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Tofino BC British Columbia Parks

Tofino BC has some of the most spectacular wilderness parks. There are so many areas to enjoy, we have listed but a very few. Please visit the Pacific Rim National Park web site for more information about the myriad of areas included in that UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, you can visit the Provincial Parks by Geographic Location page to view some more of the parks not included here.

Parks around Tofino BC British Columbia

Clayoquot Arm Provincial Park

Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Clayoquot Arm Provincial Park encompasses the lower Clayoquot River, Clayoquot Lake and the forested slopes northwest of the Clayoquot Arm of Kennedy Lake. The park protects rare old-growth forests of Sitka spruce - a tenacious conifer able to grow in salty, magnesium-rich soils where most other seedlings die.

Unique flora and fauna, pristine old-growth forests, secluded sandy beaches, uninhabited islets, First Nations cultural sites and a fresh water lake can all be found in the park, which is accessed by boat from Kennedy Lake. Clayoquot Arm Park offers many recreational opportunities, including hiking and wilderness camping along the shores of Kennedy Lake, the largest body of fresh water on Vancouver Island. Visitors to this park can fish for Cutthroat trout, canoe or kayak paddle along the scenic shoreline or observe wildlife in its natural habitat. An unusual phenomenon occurs in Clayoquot Arm. Sockeye salmon spawn 20 meters below the water surface making for a great viewing opportunity.

Web site: Clayoquot Arm Provincial Park

Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park

Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island is a high elevation plateau protecting rare plant species, undisturbed old-growth forests, fragile karst features, sinkholes and a number of small lakes.

This rugged, remote and undeveloped park is extremely difficult to access, but can be reached by the adventurous through a series of logging roads. There are no developed trails in the park, but determined visitors will find a pristine forest of Sitka spruce, hemlock and cedar. Spectacular views of Clayoquot Sound can be enjoyed from the Plateauís summit.

Clayoquot Arm Provincial Park contains an extensive cave system suitable for exploration by experienced cavers only. Although there may be potential for caving opportunities in the future, this area is sensitive and its use is not recommended until a management plan is complete

Web site: Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park

Flores Island

Flores Island is one of the most popular destinations in Clayoquot Sound. Here, visitors can enjoy hiking, whale watching, fishing, kayaking, beach camping and more. This vast, untamed wilderness area protects undisturbed watersheds with old-growth forest stands of Sitka spruce, as well as representative coastal and marine ecosystems, including excellent spawning conditions for coho salmon, exposed rocky coasts, sandstone reefs, beaches, sheltered channels and bays, fast narrows, mudflats and shallow banks.

One of the main attractions of Flores Island is the Walk the Wild Side Trail, a developed trail with boardwalk sections that extends 10 km from the village of Ahousat to the top of Mount Flores. First Nation peoples have used this route for centuries to reach the wild beaches on the west side of the island, and this vital circuit has now been restored as a spectacular hiking trail. Most of the route follows sandy beaches, and trails cut across headlands to join with the next beach. The trail can be accessed from any of the beaches in Flores Island Provincial Park.

The park offers excellent opportunities to see Gray whales, who pass by the Island in their annual migration from Baja California to Alaska. Seasonally resident Gray whales also use the bays for feeding during the summer. Visitors come from around the world to see the whales and kayak the waters in Clayoquot Sound, and a trip to the area would not be complete without discovering all that beautiful Flores Island has to offer.

Web site: Flores Island

Kennedy Lake Provincial Park

Kennedy Lake Provincial Park is a popular day-use destination for lake and beach-based recreation. This park is comprised of two sites along the south shore of Kennedy Lake, adjacent to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Visitors come to swim, kayak, fish, water-ski and windsurf at this beautiful park, where in the fall it is possible to view beach spawning of sockeye. Black bears are frequent visitors at this time. Due to the steep-sided mountains surrounding Kennedy Lake, the largest body of fresh water on Vancouver Island, winds whip up across the main part of the lake and Clayoquot Arm with little warning, requiring extreme caution by paddlers and boaters.

Web site: Kennedy Lake Provincial Park

Maquinna Marine Provincial Park

Visitors from around the world flock to Maquinna Marine Provincial Park in Clayoquot Sound to soak in the natural hot mineral spring pools. These geothermal hot springs cascade down a waterfall into half a dozen rocky pools. The delightful hot pools flow from one level to the next, gradually becoming cooler as the fresh spring water is cooled by ocean swells.

The park, located northwest of Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, also encompasses a significant wilderness area known for coastal hiking, wilderness camping, sea kayaking and wildlife viewing.

Numerous tourism companies in Tofino and Ucluelet offer tours to Hot Springs Cove, which is only accessible by boat. A pleasant half-hour along a boardwalk trail through old-growth rainforest leads to the hot pools, which remain at an average temperature of approximately 50 degrees Celsius.

Web site: Maquinna Marine Provincial Park

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada

Backed by the Insular Mountains Range of Vancouver Island and facing the open Pacific Ocean, Pacific Rim presents the rich natural and cultural heritage of Canada's west coast. Its cool and wet maritime climate produces an abundance of life in the water and on land. Lush coastal temperate rainforest gives way to bountiful and diverse intertidal and subtidal areas. These natural wonders are interwoven with the long and dynamic history of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations and European explorers and settlers.

Web site: Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada

Tranquil Creek Provincial Park

Tranquil Creek Provincial Park is comprised of steep forested slopes and alpine meadows surrounding Paradise Lake, a pristine mountain lake at the head of Tranquil Creek. There are no trails in the park, however the open terrain allows for easy access from Paradise Lake into the alpine meadows.

Recreational opportunities include hiking and rustic camping in this very remote, hard to reach wilderness area. Access to the park is by float plane only.

Web site: Tranquil Creek Provincial Park

Vargas Island Provincial Park

Due to its close proximity to Tofino, Vargas Island Provincial Park in Clayoquot Sound is a very popular paddling and wilderness camping destination. Visitors also come here for the exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities offered, including the chance to see Gray whales in the area around Ahous Bay. Naturalists are drawn to this area every spring as the Gray whales pass by the island on their way to summer feeding grounds in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea.

Vargas Island Provincial Park protects the rugged western portion of Vargas Island, Blunden Island and the tiny La Croix Group of islands immediately northwest of Tofino. Much of the island is relatively flat and its interior features a number of bogs.

Marine features including exposed rocky coast, sandy beaches, sheltered channels and bays, an intertidal lagoon and mudflats are all protected within the parkís boundaries. The park is also home to ancient sand berms - rows of crescent-shaped sand mounds that indicate earlier sea levels. These berms can be seen on the historic 3-km telegraph trail, which crosses the island from east to west. The trail leads to spectacular Ahous Beach on the island's west coast, an excellent camping location.

The park area also includes the Cleland Island Ecological Reserve, home to a great diversity of nesting sea bird colonies including the Rhinoceros auklet, Cassin's auklet, Pigeon guillemot and the Black oystercatcher. Access to the Ecological Reserve is prohibited, as the breeding seabirds are very sensitive to disturbances.

Web site: Vargas Island Provincial Park