Take a pictorial walk with me on The Wild Pacific Trail at Ucluelet, a tranquil village of about 2000 on the Ucluth Peninsula of Vancouver Island’s far west coast. It’s about 288 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Victoria.
Its location supports Ucleulet’s motto – “Living on the Edge” – as the peninsula is almost completely surrounded by water, making it more island than peninsula. The Ucleulet Harbor provides easy water access to the ethereal mists of Barkley Sound to the south, featuring the Broken Group Islands of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. To the west is the thundering Pacific Ocean.
It’s on this western shore you can walk The Wild Pacific Trail, which clings to the coastline as you meander the trails and boardwalks amid an old-growth coastal rainforest – a labyrinthine wildwood of trees, ferns and moss. Without warning, the trail bursts onto spectacular views from the rocky shoreline of the roiling Pacific Ocean, Barkley Sound, and the Broken Group Islands.
The trail is an easy, relaxing hike, with two large parking areas, easy access (including disabled), and well-signed trails. When I was there, signs instructed you on what to do in the unlikely case that you found yourself sharing the trail with a bear. Sadly, I didn’t see one.
Photography by S.W. Cosgrove.
Looking south from the far end of the peninsula, towards Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands. In the mist on the other side of the sound is Bamfield, a tiny resort hamlet that is best reached by packet boat from Port Alberni or by float plane.
Here is a very engaging Blue Jay, who decided to accompany me. Chatty bird, and quite friendly.
Hidden in the woods on the other side of the water is the lodge that I stayed at.
Following is the view from the private patio of the studio apartment I rented in an elegant new wood-built lodge that a young couple shared with visitors. It was in a very quiet location, situated just a few steps from The Wild Pacific Trail. Reasonably priced, very comfortable, with an oversized soaking tub.
The last afternoon, a storm blew in and rain pounded windows and deck. Then, a half hour later, the sun came back out and dried everything off.