Considering the sun sets in the West, it’s easy to imagine that the farthest west coast of Vancouver Island must have some stunning sunsets grace its shores. Better yet, the rugged outcrops that make up the edge of Ucluelet provide the perfect perches to kick back and enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. Trek to any of the 5 spots in the list below with a camera and perhaps a picnic to take in the show. No matter which you choose, you’ll no doubt find yourself wishing that Mother Nature could paint the sky like this everywhere, all year round.
1. The Amphitrite Lighthouse
A classic spot in Ucluelet, rain or shine, it almost goes without saying that the Amphitrite Lighthouse is a popular sunset spot. Capture the silhouette of the iconic building cast against a brilliant orange and pink backdrop for a perfect souvenir. There are plenty of rocks and benches abound on the trail so you can find prime seating to watch the sun’s final rays dip into the Pacific. Be warned though –you won’t be the only one seeking that charming lighthouse-in-the-sunset shot. You’re pretty much guaranteed to have to share in the summer.
2. Stormwatching Deck – Wild Pacific Trail
Dotting the Artist Loop section of the trail are a number of storm-watching platforms and lookouts that face out to the west, along with enough benches to satisfy even the busiest of summer days. Although anywhere along the Wild Pacific Trail is golden for a west coast sunset, there is one spot in particular that screams sunset perfection. About 1km from Brown’s Beach towards the Rocky Bluffs, the Stormwatching Deck is top realty for any determined sunset goer. Stretching out from the trail, the Deck sits above the rugged shoreline of the coast and provides an unobstructed view of the Pacific. To the left and right are sweeping views of the coastline and winding trail. In front, ocean as far as the eye can see – exactly what you want in a sunset destination. Good luck trying to be the first one at the single bench that waits at its end, though.
3. The Rocky Bluffs
If you don’t mind working a little for your sunset, the Rocky Bluffs are the perfect destination for you. Just don’t forget a flashlight if you plan on parking at one of the farther lots! At the very end of the Wild Pacific Trail lie the bluffs. For a sunset endeavor, it is suggest to park at the start of the Ancient Cedars Loop, from where you can delve straight into the forest and head for the coast. The trail will start you out under the shade and shelter of the massive cedars, spruces, firs and hemlocks that make up the forest. From there, it opens up into twists and turns along the coast in an upward fashion until finally, you arrive at the edge. From the precipice of the Bluffs, you’ll be granted a clear vantage point of the Pacific along with the winding trail you just conquered: Sunset and a celebration of a job well done.
4. Wickaninnish Beach
For the ultimate “beach vacation” sunset spot closest to Ucluelet, nothing is better than Wickaninnish Beach. Driving just 15 minutes north towards Tofino finds you at a stunning expanse of golden sand. There, the ocean has lovingly placed driftwood logs on the beach as sunset viewing benches. Or, just take a seat right there on the soft sand. If you’re worried about sharing the spot with others, the beach stretches far enough that you’re guaranteed to be able to secure your own piece of beach.
5. The Sky Couch
Evasive as ever and one of the best-kept “locals only” sunset secrets, the Ucluelet Sky Couch is an ingenious and quaint touch to the already amazingly cozy harbour town. A rather vertical and potentially muddy endeavour, you’ll lose your breath all over again once you reach the spot. It’s worth it. Faded green and questionably soggy depending on how the weather has been, this picturesque couch sits on a platform and overlooks Ucluelet from above. Nets accompany the couch in nearby trees should you make the trek with more than a few friends. A sunset from above the treetops while sitting comfortably in your own, outdoor living room is the number one spot to catch the sunset in Ucluelet. First though, you need to find it.
For accommodation with a sunset view, check out www.vancouverislandvr.com
Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk