Pacific Rim may have been opened in 1970 but it was a crowd-puller way before that. First Nations like the Nuu-chah-nulth and the Tla-o-qui-aht have called the park home for ages. And hippies camped on its beaches until the government came knocking. Today, shorebirds and dog-walkers share the park’s sandy beaches and surfers ride the waves. Join them and see what else is on offer.
1. Long and Wickaninnish Beaches
For decades, surfers from around the world have been flocking Pacific Rim in search of perfect waves. You too can experience the thrill of these unpredictable beauties this summer. The beaches are open all year round allowing novice surfers to train when the waters are friendly. However, winter surfing is the preserve of the pros.
2. Kwisitis Visitor Centre
Sightseeing and culture meet at Kwisitis Visitor Centre. As you stand on its deck, you can watch storms brew or catch a glimpse of a distant whale. Stepping inside will take you into a different world where First Nations and the rain forest take center stage. You could even hop on a giant slug!
3. Nuu-chah-nulth Trail
As you leave the Visitor Center, why not make a detour to the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail. The captivating culture of this First Nation is elaborated further. If you’ve never heard of Hishuk ish ts’awalk, then this is the place to discover what this belief system is and what role it plays in the community.
4. Broken Group Islands
This impressive archipelago is the perfect hide-away for anyone trying to stay away from the crowds. Accessible only by water, the Broken Group Islands offers you miles upon miles of paddling adventure. And you can always stop and stretch your legs on some backcountry trails where the flora and fauna will astound you. If you want a boat tour, book Lady Rose Marine!
5. Cape Beale Headlands
How about a serious hike that doesn’t include a sleepover? Your destination is the historic Cape Beale Lighthouse that borders the West Coast Trail. It will take you about 7 hours to get there but since camping isn’t allowed at the lighthouse you can expect to cross tidal flats and a swampy bog twice!
6. Storm Watching
The Pacific has been known to churn up epic storms but it’s not every day that you get to watch this ocean display its wrath. If a storm is predicted then you should pick a nice spot on the Florencia Bay Lookout or the Kwisitis Visitor Centre and take videos that will make your friends green with envy.
7. South Beach Trail
You don’t have to wait for a storm to enjoy some amazing waves. All you have to do is take a short walk along this trail and you will have ruthless waves and currents staring you in the face. It goes without saying that you must stay away from the water.
8. Combers Beach
Yes the water is cold, but the sand is glorious! If you have a wet suit then you can enjoy the lull of the waves. If not, you can simply spread your towel on the sand and enjoy the sun. The view of the ocean and the neighbouring rock outcrops will make your trip worthwhile.
9. Rainforest Trail
The beaches of Pacific Rim can easily cast a spell on you and make you forget that there is more to the park than its waters. Fortunately the massive red cedars and hemlocks that characterize the Rainforest Trail will remind you of the life and times of the temperate rainforests.
10. The West Coast Trail
The First Nations travelled this path in search of food and business opportunities. It’s now your time to walk in their footsteps braving rain, fog, flood waters and rocky shorelines to experience the splendor of the temperate rainforest. This is a multiday hike that requires advance booking and overnight backpacking skills.
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