best hikes in tofino
best hikes in tofino

hikes in Tofino

Region in British Columbia, Canada
Tofino Trail Map

Hiking along the picturesque coastal landscapes surrounding Tofino is the perfect way to fully appreciate the diversity and natural beauty that British Columbia has to offer. Not only will you be able to experience the wonderfully atmospheric rainforests that characterize the western portions of the province, but you will also be able to explore the coastal playground that offers access to the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

While most tourists will come to Tofino during the hotter, dryer summer months, any seasoned traveller to the area will tell you to come explore this oceanside retreat during the off-season. During this time, you will not only avoid the crowds, but you will be able to fully experience the natural beauty of the landscape and atmospheric climate that make this place so unique. Whether you are looking to hike through a dense rainforest filled with ancient trees or take a leisurely stroll along the beach, Tofino is the perfect destination for exploring the rugged coastal areas of Vancouver Island.

The 10 Greatest Hikes In Tofino

While Tofino may be a bit remote in comparison to other cities on Vancouver Island, there are a number of amazing hiking routes in close proximity to the town that can be easily accessed. From relaxing beach walks for beginners to more intense slogs through the dense canopy of the rainforest, you will be sure to find the perfect adventure to match your skill level.

One of the most popular hiking activities in the area - thanks to the picturesque location along the Pacific Ocean - are sunset walks along the beach. With a number of gorgeous sandy beaches only a short drive from Tofino, you will no doubt experience more than your fair share of these stunning sunsets that are framed by the crashing of the waves along the coast. If you are looking for something a bit more challenging and remote, try taking a boat out to a nearby island in order to traverse some more rugged and physically demanding terrain. If you are hiking in Tofino, the one thing that surely won’t be lacking is amazing views that scratch out along the rugged and rocky, yet beautiful terrain of the coast.

  • Wild Pacific Trail - Lighthouse Loop: This is a spectacular hike near Ucluelet that provides several beach access points and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. This 1.8mi trail is well-maintained and features steep sections, making it ideal for hikers of all ages. With the chance to visit a functional lighthouse, this hike is perfect for those who love picturesque ocean views and visiting historical sites.
  • Schooner Cove Trail: This short out-and-back hiking route will take you through the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, providing the chance to experience the wonderfully atmospheric West Coast rainforest while walking along a boardwalk. Make sure to time your hike with the low tide to fully explore the coastal landscape along the stunning Schooners Beach.
  • South Beach Trail: This 1.1mi hiking route near Tofino takes you through the dense canopy of a coastal forest to arrive at several vantage points with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy your time on South Beach, a secluded spot along the water where you can watch the waves crash against the rugged rock formations. This hike is also great for whale-watching and checking out the surfers as they ride the waves of Wickaninnish Beach.
  • Wild Pacific Trail: The entire Wild Pacific Trail is divided into three non-continuous sections, but this scenic stretch is the longest, following along the shoreline from Brown’s Beach to the Rocky Bluffs near the Ancient Cedars Trail. This hike is great for looking out over the deep blue waters of the ocean and watching the mesmerizing waves crash against the rocky shore.
  • Long Beach: This 5.1mi route is more of a leisurely walk along the beach than a true hike. While out on the trail you will experience the scenic coastal atmosphere and take in some amazing views of the Pacific Ocean, before arriving at the rocky terrain surrounding Green Point.
  • Cox Bay Lookout: This short route near Tofino will take you up to a scenic vantage point with sweeping views overlooking the bay. Although short, this trail is no cake walk, as you will climb up exposed rocks and roots to access the viewpoint. You will need some basic route finding skills for this journey; however, the incredible views here are well worth the effort, as you will have an amazing sightline overlooking the entire area.
  • Big Tree Trail: This scenic loop will take you through the dense rainforests of Meares Island to view several huge and ancient trees. The trail has an almost magical atmosphere, as you walk along the wooden boardwalk and look out onto the mature trees and thick underbrush that characterizes this diverse landscape. You will need to make prior arrangements to access the island, as this trail is only accessible by boat.
  • Canso Crash Site Trail: This 3.2mi hiking route south of Tofino will take you across a variety of terrain in the dense forest to reach the location of a Royal Canadian Air Force plane crash that occurred in 1945. This hike is a great option for anyone looking to combine a fun day of hiking with a visit to a unique historical site.
  • Radar Hill: This hike follows a very short loop trail that leads you through the forest to reach a charming lookout over the surrounding woodland landscape. Along the trail, you will also be able to visit several interesting historical sites from the Cold War Era. This quick adventure is a great option for those who love the outdoors and historical sites.
  • 5040 Peak: This 4.3mi trek will take you uphill past the shores of Cobalt Lake for some amazingly scenic views overlooking the stunning Vancouver Island landscape. Hikers along this trail will experience beautiful woodland scenery, waterfalls, and alpine views as they hike along the Effingham River towards the summit viewpoint.

When is the Best Time to Hike in Tofino

If you are looking to explore Tofino during a time when the weather is most conducive to engaging in outdoor activities, then you will likely want to come during the summer months when the temperature is a bit hotter and less rainy. The downside to this is the throngs of tourists that have the same idea, flooding the small town with a higher volume of visitors to the area and placing more stress on the local infrastructure. If you are looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy the natural beauty of this area in solitude, try planning your next hiking trip between October and May. The weather might be a bit soggy during this off-season period, but you are sure to get the full experience of exploring the wild west coast.

