Premier Listings for Pacific Rim Park Whale Watching
The annual northward migration of Gray Whales through Pacific Rim National Park begins in late February and continues until the end of May. The peak season is from mid March to mid April, with some whales staying in the area to feed during the summer months.
Every March and April, the Pacific Rim National Park and the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet celebrate the return of the Gray Whale during its annual spring migration. The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is a series of public events and festivities for the whole family.
Annual Calendar of the Gray Whale:
- January and February: Gray Whales spend the winter in the warm waters off Baja California, Mexico.
- March, April, and May: They migrate north, hugging the west coast of North America.
- June to October: In the Bering and Chukchi Seas, the whales spend the summer feeding. To the delight of Vancouver Island whale watchers, some grays stop to eat at this latitude instead of continuing north with the rest of the population.
- November and December: Grays swim back down to Baja California, usually faster and further offshore than during the northward leg of their migration.
- In total, the 16,000 to 22,500-km round trip – depending on how far north they go – is one of the longest migrations of any mammal on earth.
More information on the Pacific Rim Whale Festival and Current Events.
Pacific Rim Whale Festival Society
Pacific Rim Whale Festival Society
In the Long Beach Unit, the park offers audio-visual programs at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre (formerly the Wickaninnish Centre) and Green Point Theatre.
Killer Whales may also be seen, but not as predictably as Grays. A number of local commercial boat charters are available should you wish to arrange a whale-watching tour.
If you are bringing your own boat, please ensure that you are familiar with the ocean and weather conditions on this exposed west coast of Vancouver Island. If you are operating a boat near whales, please remember that it is illegal to harass or disturb marine animals. Stay at least 100 metres away from the whales and adhere to the Federal Guidelines for Whale Watching.
Nearby Regions & Towns:
- Pacific Rim (West Coast)
- Pacific Rim Highway 4
- Barkley Sound
- Broken Group Islands
- Port Renfrew
- Port Alberni
Parks Canada – British Columbia
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.