Trip 222 - July 13 & August 31, 2021 (Tuesday)

Wild Pacific Trail Hike

Lighthouse Loop

Near Ucluelet BC Canada

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Location: Near the town of Ucluelet, Western Vancouver Island.

Liked: Fine ocean and coast vistas, lighthouse views, Broken Group Islands views, an easy loop trail with lots of shade, no bugs.

Of Note: Tsunami hazard zone. Caution required for rock-hopping on the coastline. The trail is very popular.

Vancouver Island Backroad Mapbook (9th edition) Trailhead Coordinates: Page 6 (Ucluelet) B2.

Related Websites: Wild Pacific Trail - Official Website, Wiki - Ucluelet.

Wild Pacific Trail is quite easy, with only a few small hills, and features numerous fine views of the rugged coastline of Vancouver Island. This trail is located by BC Highway 4, near the town of Ucluelet on Western Vancouver Island. Highway 4 starts near the East coast of the Island, goes through Port Alberni, and then, just at Pacific Rim Visitor Centre, makes a right turn towards Tofino. At that same intersection / T-junction, a left turn leads to Ucluelet (pronounced You-CLUE-Let) in 8 kilometers, where the Lighthouse Loop of Wild Pacific Trail is located. A longer trail (also called Wild Pacific Trail), which is not connected to the Lighthouse Loop, goes from Ancient Cedars Loop (5.6 km from Pacific Rim Visitor Centre) to Brown's Beach (Western end) and Rocky Bluffs (Eastern end).

We started at Ancient Cedars Loop and hiked to Rocky Bluffs (eastern end of the trail) 1.2 km later. Hiking for 2.8 km from Ancient Cedars Loop in the opposite direction would lead to Brown's Beach trailhead. So, if you start at Brown's Beach, it's 4 km one way to Rocky Bluffs past Ancient Cedars Loop (you can bypass it, as there isn't much to see on that short trail - it's a connector to the highway).

We planned on heading West from Ancient Cedars Loop towards Brown Beach, and actually hiked for over a kilometer in that direction, but mist rolled in from the ocean, making the views rather unappealing. Considering the dark-coloured, gloomy rocks of the Vancouver Island coastline in this area, sunshine makes the views so much better. Do note that going West (towards Brown's Beach) from Ancient Cedars Loop is a but more challenging that going East (towards Rocky Bluffs), though not by much, and there are what are called "Artists' Loops" spurs through slightly more complicated parts of the trail, which lead to very fine views. Those with strollers or otherwise wishing to have an easier hike have an option to bypass the loops (and the views).

Wild Pacific Trail is quite easy, and features numerous fine views of the rugged coastline of Vancouver Island. This trail is located by BC Highway 4, near the town of Ucluelet on Western Vancouver Island. Highway 4 starts near the East coast of the Island, goes through Port Alberni, and then, just at Pacific Rim Visitor Centre, makes a right turn towards Tofino. At that same intersection / T-junction, a left turn leads to Ucluelet (pronounced You-CLUE-Let) in 8 kilometers, where the Lighthouse Loop of Wild Pacific Trail is located. A longer trail (also called Wild Pacific Trail), which is not connected to the Lighthouse Loop, goes from Ancient Cedars Loop (5.5 km from Pacific Rim Visitor Centre) to Brown's Beach / Big Beach (Western end) and Rocky Bluffs (Eastern end).

On July 13th, we started at Ancient Cedars Loop and hiked to Rocky Bluffs (eastern end of the trail) 1.2 km later. There is no parking or any further progress available at that end, so you need to double back. On August 31st, we returned to hike the remaining 2.8 km to the western end of this part of Wild Pacific Trail (to Brown's Beach / Big Beach). If you start at Big Beach or Brown's Beach parking lots, it's 4-5 km one way to Rocky Bluffs past Ancient Cedars Loop (you can bypass it, as there isn't much to see on that short trail, as it's a connector to the highway).

Also on August 31st we also hiked Lighthouse Loop of Wild Pacific Trail, located even further West than Brown's Beach / Big Beach. It's actually a stand-alone trail separated from the Rocky Bluffs - Brown's Beach / Big Beach trail by several kilometers of Ucluelet town streets, but it's also called Wild Pacific Trail, so we included Lighthouse Loop into Wild Pacific Trail trip report on Page 3.

On July 13th, after hiking to Rocky Bluffs (eastern end) we planned on heading West from Ancient Cedars Loop towards Brown's Beach / Big Beach, and actually hiked for over a kilometer in that direction, but mist rolled in from the ocean, making the views rather unappealing. Considering the dark-coloured, gloomy rocks of the Vancouver Island coastline in this area, sunshine makes the views so much better. Do note that going West (towards Brown's Beach / Big Beach) from Ancient Cedars Loop is a but more challenging that going East (towards Rocky Bluffs), though not by much, and there are "Artists' Loops" (so called because there is an occasional small piece of art installed there) spurs through slightly more complicated parts of the trail, which lead to very fine views. Those with strollers or otherwise wishing to have an easier hike have an option to bypass the loops (and the views).

