Activities on Vancouver Island
The Pacific waters around Ucluelet and off the West Coast of Vancouver Island are legendary for salmon and halibut fishing. One of the world’s top salmon and halibut fishing destinations, Ucluelet offers big catch and unforgettable fishing vacations. Hop on your boat or join a sport fishing charter and cast your lines for salmon, including Coho, Chinook, Sockeye, Pink and Chum, halibut, ling cod, black cod, snapper, rockfish, – the most popular saltwater fish. In the summer, the Chinook range from 20 to 30 pounds. Anglers also find cutthroat trout in the streams.
For fishing information, charters and fishing licenses visit:
During the wild West Coast winters, storm watching is an exhilarating experience. Travelers to Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve can feel the natural fury and power of the wind, rain and waves of a raging winter storm. When arctic and subtropical air masses collide over the Pacific Ocean, the tempests slam into Vancouver Island. Eight foot waves and thundering surf pound the beaches bringing Driftwood, trees and Japanese glass fishing floats. Thundering surf and ocean spray provide nature’s dramatic theatrics. Witness the ferocity of a storm from the resort or at viewpoints on the Wild Pacific Trail. As many as 15 storms per month hit the west coast during the storm season from November to March. Visit www.ucluelet.ca/visitors/attractions_stormwatching.php.
Broken Group Islands Adventure Tours.
Explore the Broken Group Islands, an archipelago of a hundred islands and rocks in Barkley Sound. Discover beautiful waterways, channels, bays and coves that reveal jaw-dropping scenery and wildlife. Accessible by boat, these islands are a wondrous destination for boating, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing and whale and storm watching. Join Archipelago Wildlife Cruises on a exciting tour into Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands to enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife aboard the luxurious 53 foot motor yacht, the “Raincoast Maiden”, for a cruise unlike any other. Visit www.archipelagocruises.com.
Ucluelet has awesome surf beaches, surf shops and schools. While summer waves are small and calm, winter waves can be wild and unpredictable. Wickanninish Beach, Long Beach, Cox Bay and Chestermans are popular surf spots within 30 minutes of the resort. Surfers must be aware of the dangers of rogue waves and strong rip currents. Located in Pacific Rim National Park, Florencia and Wreck Beach are favorite surf spots with local wave riders. Relic Surf Shop offers surf lessons and equipment right in Ucluelet. Visit www.relicsurfshop.com
Whale watching is one of the most exciting activities on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast. There are several adventure tours and whale watching excursions departing from Ucluelet’s Barclay Sound and Tofino’s Clayoquot Sound that offer amazing opportunities to view gray, humpback and orca whales migrating and feeding along the coast from early February through April. For whale watching tours, contact: www.subtidaladventures.com, offering closed cabin and zodiac tours or www.archipelagocruises.com offering tours on their luxurious 53 foot motor yacht.
Enjoy unparalleled sea kayak adventures on the incredible West Coast of Vancouver Island, where you will encounter an untamed wilderness of ocean, channels, waterways, inlets, bays, coves, rivers and streams with magical scenery and abundant wildlife. Enjoy kayak adventures to Barkley Sound, Broken Group Islands, Pacific Rim National Park, Clayoquot Sound and the Deer Group Islands. Explore intricate waterways through the 100 islands and tiny islets of the Broken Group Islands and paddle to peaceful coves, white sandy beaches and ocean swells. Discover sea caves, sea sculpted rock formations, aboriginal fish traps, and tide pools. Paddle through the clear waters of Clayoquot Sound around Tofino and explore the white sand beaches. The Nitinat Triangle offers a chain of lakes for amazing kayak expeditions. For kayak tours, visit www.oceankayaking.com
The West Coast of Vancouver Island – between Ucluelet and Tofino – is one of the world’s most amazing bird watching destinations. Situated in the Pacific Flyway, the island offers diverse habitats – Pacific Ocean, long sandy beaches, rocky islands, protected harbors, mudflats and forests – where thousands of shorebirds, including albatross, eagles, geese, ducks, and plover can be seen. Clayoquot and Barkley sounds are home to whimbrel, dowitchers, black-bellied plovers and the red knot. Marvel at eagles soaring over sandy beaches and black oystercatchers, murres, guillemots, auklets, petrels, and tufted puffin nesting on offshore islands.. Wander the trails and boardwalks through cedar forests in Pacific Rim National Park with winter wrens and Townsend’s Warbler. Sitka spruces above surf pounded beaches give Peregrine Falcons cover. Paddle through sheltered ocean coves and inland rivers or explore mountains with blue grouse and willow flycatchers. Visit www.justbirding.com/bird-homeset.html.
