Ucluelet is a fantastic destination on its own, and there are plenty of top things to do in the quaint fishing town. However, the west coast of Vancouver Island is home to numerous other activities and places, all within a day’s adventure from Ucluelet. Read on for ten day-trips to take from Ucluelet, B.C.
First things first, Tofino is Ucluelet’s famous neighbor and is worthy of a full day’s adventure. By visiting from Ucluelet, you get the charm of a small town’s stay, with the bustle of a hopping tourist destination! Explore the happening downtown, visit the farmer’s market, indulge in amazing restaurants and try out surfing at some of the top beaches in Canada.
For more on Tofino, check out www.Tofino-Info.com.
Bamfield still remains an isolated escape on the west coast. With access to the Deer Group Islands, it’s a hotspot for kayakers, as well as fishermen. The town itself is split in two by an inlet, with only one side accessible by vehicle. To explore the other, visitors must hire a water taxi. To get to Bamfield, the Francis Barkley, a small ferry boat, is a fun adventure and departs from Ucluelet. Once in Bamfield, experienced kayakers can head out on an expedition, fishermen can take to the rivers and seas and hikers can embark on a number of different trails.
For more on Bamfield, check out this link!
Port Alberni is a small, industrial town enroute to Ucluelet and Tofino. While there isn’t a ton to do in the town itself aside from visit the local microbrewery, there are tons of nearby activities that make it an adventure-lover’s hot spot. Spend the day hiking Mount Arrowsmith, or go fishing for sockeye in the rivers. For a swim, the nearby Sproat Lake is a beautiful spot on a summer’s day.
For more on Port Alberni, check out this website!
The Broken Group
Whether you sail, paddle, enjoy a whale watching tour, or take out your own motorboat, the Broken Group Islands just outside of Ucluelet make for a fun day of exploration. Over one hundred islands and islets make up the group, and they possess private, sandy beaches, caves and tunnels and plenty of other things to be discovered. Some are populated and there are even a couple of campsites should you be inclined to stay the night.
Accessible via Tofino, Meares Island is a perfect hiking destination for those seeking a bit of time to forest bathe, or some exercise. The Big Tree Trail shows off some of the largest trees in British Columbia, with cedars, hemlocks and spruces that are over 1000 years old. The full loop is about 4km long, and should only take around 2.5 hours. The other hiking option is the Lone Cone Trail. With its final 1.5km’s ascending over 700m, it’s bound to test your fitness. The view of Clayoquot Sound, however, is worth it on a clear day. Meares Island is accessible by water taxi, which departs from Tofino.
For more Tofino and Ucluelet trails, check out our hiking page.
Kennedy Lake is the largest lake on Vancouver Island and it possesses over 6500 hectares of surface area to explore. Whether it’s a visit to either of the provincial park day-use areas to do some kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, or swimming, or you have a boat and want to explore Clayoquot Arm, it’s a perfect place to spend a sunny day.
Hot Springs Cove
These naturally heated, geothermic hot springs are one of the top things to do in both Ucluelet and Tofino. The adventure begins with either a boat ride or a scenic flight leading to a short, but sweet rainforest trail. Then, the edge of the coast meets beautiful rocky pools filled with natural falls of warm water. Feel at one with nature listening to the gurgle of the falls, the crash of the ocean beyond and the rustling of the coastal forests, all while enjoying a natural hot tub.
With a good 4×4 vehicle, Virgin Falls makes for a great day’s adventure out of Ucluelet – especially after a good rain. Once at the trailhead, the 54m high falls are only a two-minute walk. A perfect swimming hole lies beneath the cascade and natural benches made from logs create a place to have a fire and relax. Pack a picnic and enjoy the soothing sounds of the falls and the natural cadence of the temperate rainforest. Should you fancy an overnighter, there is a small area seemingly set aside for a tent.
The road back to Port Alberni from Ucluelet and Tofino cuts through some amazing mountains, some of which possess great trails with epic summit views. 5040, located off of the Marion Main Line is one of those, and it is perfect for a day trek. Pick a sunny day so that you can take full advantage of the small lake before the summit. The views are also incredible and Triple Peak sits beyond a valley – yet another venture that awaits. Just be prepared with a decent vehicle, as the road to the trailhead can get a bit rough. For directions and more about 5040, check out this blog post!
Using Ucluelet as a basecamp is a great way to enjoy even more of what the coast has to offer. From small town escapes, to hiking, epic scenery and relaxation, the options are endless. That is, of course, assuming you’ve already done all the top things to do in Ucluelet, first!
Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk