Location: The middle of the West Coast of
Vancouver Island, by BC Highway 4, near the town of Tofino.
(Florencia Bay Beach):
Beach and ocean views, meeting a whimbrel (a shorebird).
Of Note (Florencia Bay Beach): Limited
parking (about 30 spots). Also, RVs and trailers not allowed.
Tsunami hazard zone, parking pass required, beware of rip currents in
the ocean - no lifeguards on duty in the Park.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve occupies a huge area on the West Coast
of Vancouver Island. One part of the Park is a famous multi-day West
Coast Trail located near Bamfield. Today we have visited another part,
which is a series of beaches, popular with surfers, located by Highway 4
the town of Tofino.
Highway 4 starts on the East coast of Vancouver Island near Parksville,
Port Alberni (the last town with major stores and services), then
reaches tiny Tofino 2 hours and 120 kilometers later.
Surfing is the main activity in this part of Pacific Rim National Park
Reserve, as the few trails that exist here are quite short. The best
hike in this part of British Columbia -
Wild Pacific Trail - is about 30 kilometers away near
If you plan on camping in a vehicle, note that wild camping
opportunities are few near the Park, and overnight parking is not
allowed on any of the lots. Also, a parking pass is required, which is
good until 4 PM the next day, and is sold at every parking lot, as well
as Pacific Rim Visitor Centre where Highway 4 makes a right turn to head
towards Tofino, and a left turn leads to Ucluelet.
There are many different attractions in this part of Pacific Rim
National Park Reserve, and today we have visited four beaches:
Page 1 - Florencia Bay Beach - this page.
Page 2 -
Wickininnish Beach -
same turnoff from Highway 4 as Florencia
Bay Beach, then a split.
Page 3 - Combers Beach
long access from the parking lot, no surfers make it
Page 4 - Long Beach
- most popular with surfers and visitors, with a famous Lovekin
Rock in the ocean.
1. Here is a photo of the map of this part of Pacific Rim National Park
Reserve. We have indicated as follows: yellow square on top - Tofino,
bottom - Ucluelet. White square close to Ucluelet - highway split
(by Pacific Rim Visitor Centre), where Highway 4 makes a right turn and
heads to Tofino. Red squares - the beaches we have visited today -
Florence Bay, then Wickininnish, then Combers, and, finally, Long Beach.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Map (Partial)
2. Here is that "white square" spot - Highway 4 split, with Pacific Rim
Visitor Centre on the right side (you can buy a parking pass at the
ticket machine outside, or at any parking lot).
BC Highway 4 at Pacific Rim Visitor Centre
3. Making a right turn towards Tofino to stay on Highway 4.
BC Highway 4 at Tofino-Ucluelet Highway
4. Now driving West on Highway 4 towards Tofino.
BC Highway 4 West near Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
5-6. About 5 km from the Visitor Centre, make a left turn towards Florencia
Bay Beach and Wickininnish Beach.
BC Highway 4 by Florencia Bay Beach and Wickininnish Beach Access Road
BC Highway 4 at Florencia Bay Beach and Wickininnish Beach Access Road
7. The access road after the turn. It's about 3 km from here to both parking
lots - the road splits at some point.
Florencia Bay Beach and Wickininnish Beach Access Road
8. A neat feature on the side of the access road is this electronic sign
with three constantly changing messages: the ocean is cold, beware of
rip currents, and the wave hazard is...(whatever it is). The wave hazard
was moderate during our trip.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Warning Messages Board
9. Here is a sign to Florencia Bay Beach.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve - Florencia Bay Beach and Wickininnish
Beach Access Road
10. Entering the parking area. It's very tight there. RVs not allowed,
and bringing a trailer is not a good idea either.
Florencia Bay Beach Access Road - Pacific Rim National Park Reserve -
British Columbia Canada
11. After the gate, there is this neat, albeit narrow road for a few
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Near Tofino BC - Florencia Bay Beach
12. Here is Florencia Bay Beach parking area, good for about 30
Florencia Bay Beach Parking Area
13. Warning messages are placed at each beach access in Pacific Rim
National Park Reserve.
Florencia Bay Beach Warning Messages
14. It's about 330 meters from the parking area to Florencia Bay Beach.
Florencia Bay Beach Access Path
15-16. 50 meters from the parking area is Nuu-chah-nulth trailhead to
Wickininnish Beach, should you wish to walk there (or from there), as
opposed to driving. The photo of the map also shows the access road
split, where a left turn leads to Florencia Bay Beach, and going
straight leads to Wickininnish Beach.
Florencia Bay Beach Access Path at Nuu-chah-nulth trailhead
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve - Nuu-chah-nulth Trail Map
17. Shortly thereafter, there is an observation platform.
Florencia Bay Beach Observation Platform
18. In the morning, there was nothing to see due to fog, but here is a
neat view from the platform once the fog was gone.
View From Florencia Bay Beach Observation Platform
19. Continuing towards the beach past the observation platform.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Canada - Florencia Bay Beach Access
20-21. A long staircase starts about 290 meters from the parking lot.
Staircase to Florencia Bay Beach near Tofino British Columbia
22. 60 meters later, we are at Florencia Bay Beach. This is a morning
photo, with lots of fog.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Florencia Bay Beach
23. Not much to see in the fog, but sure feels neat to walk on an almost
deserted beach with fog all around.
Florencia Bay Beach in Fog
our video of Florencia Bay
Beach in fog.
24. When we returned in the afternoon, the fog was gone, and the beach
looked much better.
Florencia Bay Beach near Tofino BC
25. Not nearly as many surfers (or people in general) here as at Long Beach.
Florencia Bay Beach
26. Surfer talk.
27-28. We have found a whimbrel (a shorebird) hanging out at Florencia Bay
Whimbrel at Florencia Bay Beach
our video of the Whimbrel and Florencia Bay