Experience the West Coast of Vancouver Island on amazing flight seeing tours that offer an eagle-eye view of this breathtaking coast – from the mighty Pacific Ocean to the jagged mountain ranges. West Coast Wild Adventures offers exciting floatplane tours over the Pacific Ocean and the rugged shoreline so you see whales, sea lions, sea birds and sea otters in the Pacific waters. Enjoy spectacular vistas of snow-capped peaks with waterfalls that form crystal clear creeks, lakes and rivers, crescents of sandy beach protected by rocky points, long twisted inlets dotted with islands and an emerald rain forest that supports a very diverse population of wildlife. Scenic floatplane tours take you to wild Vancouver Island destinations, including Clayoquot Sound, Pacific Rim National Park, Hot Springs Cove, MacKenzie Mountains, Cougar Annie’s Garden, Della Falls, Friendly Cove, First Nations Villages, Mountain Glaciers, and Butchart Gardens. Visit www.wcwild.com.
Experience an exhilarating Vancouver Island wilderness adventure in the Kennedy River Watershed – a breathtaking 100-foot canyon hidden by dense rainforest and cut from centuries of flowing white water. Fly above the majesty of the wild river flowing through the canyon towards Kennedy Lake and the Pacific Ocean. This zipline eco tour takes you through the canyon where your senses will be heightened by the roar of the water and the crisp mountain air in your face. The journey starts at Canyon Bridge – between Port Alberni and the Pacific Rim – where you will be shuttled to the top of the course. The 2-hour flight zips you above the whitewater river and through old growth rainforests and the canopy of fragrant cedars next to Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park. Visit www.wcwild.com.
Created by the pounding surf of the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver Island’s West Coast is edged by pristine sand and rock beaches, secluded coves, rocky headlands and intertidal areas. This dramatic coastline boasts some of the most spectacular beaches in the world and offers unique beachcombing, hiking, picnicking and storm watching opportunities. Ucluelet and the southern peninsula offer miles of pristine beaches, including Big Beach, Little beach, Long Beach, Terrace Beach, and Fletchers Beach for sunset walks, building sandcastles, wildlife viewing and beachcombing for sea treasures at low tide. Located in Pacific Rim National Park, Halfmoon Bay, Florencia and Wreck Beach are beautiful sandy beaches with secluded coves and tide pools. Explore the rocky cliffs above and gaze out over the open sea.
Cox Bay is a mile of sandy beach in Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Popular with surfers, storm watchers and nature lovers, Cox Bay offers a peaceful escape for romantic walks, picnics and reflection. You can reach the beach via the public beach access at Cox Bay Beach Resort.
The pride of Tofino, Chesterman Beach is a 1.5 mile strip of bar-packed sand and rolling surf. This long beach is an exceptional spot for walking, surfing and bike riding. Wander down at low tide to explore the rich marine life in the tidal pools off Frank Island.
Tucked away on the northern side of the Tofino Village, Tonquin Beach is a secluded sandy beach in a sheltered cove. A short boardwalk pathway leads to this sandy beach – a tranquil getaway from the crowds at Tofino’s larger beaches.
One of the most spectacular beaches in the world, Long Beach offers 6 miles of surf-swept sand in Wickaninnish Bay in Pacific Rim National Park. Long Beach offers outstanding beach hiking, surfing, swimming, snorkeling, storm watching and whale watching along with a relaxed vibe. Gaze out to the vast, open sea, feel the forces of the wind and waves, and take in amazingly beautiful coastal scenery that calms your soul. Cyclists, kite flyers, hackey-sackers, disc tossers, joggers, and walkers are at play on the hard-packed sand.
Part of the Long Beach Unit, Radar Beach is rich in rugged beauty with fierce surf. If you seek a wild, untamed setting, Radar beach is a slice of paradise for surfers, beach bums and adventurers who crave the energy and beauty of Vancouver Island’s West Coast.