Wild Pacific Trail is quite easy, with only a few
small hills, and features numerous fine views of the rugged coastline of
Western Vancouver Island. This trail is located by BC Highway 4, near the town
of Ucluelet. Highway 4 starts near the East coast of the Island, goes through
Alberni, and then, 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 the 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 the 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
Page 1 (this page) 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 - 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).
1. We are on Vancouver Island, Westbound on BC
Highway 4, with Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino straight ahead.
BC Highway 4 near Port Alberni
2. Passing through Kennedy Hill past Port Alberni.
The highway is being made wider in this spot.
Kennedy Hill Construction Area Highway 4 British Columbia
3-4. At the Pacific Rim Visitor Centre,
Highway 4 reaches a T-Junction seen ahead. Turning right is the
continuation of Highway 4 until it ends in
Tofino 33 kilometers later.
And, turning left, is Tofino-Ucluelet Highway, which reaches Ucluelet in
BC Highway 4 Junction at Pacific Rim Visitor Centre near Ucluelet and
5. Turning left onto Tofino-Ucluelet Highway.
Tofino-Ucluelet Highway Start at Pacific Rim Visitor Centre
6. Tofino-Ucluelet Highway 1.5 km from the
7-8. At 4.8 km of Tofino-Ucluelet Highway past the
T-Junction, you are entering Tsunami Hazard Zone. Basically, if you feel
an earthquake, head as much uphill as you can, in case a tsunami shows
up a while later. We took photos of the emergency information boards by
the Lighthouse Loop. The upper photo also shows which areas (in orange)
are likely to be affected by a tsunami, and that includes most of the
Wild Pacific Trail (aside from a short stretch of the Lighthouse Loop).
In addition, in the first photograph we have
indicated as follows:
Red Arrow - Ancient Cedars Loop trailhead (where
we parked and then headed East to Rocky Bluffs 1.2 km later);
Yellow Circle - the point where Ancient
Cedars Loop connects with Wild Pacific Trail 280 meters from the highway
- Rocky Bluffs (eastern end of Wild Pacific Trail - no exit - double
Red Square - Brown's Beach - you can start at Brown's Beach
trailhead and hike 4 km to Rocky Bluffs (blue arrow), or head to Brown's
Beach from Ancient Cedars Loop trailhead (red arrow), which is a short
connector trail to Wild Pacific Trail;
Yellow Square - Big Beach - unlike Brown's Beach, which appears to be
just a name, it's an actual beach with some sand, a gazebo, and a few
interpretive signs. To continue from Brown's Beach to Big Beach one has
to go through Black Rock Resort or walk down Marine Drive for a bit.
Blue Square - the Lighthouse Loop
part of Wild Pacific Trail.
Ucluelet Tsunami Evacuation Map
Earthquake and Tsunami Information Board
9. At 5.5 km from the T-junction, Ancient Cedars Loop
trailhead is on the right side. Plenty of parking on the shoulder.
Tofino-Ucluelet Highway at Ancient Cedars Loop Trailhead
10. Ancient Cedars Loop trailhead.
This loop trail has two entrances, separated by about 30 meters. If you want
to get to Rocky Bluffs quicker, take the trailhead on the right side, if
facing from the highway. Here it is. A pit toilet and a trash can are
Ancient Cedars Loop Trailhead
11. Important safety messages. Beware of wildlife and
Ancient Cedars Loop Trail Safety Information Boards
12. We are now on Ancient Cedars Loop Trail, en route
to Wild Pacific Trail. At 80 meters here (all distances are based on a
GPS odometer, and are approximate).
Ucluelet Hiking - Ancient Cedars Loop Trail
13. 40 meters later.
Ancient Cedars Loop Trail - Ucluelet Hike
14-15. At 280 meters, we are at a junction with Wild
Pacific Trail. To the right is the eastern end of the trail (Rocky
Bluffs), which is where we went this time (Page 1 of the trip report). To the left is the way to the
western end of the trail (Brown's Beach, or even further to Big Beach -
covered on Page 2) and continuation of Ancient
Cedars Loop. The distances in the second photograph (7 km, etc) are
likely from the Lighthouse Loop (covered on Page 3), which requires
walking down city streets or driving for several kilometers, in order to
connect to the Brown Beach/Big Beach - Rocky Bluffs part of Wild Pacific
Trail. Basically, Lighthouse Loop is a separate trail, but all these
parts together are called Wild Pacific Trail.
Ucluelet Trail - Wild Pacific Trail
16. We made a right turn, and are now on Wild Pacific
Trail, at 340 meters from the Ancient Cedars Loop trailhead.
Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet BC Canada Area
17. Great views start appearing in no time. There is
usually a bench by a good viewpoint. Here we are at 650 meters from the
View from Wild Pacific Trail Hike in Ucluelet Area
18-19. Speaking of benches, here is one at 880
meters, with a fine view as well.
Vancouver Island Coastline seen from Wild Pacific Trail
20. Now at 960 meters from the trailhead. It's a
smooth, wide path, with lots of shade and no bugs. Going in the opposite
direction (West) towards Brown's
Beach is slightly more challenging, with some short moderately steep
Hiking in Ucluelet Area - Wild Pacific Trail
21-22. At 1.0 km, yet another fine view of Western
Vancouver Island coastline (slightly zoomed in the bottom photograph).
View from Wild Pacific Trail near Ucluelet British Columbia Canada
23. Very nice. At 1.06 km.
Vancouver Island Coastline View from Wild Pacific Trail near Ucluelet BC
24. At 1.18 km, we are at Rocky Bluffs, the eastern
end of Wild Pacific Trail.
Elevation: 10meters (1 meter elevation
loss from the trailhead).
There is a bench to sit down and check out
all the fine views.
Wild Pacific Trail - Rocky Bluffs
25. Similar to the view at 1.06 km, and quite
View from Rocky Bluffs Area of Wild Pacific Trail - Hiking in Ucluelet
our video of the views from this location.
26. Rock-hopping on Rocky Bluffs is better left to
experienced, well-equipped hikers. It may look easy, but it's quite a
tricky area, with a high injury potential.
Rocky Bluffs near Wild Pacific Trail on West Coast of Vancouver Island
27-28. Good views from Rocky Bluffs.
View from Rocky Bluffs near Wild Pacific Trail on Vancouver Island
As there is no exit, you need to double back and
return to Ancient Cedars Loop junction, where you have an option of
heading back towards the highway, or proceeding further on Wild Pacific
Trail to Brown's Beach and then Big Beach (western end of the trail). If the sun is out,
the views along Wild Pacific Trail are bound to impress. Highly