Premier Listings for Pacific Rim Highway 4
In the decades before Pacific Rim National Park was born in 1970, this moss-laden landscape of mist and surf was a little-known outpost, a world apart. If adventurers managed to coax a vehicle across the tortuous road that led west from Port Alberni to the isolated sister ports of Tofino and Ucluelet, finding a bed was a simple matter at one of the few local inns. The alternative was constructing a driftwood shelter on one of the fabulous beaches nearby.
Just west of Parksville on the east coast of Vancouver Island, the Pacific Rim Highway (Highway 4) begins to wind across the spine of the Vancouver Island Mountains to Port Alberni and the open ocean at Ucluelet and Tofino, all three of which are sheltered harbours. This is the route to the Pacific Rim National Park.
One million visitors a year now make this same journey on black-topped Highway 4 (Pacific Rim Highway) to experience the romantic isolation of the region. It’s a tribute to the scale of this environment that so many travellers can be absorbed into it and still leave it so (apparently) empty. The open ocean stretches off unbroken and vacant, while the elemental forces at play here – the winds and tides, the sun and rain – excite within visitors a deep-seated resonance, a sense of belonging to this place.
Undoubtedly, the same chaos that reigns in winter during gale-force storms mimics, on a microcosmic scale at least, the fury of the Big Bang. And on eternal summer evenings, when a magenta sunset ignites the ocean’s serene surface, there’s a peace so prevalent that you could almost bottle it and call it salvation. Take your pick of moods; they’re both soul-satisfying.
Port Alberni sits at the head of the Alberni Inlet, a long indentation that reaches so far inland that it comes within 30 miles (50 km) of Parksville on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Although the island is only about 60 miles (100 km) wide at this point, allow two to three hours to make the journey. The road must make its way around and over several natural obstacles, such as Sproat Lake and the rugged Vancouver Island Mountains, and is only two lanes wide for most of the distance. Passing lanes help, but patience is the key to a safe journey. During stormy months the section between Sproat Lake and the west coast can be extremely wet, so much so that your windshield wipers will have to work overtime to keep up with the deluge. Sometimes it’s better just to pull over and wait for the lashing to abate.
Location: Parksville is about 22 miles (35 km) north of Nanaimo’s Departure Bay ferry terminal, which links Vancouver Island with Horseshoe Bay on the Lower Mainland. Highways 19A and Island Highway 19 link Parksville with northern Vancouver Island. Two branches of Pacific Rim Highway 4 lead west from the east coast of Vancouver Island. One from Parksville (Craig’s Crossing on the town’s south side) and the other from Qualicum Beach just to the north of Parksville. Both branches unite after a short distance and run for about 90 miles (140 km) to both Ucluelet and Tofino.
Along the way, the Pacific Rim Highway passes through Port Alberni, about 30 miles (50 km) west of Parksville. Once on the west side of the island, Highway 4 (Pacific Rim Highway) divides and runs 5 miles (8 km) south to Ucluelet and 21 miles (34 km) north to Tofino. This route connects visitors with the three major components of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve: the West Coast Trail’s northern terminus near Bamfield, the Broken Group Island in Barkely Sound, and the Long Beach Unit of bays and beaches between Tofino and Ucluelet. Although the West Coast Trail and the Broken Group Islands are remote and wild, the Long Beach Unit is readily accessible by road and much more welcoming to visitors. A park-use fee is in effect for visitors to the Long Beach Unit from mid-March to mid-October.
View map of the area
The following towns are located on or near Pacific Rim Highway 4 (east to west)
Bordered by ocean and sheltered by mountains, Parksville is a very popular for summer family vacations. Mild winters allow the leisurely exploration of tidal sand flats, coastal wildlife viewing and invigorating golf year-round. The central location of Parksville makes this oceanside playground a convenient base from which to enjoy all your vacation activities on Vancouver Island. Highway 4 starts in Parksville and heads west across Vancouver Island to Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet.
Qualicum Beach gently spreads in front of one of the most pleasant small towns on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Pause here at any of the numerous beachside pullouts and smell the salt air intermingled with the perfume from the many private and public floral displays.
Located in the Arrowsmith Coombs Country region of Oceanside, in the shadow of Vancouver Island’s mountain spine, the tiny village of Errington was named after a small village in England’s Northumberland County. Now home to an eclectic assortment of farmers, artists and craftspeople, Errington is also the gateway to the Englishman River Falls in the magnificent Englishman River Falls Provincial Park.
Located in the Arrowsmith Coombs Country region of Oceanside, Coombs is a popular stopping point for tourists on the way to Tofino, Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The little village of Coombs is dotted with several heritage buildings, small gift and craft shops, antique stores, and is known for the family of goats nimbly grazing on the grass rooftop of the Coombs Old Country Market.
Port Alberni is nestled in the Alberni Valley at the head of Alberni Inlet, the longest inlet on Vancouver Island. Port Alberni is considered a major tourist hub, situated as it is on the fringe of the island’s wilderness in surroundings that include mountains, pristine lakes, surging rivers filled with salmon and trout, and rain forests of giant trees towering more than 200 feet into the sky.
Sproat Lake is located on the south side of Highway 4 just west of Port Alberni. Vacation homes and holiday cottages dot the shoreline, but the majority of the foreshore is uninhabited and lined by beaches and Douglas fir forest. Sproat Lake is noted for its warm water and is favoured for fishing, swimming, water skiing and windsurfing. In the summer, this popular family camping destination can be buzzing with boaters and anglers.
An ancient settlement on the northern edge of Barkley Sound, Ucluelet takes its name from the Nuu-chah-nulth phrase, Yu-clutl-ahts, the people with a good landing place for canoes. Ucluelet is situated in the Long Beach unit of Pacific Rim National Park, located between the villages of Tofino and Ucluelet – the most accessible and most developed component of the Pacific Rim National Park.
Tofino is a pretty fishing village at the tip of Esowista Peninsula near the entrance to Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Tofino is a rapidly growing tourist centre for Long Beach and other Pacific Rim destinations. Once a timber and fishing town, Tofino has become a favoured destination for travellers from around the world.
We have the keys to the seafood supermarket, right here in Tofino on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. If you’re here to fish for dime-bright Pacific salmon, the massive and delicious halibut, cod, snapper, or even albacore tuna, then you’ve come to the right place. Fishing also offered out of Victoria during the winter months.
Coastal Charters offers on and offshore fishing packages, coastal adventures, and your choice of tour activities. Explore the coastline of Tofino while fishing, soak in mineral rich pools of the Hot Springs Cove, or walk the boardwalk through temperate rainforest.
We always have our guests and our planet at heart and we relish in creating exciting, safe and unforgettable adventures. We get to know our guests, and go that extra distance to ensure that they are completely satisfied or just downright over the moon!
A consistently top-ranked Tofino hotel on TripAdvisor, this family and dog-friendly resort offers beachfront and ocean view accommodations ranging from 520 to 1400 square feet and is the only resort in Tofino with fully-equipped kitchens.
Located steps from spectacular Cox Bay on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the resort sits on the edge of Paciﬁc Rim National Park, a short scenic drive from Long Beach as well as the charming, seaside village of Toﬁno – famous for local culture and artisans. From year-round adventures including infamous storm watching, to make-yourself-at-home resort services and hospitality, experience Paciﬁc Sands Beach Resort – the perfect convergence of land, sea and simple pleasures.
More at http://www.PacificSands.com
Enjoy a private beachfront cabin nestled in the clutches of a Pacific Rim rainforest, on the edge of the Wild Pacific Trail, where rugged shoreline meets the ferocious Pacific Ocean. Nature is everywhere, from huge expanses of sandy beaches, to intricate marine life in tidepools and giant cedars, hemlocks, and spruces. Located in Ucluelet at Terrace Beach, The Cabins is pet friendly.
Adventure Seekers & Nature Lovers – OCEAN OUTFITTERS is the place to kick off all your Tofino activities! Our experienced, local guides will pilot you through beautiful Clayoquot Sound to view gray whales, humpbacks, orcas (killer whales), black bears, sea otters, sea lions, wolves, eagles and other seabirds aboard one of our luxury covered boats, or one of our Zodiac boats.
Whether you’re headed to Hot Springs Cove, joining us for an inlet tour to view Black Bears, or wanting to meet up close and personal with our local gray whales, humpbacks, and orcas… we are your gateway to adventure!
Looking for a calmer and more intimate experience? Join us on a beautiful 4.5 hour guided kayak trip in a remote part of Clayoquot Sound. While kayaking through the calm waters and discussing the history of Clayoquot Sound, we will also be looking for Harbour Seals, Black Bears, Bald Eagles and various other forms of wildlife that out populate humans in this area!
Interested in fishing? We are proud to bring you some of the best fishing itineraries that Tofino has to offer! Charters are available for both experienced fisherman and families looking for fun. Tofino offers world-renown deep sea salmon fishing, as well as excellent ‘family friendly’ fishing areas with calm, protected waters, and LOTS of fish. Helping kids and novice boaters explore the wonders of our area and wildlife is a big part of what we love to do. Also available on our Fishing Charters, is our sea-to-fork ‘Gourmet At Sea’ add-on, where our guide (who is a professional trained chef) will prepare your freshly-caught seafood for you while you’re still on the water!
Our programs are not only a ton of fun, but they are also educational and encourage stewardship. We are a certified green business and are committed to connecting you with nature and to inspiring conservancy. Live the experience with Ocean Outfitters!
