Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

See waterfalls and colorful rocks as you traverse rivers, bogs, rainforests and beaches in the three distinct sections of this enormous reserve.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a natural and cultural wonder with rainforests, beaches and history. It is the main attraction on Vancouver Island, offering something for every type of traveler, from campers and sunbathers to history buffs. Camp and hike in the park, which stretches across more than 123,000 acres (50,000 hectares) of picturesque landscape and ocean.

The park is divided into three main sections. Long Beach is the most visited and accessible part of the reserve. Walk along 10 miles (16 kilometers) of its sandy coastline and surf on the fierce ocean waves. Explore trails leading inland through forests. Spend the night in one of the campsites in the Long Beach area.

Hike the West Coast Trail, which will take between five and seven days for the full 47 miles (76 kilometers). Pass through territory of several First Nations groups who have inhabited this area for thousands of years.

Encounter stunning natural features of waterfalls and multi-colored rocks as you traverse forests, bogs and beaches. Cable cars and boats will take you over large rivers. Take an orientation course at the beginning of your journey to learn how to handle encounters with wildlife, such as cougars, wolves and black bears.

The final part of the park is Broken Group Islands, which comprises more than 100 islets. Rent a kayak to travel between the islands. Make sure to bring enough water for your stay at one of the campsites.

Fees to enter the park vary depending on age and section. Services, such as camping, firewood, trails and student programs have separate prices. The reserve is open year-round, except for the West Coast Trail which is only open May 1 to September 30. Check the official Parks Canada website for the opening times of facilities.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve occupies a large portion of Vancouver Island. Drive south from Tofino for about 3.5 miles (5.5 kilometers) along the Pacific Rim Highway to reach the beginning of the park, which stretches as far as Port Renfrew. The reserve has several parking lots.