Tofino / Ucluelet Hiking Trails
There are many trails and beaches between Ucluelet and Tofino.
Some of the must sees are:
Radar Hill dates back to 1954 and the early days of the Cold War. The Soviet Union was seen as a nuclear threat and a series of radar stations were built by Canada and the Unites States. Several lines of radar stations could provide warning of an attack from long range bombers. Radar Hill was part of the Pinetree Line, the southernmost of these early warning radar lines. Not long after its construction, however, the shift from long range bombers to intercontinental ballistic missiles made radar stations like Radar Hill obsolete. Now, decades later, only the cement foundations of Radar Hill remain.
This hike provides an opportunity to visit the site of a Royal Canadian Air Force Canso 11007 that crashed shortly after takeoff on February 12, 1945. The plane still remains on the side of a hill and is surprisingly fairly intact despite the damage sustained from the crash. The trail to the site is located just south of Radar Hill and it passes through a bog that is extremely muddy, even during the late summer months. Besides this section, the trail is well marked and relatively easy but you should expect to spend a fair amount of time passing through the mud.
Rain Forest Trail
The Rainforest Trail is broken up into two 2km boardwalk style loops each with its own story to tell. The loops are located on either side of the highway with parking on the west side of the highway facing the ocean Loop A not only has immense trees, but also explains the life cycles of the forest with interesting educational signage. Close to the trail head exists a massive tree that is twice as thick as the trees surrounding it. Loop B teaches visitors about many keystone species in the area including salmon as well as other life cycles found in the forest. The two boardwalk style loops take you by massive cedars, salmon spawning streams, ferns and other ancient looking plants with nursing logs all around to replenish this ancient forest.
The Wild Pacfic Trail
The Wild Pacific Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. Located in Ucluelet this easy 8 km hike (broken into different sections) offers a rocky coastline and is most commonly known for its stunning coastal views. The trail takes you through an old gnarled forest with moss hanging from tree branches creating a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. The trail then opens up presenting spectacular shoreline panoramas as it overlooks the Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands out across the Pacific Ocean. The newest section just opened in 2013 and presents more breathtaking scenery.
Mt Ozzard is visible across the harbour from Ucluelet on a clear day. It is easily recognized by the golf-ball shaped radar tower on its summit. The hike (more of a walk) up the gravel service road brings you right to the top, and provides a great view of the Broken Group Isands, Ucluelet, and Pacific Rim National Park all the way up to Tofino. In the summer there are lots of berries along the road, and there is probably a good chance of seeing bears. I have been told that spending several hours at the summit causes headaches from all the radiation, although I do not know of this happening to anyone. If you ever find yourself in Ucluelet or Tofino on a clear day when the surf is no good, I would highly recommend making the trip up.