Our waterfront location on Main Street, in the Shore building, has all of gear needed to get you out there, as well as organic coffee to fuel your adventures! We are proud retailers of Arcteryx, Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Vortex binoculars, Pendleton, and a great collection of books. Feel free to enjoy our lounge/cafe before or after your trip.
The Whale’s Tail Guest Suites are beautifully maintained, modern, private, clean, quiet and roomy travel apartments located in the ocean-front fishing village of Ucluelet. Full condo-style units with complete kitchens are provided with your choice of one, two and three-bedroom suites. The front desk is located one block north at the West Coast Motel on the Harbour, 279 Hemlock Street.
For an experience unlike any other, step aboard our luxurious 53-foot motor yacht, the “Raincoast Maiden”, to view whales, bears, sea lions, eagles and other wildlife in comfort. We offer a relaxing wildlife cruise with a personal touch. With a spacious cabin, washroom, comfortable seating inside and out, guests can sit back and take in the abundant wildlife and magical scenery with a taste of luxury. Truly a nature cruise of a different nature!
More than just wildlife viewing, our interpretive and very personal tours include a scenic cruise through the sheltered waters and breathtaking scenery of the Broken Group Islands and an optional gourmet meal while at anchor. Romantic Evening Cruises and Private Charters are also available. We will share our love and enthusiasm for the area and make your West Coast experience an unforgettable one.
Kayak the Majestic West Coast waters of British Columbia. Our ecotourism adventures will take you to Barkley Sound, the Broken Group Islands, Pacific Rim National Park, Clayoquot Sound and the Deer Group Islands. We provide Part-day, Full-day, and Multi-day trips. Camp on pristine beaches, eat gourmet food, hike through dense rain forests, and learn about the rich variety of Pacific Coast seashore life. Rental kayaks available.
The charming and cozy Reef Point Cottages are located in Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island offering an exciting, intimate and self-indulging experience for those who want to explore British Columbia’s most spectacular and natural landscape. Our accommodations include view and waterfront cottages with various sizes from studio to two bedrooms.
Extremely beautiful in its setting between the wild Pacific Ocean and old-growth forest, Ancient Cedars Spa, an award-winning destination spa, enhances the magical guest experience at this resort haven, known as a retreat for nature’s “dramas” and epicurean excellence. Ancient Cedars Spa looks out onto the open Pacific Ocean at the enchanting Wickaninnish Inn on Chesterman Beach in Tofino.
Jason Priestley and family invite you to visit our secluded beachfront cabins in Ucluelet, nestled between the two main sections of Pacific Rim National Park – the Broken Group Islands to the south and Long Beach and Tofino to the north. Pet friendly Terrace Beach Resort connects to The Wild Pacific Trail. Outdoor hot tubs on the decks of several units.
Whether watching whales, dipping into Hot Springs Cove, or kayaking to a rainforest trail, people of all ages have enjoyed our excursions since 1986. We launch out of Tofino in Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, just minutes from Long Beach and Pacific Rim National Park. We look forward to welcoming you aboard for a Clayoquot Sound adventure by Remote Passages.
The Wickaninnish Inn is an enchanting and critically acclaimed landmark offering rustic elegance on nature’s edge. From remote fishing to sunset beach walks, your luxurious custom getaway is our priority, and no trip to BC would be complete without experiencing this remarkable Tofino destination. The Wickaninnish Inn offers accommodation with direct beach access, 75 deluxe rooms, and panoramic ocean or beach views from every guest room.
Tofino Resort and Marina is a resort “Inspired by Adventure”. We are nestled in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere; ideally located just steps from Tofino’s village and local beaches. Take our onsite shuttle to explore Pacific Rim National Park, or watch the sunset at Long Beach. Reserve pet-friendly ocean-view lodging, surf rentals, whale watching, bear watching, fishing, and hot-spring tours. Onsite dining features wood-fired pizzas and craft beer on three different patios, an oceanfront restaurant, and Tofino’s only pub.
Cameron Ocean Adventures operates off the pristine Canadian shores of beautiful Ucluelet, home to Vancouver Island’s #1 trail, the Wild Pacific Trail. Cameron Ocean Adventures offers adventures in the waters of the Broken Group Islands and Barkley Sound in Pacific Rim National Park.
Experience first-class sport fishing for salmon and halibut, whale watching on the largest vessel in Ucluelet, and year-round custom charters with professional guides aboard clean, safe, luxury motor yachts that depart right from the convenient Ucluelet Harbour.
Join us for an experience you won’t forget.
Ucluelet Campground is located in the historical fishing village of Ucluelet, at the southern edge of the Pacific Rim National Park. The private campground offers 125 sites for tents, trailers and RVs, some with beautiful harbour and mountain views. Amenities include full-service, partial-hookup and no-service sites, clean shower and washroom facilities, fire rings, picnic tables, and water stations.