Other Outdoor Activities in Tofino

Tofino’s location along the west coast of Vancouver Island makes it an ideal place for a variety of water sports and sightseeing adventures. Possible activities include boating trips to nearby islands, paddling out on the Pacific Ocean, whale watching excursions, and some of the best surfing that can be found in Canada. If sticking to the land is your idea of a fun adventure, try zip-lining through the rainforest, storm watching along the coast, hitting the links for a few rounds of golf, or exploring the culinary specialties of the area on a food tour. It may be a small town, but there is no shortage of fun activities to do in Tofino.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tofino

What is Tofino known for?

One of Canada’s westernmost towns, Tofino’s location on the west coast of Vancouver Island makes it a prime destination for all things water related. From gorgeous sunsets and long beach walks, to whale watching adventures and some of the best surfing in the country, Tofino is an amazing gateway to the beauty of the Pacific Ocean.

Hope long does it take to get to Tofino from Vancouver?

Travellers looking to take a road trip to Tofino from Vancouver will be in for a long but scenic journey across the rugged expanse of Vancouver Island. First, you will need to drive to the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, before taking the 1.5-hour ferry to the city of Nanaimo. From there, it is a roughly 3-hour drive across the interior of the island to Tofino.

Does it rain a lot in Tofino?

Due to the temperate rainforest climate of the Tofino area, you can expect to experience a fair amount of rain year-round. Exceptions to this can be found during the summer months, when temperatures increase to produce a bit of a drier climate; however, this also coincides with the busy tourist season.

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The best hikes in Tofino

Wild Pacific Trail

01. Wild Pacific Trail
Difficulty

3.2mi 253ft 1-1.5h

The Wild Pacific Trail is a 3.2mi out-and-back hiking route that travels along… Read More

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Wild Pacific Trail

02. Wild Pacific Trail - Lighthouse Loop
Difficulty

1.8mi 223ft 0.5-1h

The Wild Pacific Trail – Lighthouse Loop is a fantastic hiking route near Ucluelet, BC,… Read More

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Radar Hill

03. Radar Hill
Difficulty

0.3mi 39ft 0.5h

The hike at Radar Hill is a 0.3mi loop trail that will take… Read More

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Cox Bay

04. Cox Bay Lookout
Difficulty

0.6mi 400ft 0.5h

The Cox Bay Lookout is a quick 0.6mi out-and-back hiking route near Tofino… Read More

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Long Beach

05. Long Beach
Difficulty

5.1mi 95ft 1.5-2h

The Long Beach Trail is an 5.1mi out-and-back route that is more of… Read More

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Schooner Cove Trail

06. Schooner Cove Trail
Difficulty

1.2mi 154ft 0.5h

The Schooner Cove Trail is a 1.2mi out-and-back hiking route through the Pacific… Read More

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Big Tree Trail

07. Big Tree Trail
Difficulty

2.0mi 374ft 1h

The Big Tree Trail is a 2.0mi hiking loop near Tofino, BC, that… Read More

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Willowbrae Trail to Half Moon Bay

08. Willowbrae Trail to Half Moon Bay
Difficulty

2.6mi 390ft 1-1.5h

Half Moon Bay is a beautifully scenic stretch of beach near Tofino, BC, that can… Read More

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Rainforest Trail

09. Rainforest Trail
Difficulty

2.0mi 174ft 0.5-1h

The Rainforest Trail is a 2.0mi circuit through the temperate rainforests near Tofino,… Read More

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Canso Crash Site

10. Canso Crash Site Trail
Difficulty

3.2mi 440ft 1.5-2h

The Canso Crash Site Trail is a 3.2mi out-and-back hiking route south of… Read More

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Yes, there are more than 10

Tofino is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Tofino that you should take a look at as well

5040 Peak map

11. 5040 Peak
Difficulty

4.3mi 2,923ft 3.5-5h

The trek up 5040 Peak is a 4.3mi out-and-back hiking route that will… Read More

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Tonquin Trail

12. Tonquin Trail
Difficulty

2.0mi 220ft 1h

The Tonquin Trail is a 2.0mi out-and-back hiking route near Tofino, BC, that… Read More

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Lone Cone Trail

13. Lone Cone Trail
Difficulty

3.6mi 2,392ft 3-4.5h

The Lone Cone Trail is a 3.6mi hiking route on Meares Island that… Read More

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South Beach

14. South Beach Trail
Difficulty

1.1mi 266ft 0.5h

The South Beach Trail is a 1.1mi out-and-back hiking route near Tofino that… Read More

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Green point to Combers Beach

15. Green Point Trail to Combers Beach
Difficulty

0.6mi 89ft 0.5h

The Green Point Trail to Combers Beach is a quick hike that will take you… Read More

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Hot Spring Cove Boardwalk Trail

16. Hot Spring Cove Boardwalk Trail
Difficulty

2.4mi 338ft 1-1.5h

The Hot Spring Cove Boardwalk Trail is a 2.4mi out-and-back hiking route in… Read More

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Mallard Lake Trail map

17. Mallard Lake Trail
Difficulty

1.7mi 591ft 1-1.5h

The Mallard Lake Trail is a 1.7mi out-and-back hiking route south of Tofino… Read More

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Radar Hill

18. Radar Beach Trail
Difficulty

1.3mi 377ft 0.5-1h

The Radar Beach Trail is a 1.3mi out-and-back route near Tofino that sets… Read More

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Shorepine Bog Trail

19. Shorepine Bog Trail
Difficulty

0.6mi 30ft 0.5h

The Shorepine Bog Trail is a 0.5mi hiking loop that traverses a wooden… Read More

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Nuu Chah Nulth Trail map

20. Nuu Chah Nulth Trail
Difficulty

3.8mi 636ft 1.5-2.5h

The Nuu Chah Nulth Trail is a 3.8mi out-and-back hiking route that sets… Read More

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