ll drive north on Vancouver Island toward Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, which is about a 4 to 5-hour drive depending on traffic and weather conditions.
  • Public Transportation: While there isn’t direct public transportation to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, you can take buses or trains to nearby towns such as Tofino or Ucluelet, which are located near the park. From there, you can arrange for local transportation services or rent a car to explore the park.
  • Guided Tours: Another option is to join guided tours or organized trips that include transportation to and from Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. These tours often depart from major cities like Vancouver and include transportation, accommodation, and guided activities within the park.

Places to Stay Near Pacific Rim National Park

There are several camping options near Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, offering opportunities to immerse yourself in the stunning natural surroundings of Vancouver Island’s west coast. Here are some notable places to camp near the park:

  • Green Point Campground: Located within Pacific Rim National Park Reserve itself, Green Point Campground offers both front-country and walk-in tent camping options. Situated near Long Beach, this campground provides easy access to the beach and various hiking trails. Reservations are highly recommended during the peak summer season.
  • Bella Pacifica Campground: Situated in Tofino, just a short drive from the park, Bella Pacifica Campground offers oceanfront camping with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. This campground provides RV sites, tent sites, and rustic cabins, along with amenities such as hot showers, laundry facilities, and a convenience store.
  • Crystal Cove Beach Resort: Also located in Tofino, Crystal Cove Beach Resort offers a range of accommodation options, including oceanfront cabins, beach houses, and RV sites. This resort provides direct beach access, onsite amenities like a hot tub and playground, and various recreational activities such as kayaking and surfing lessons.
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Best Time to Go to Pacific Rim National Park



Summer is the peak tourist season in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, characterized by warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours. This is the perfect time for beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the park’s stunning coastline and sandy beaches. Long Beach, known for its expansive shoreline and excellent surfing conditions, attracts sun-seekers and water sports enthusiasts. Visitors can also explore the tide pools at low tide, go kayaking in protected bays, or embark on boat tours to the Broken Group Islands. Additionally, summer is a popular time for camping, so be sure to make reservations well in advance if you plan to stay overnight.



Winter in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a peaceful and serene time, with fewer visitors and opportunities for unique outdoor activities. While temperatures may be cooler and rainfall is common, winter storms bring dramatic cloudscapes and breathtaking vistas along the coastline, making it an ideal time for photography enthusiasts. Winter storms also create ideal conditions for storm watching, with waves reaching impressive heights and crashing against sea stacks and cliffs. Additionally, winter is a great time for birdwatching, as migratory birds flock to the region’s estuaries and wetlands, providing excellent birdwatching opportunities for enthusiasts.



Spring brings milder temperatures and fewer crowds to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, making it an excellent time for those seeking tranquility and nature immersion. During this season, you can witness the vibrant renewal of coastal rainforests with blooming wildflowers and emerging foliage. Spring is ideal for hiking the park’s trails, such as the Rainforest Trail, where you can marvel at the lush greenery and listen to the symphony of bird songs. Additionally, spring marks the beginning of the whale-watching season, with gray whales migrating along the coast, offering opportunities for whale-watching tours from nearby towns like Tofino and Ucluelet.

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Must-See Attractions

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Long Beach

Stretching over 16 kilometers (10 miles) along the coast, Long Beach is one of the most iconic features of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This expansive sandy beach offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and is perfect for leisurely walks, beachcombing, surfing, and picnicking.

West Coast Trail

For adventurous hikers seeking a challenging trek through pristine wilderness, the West Coast Trail is a must-do. Stretching 75 kilometers (47 miles) along the rugged coastline of Vancouver Island, this iconic trail offers breathtaking views of coastal rainforests, rocky shorelines, and secluded beaches.

Broken Group Islands

Accessible by boat from nearby towns like Ucluelet and Bamfield, this cluster of over 100 islands and islets offers sheltered waters, sandy beaches, and abundant marine life, making it ideal for kayaking, camping, and wildlife viewing. Paddlers can explore hidden coves, sea caves, and pristine beaches while spotting seals, sea lions, eagles, and even whales in the surrounding waters.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Pacific Rim National Park

Plan Ahead

Check Park Information

Before your visit, check the park’s website or contact park staff for up-to-date information on park conditions, closures, and any permits or reservations required for specific activities, such as camping or hiking the West Coast Trail.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Essentials

Bring essential items such as water, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, a first aid kit, and appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Weather on the west coast of Vancouver Island can be unpredictable, so it’s wise to dress in layers and be prepared for rain or sun.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including black bears, cougars, wolves, and marine mammals. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and never approach or feed them. Store food securely to prevent attracting animals to your campsite or picnic area.

Stay Informed

Be Aware of Safety Risks

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve offers rugged terrain and dynamic coastal environments, so it’s crucial to be aware of potential safety risks. Pay attention to warning signs, stay away from cliff edges, and be cautious near the water, especially during high tide and stormy conditions.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Pacific Rim National Park

Some of the main attractions in the park include Long Beach, the West Coast Trail, the Broken Group Islands, rainforest hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife viewing and marine activities such as surfing and kayaking.

The best time to visit depends on personal preferences and interests. Summer (June to August) offers warmer weather and is popular for beach activities, while spring and fall provide quieter experiences with opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and storm watching.

Yes, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve offers front-country camping at Green Point Campground and backcountry camping along the West Coast Trail and in the Broken Group Islands. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons.

Yes, gray whales migrate along the coast of Vancouver Island, and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve offers opportunities for whale watching, particularly during the spring and fall migrations. Boat tours and shore-based viewing sites provide chances to spot these majestic creatures.

Families can enjoy a variety of activities in the park, including beachcombing, picnicking, interpretive programs, easy hiking trails, and exploring tidal pools. The Kwisitis Visitor Centre also offers interactive exhibits suitable for all ages.

While there is no public transportation within the park itself, there are bus services and shuttle options to nearby towns like Tofino and Ucluelet, where visitors can access the park by taxi, rental car, or organized tours.

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