This particular stretch of Wild Pacific Trail is, apparently, especially popular with storm watchers (of which Ucluelet gets about 10 per season, according to an info board), and there are numerous benches and a few platforms with benches to do just that.

To summarize:

Page 1 of Wild Pacific Trail trip report covers Ancient Cedars Loop Trail to Rocky Bluffs (Eastern end of the trail).

Page 2 - Ancient Cedars Loop Trail to Brown's Beach/Big Beach (Western end of the trail).

Page 3 (this page) - Lighthouse Loop Trail even further West (it's technically a separate trail, but is also called Wild Pacific Trail, so we included it in this trip report).


64. To get to Lighthouse Loop of Wild Pacific Trail, either walk on Ucluelet streets for about 2 km after reaching Big Beach, or drive further West on Tofino-Ucluelet Road, which will become Peninsula Road closer to Ucluelet. At 10.0 km past the Pacific Rim Visitor Centre (4.5 km past the Ancient Cedar Loops trailhead parking) make a right turn onto Coast Guard Road.


Peninsula Road at Coast Guard Road Ucluelet BC Canada

65-66. Less than half a kilometer later, make a left turn onto Lighthouse Loop parking lot. Driving further for a few hundred meters would lead to a parking lot right by Amphitrite Lighthouse, so it's a quick and easy way to get to the coastline and checkout the lighthouse without doing the hike.


Coast Guard Road at Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop Parking Lot Turnoff

Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop Parking Entrance in Ucluelet BC Canada

67. There is a large information board at the parking lot, as well as two smaller boards warning of potential hazards. Parking lot Coordinates: N 4855.458' W 12532.251'. Elevation: 17 meters.


Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop Information Board

68-69. Here is a photo from Page 1 of this trip report, showing Lighthouse Loop inside a blue square on the bottom right, as well as a close-up photo of the map of the trail.


Ucluelet Tsunami Evacuation Map

Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop Map - Trail in Ucluelet BC

70. The map recommends going clockwise, but we headed in the opposite direction after crossing Coast Guard Road.


Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop at Coast Guard Road

71. The counter clockwise Lighthouse Loop part of Wild Pacific Trail begins.


Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop - Ucluelet Hike

72. A much smaller Bog Interpretive Loop arrives 50 meters later (all distances are based on a GPS odometer and are approximate).


Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop at Bog Interpretive Loop - Ucluelet Hiking British Columbia

73. We skipped the bog loop and are now at the 650 meter mark of the trail.


Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop - Ucluelet Trail

74. At 700 meters, there is a T-junction. The left turn is for the main trail, while the right turn leads to He-Tin-Kis beach.


Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop - Trail in Ucluelet BC Area

75. We went to the beach first. It takes about 100 meters to get there, including taking this staircase.


Stairs to He-Tin-Kis Beach off Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop in Ucluelet BC

76. The beach is medium-sized, and mostly covered with stones.


He-Tin-Kis Beach Ucluelet British Columbia Canada

77. Moving on, here is a neat view at 810 meters of the Lighthouse Loop of Wild Pacific Trail.


View from Lighthouse Loop of Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet BC Canada

78-79. A platform by the trail at 900 meters allows to see yet another fine view.


View From Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop - Hike in Ucluelet BC Area

80. Lighthouse Loop is an easy trail, with a few small hills.


Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop

81. Vancouver Island coastline near Ucluelet at the 1.1 km mark.


Vancouver Island Coastline View From Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop in Ucluelet BC Area

82-83. Closer to 2 km after the start, Amphitrite Lighthouse appears straight ahead.


Amphitrite Lighthouse View From Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop

Amphitrite Lighthouse Ucluelet BC Canada

Here is our video of the views from this location.

More ihikebc.com videos are on our YouTube Channel.

84. Lighthouse side view.


Amphitrite Lighthouse on Vancouver Island by Ucluelet British Columbia

85. A short staircase leading to the lighthouse. Coordinates: N 4855.274' W 12532.466'. Elevation: -12 meters.


Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop - Amphitrite Lighthouse View

86. The view from in front of the lighthouse.


View from In Front of the Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet BC Area

87. The lighthouse seen from some distance again.


Amphitrite Lighthouse British Columbia

88. The parking lot for the lighthouse is a few hundred meters away. You can get here by driving past the entrance to the trailhead seen in photos #65 & 66.


Parking Lot for Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet British Columbia Area

89. There is still about 600 meters left of Wild Pacific Trail - Lighthouse Loop, and that's where Broken Group Islands start appearing on the horizon.


Ucluelet Hiking - View From Wild Pacific Trail Lighthouse Loop

90-91. Broken Group Islands with zoom and much zoom.


Broken Groups Islands off Vancouver Island British Columbia

Broken Groups Islands

Lighthouse Loop of Wild Pacific Trail has the same impressive views of the coastline as the main trail, plus a neat-looking lighthouse. Highly recommended.


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