Nestled on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. From family friendly easy trails to more athletic climbs, the area offers something for everyone! Soak in stunning views of verdant forests and rugged shorelines while hiking along some of the best trails the West Coast has to offer. Here's a list of 10 must-see hiking trails in Tofino, BC - from short loops to longer out-and-back expeditions with breathtaking views at every turn!
The Wild Pacific Trail - Lighthouse Loop: This 2.6km loop hike gains only 68m in elevation making it a very popular hike for running and walking the dog. Stop by the Amphitrite Lighthouse, Inspiration Point and Barkely Sound while walking along this coastal trail.
Big Tree Trail: This is a short 0.5km loop that contains one of the oldest known trees in Canada. Big Tree Trail has a Western Red Cedar tree that is estimated to be older than 1500 years old! This short trail puts you right in the middle of the forest allowing you to feel the enormous size of the trees around you.
Schooner Cove Trail: This moderate 1.9 km trail is located near Port Renfrew, BC. The trail takes you through dense rainforest and onto a picturesque beach, granting visitors spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The path meanders along beside crystal clear streams and past cascading waterfalls. If you're looking for an unforgettable outdoor experience, Schooner Cove Trail is a great choice!
Radar Hill: Radar Hill Trail is a beautiful hike just south of Tofino. It is a great choice for outdoor explorers looking for breathtaking views. From the top of the hill, visitors can take in panoramic vistas of verdant forests and rugged shorelines. With its short distance of 0.5km, Radar Hill Trail is perfect for hikers of all levels and makes for an incredible adventure!
Cox Bay Trail: Discover one of Tofino's most beautiful hiking trails. This leisurely 2.6km stroll between towering trees and sandy shores rewards you with stunning views of Cox Bay below. It's a great spot to catch sight of passing whales and boats dotting the waves. The path is both easy and accessible, making it perfect for hikers of all levels!
Virgin Falls in Clayoquot Sound: Drive along a logging road to a parking lot just a short two-minute walk from an awe-inspiring sight, the 53m tall Virgin Falls. Nestled in a stunning oasis of its own creation, the waterfall flows into an immense pool with pebble rocks and logs battered by the cascading water. The area is filled with towering trees, giving off a feeling of safety and serenity. If a short hike with a waterfall, isn’t your idea of fun, you can continue along a 19km trail to a mountainous valley with a beautiful lake.
Rainforest Figure Eight Trail Loop: This 3.2km trail winds among towering trees making it a popular hike for birding. If you like birding check out our blog on paddle birding. Enjoy the smell of cedar, spruce, and hemlock trees while walking along a wooden boardwalk. With some stairs, this hike takes an average of 45 minutes and is well worth it if you are short on time.
Mackenzie Beach Boardwalk Trail: This family-friendly trail has interpretive panels that teach about local marine life. Look out for crabs, starfish and octopus during low tide as you hike along this beautiful beach near Tofino, BC.
Mount Ozzard Trail: Is a 12.1 km out-and-back hike that gains 660 metres of elevation to give you stunning valley views. Look out over the ocean spotted with islands and hopefully some wildlife too! This tricky hike starts off at a service road, it is mostly tree covered with a few breaks in trees to spot a great view. Pass by a radar station to get to the top where you will truly get a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountain range and coastline.
Pacific Rim Pathway - Tofino to Long Beach Trail: Experience a Tofino hike along the Pacific Rim Trail with this 15.3km hike. While the terrain is not overly rugged, the distance can be a challenge for some. Breathe in the salty ocean air while walking along the 8.2km Long Beach. Look for marine life off in the distance or watch for birds overhead as this trail brings together both marine mammals and soaring birds. If a quick 15km seems short to you, continue to hike another 10 km to reach the end of the ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) trail; a 25 km multi-use pathway through the Long Beach Unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Tofino hikes are stunning trails for all levels of adventurers. Hikers will find themselves immersed in lush coastal rainforests surrounded by towering trees and sandy shores. Along the way, sights include breathtaking vistas of the ocean dotted with islands, the opportunity to observe local wildlife, and scouting for marine life. With a variety of sights to discover and beautiful landscapes to taking in, Tofino promises an unforgettable outdoor experience!
If you’re looking for more adventures on Victoria Island take a look at our blog. You might be interested in a camping guide for the Victoria area, and if you’re in to paddle boarding you’ll be interested in the best places to paddle board near Victoria. If you’re looking to venture further into the great outdoors take a look at our camping packing guide.