The Artist Loop - The Wild Pacific Trail
Writer, adventurer and advocate for sunrise, Sarah Beewell likes to share her latest hiking adventures.
Follow her blog at www.sarahbeewell.com
How to get there:
- From the Highway 4 junction of Tofino/Ucluelet, go left/South on Peninsula Rd. to Ucluelet (6km) take a right onto either Norah Rd. or Matterson Dr. to get to Marine Dr.
- From Norah Rd. turn left onto Marine Dr. From Matterson Dr. turn right onto Marine Dr. Parking Lots: The main parking lot is at Brown’s Beach. Some parking is available on the road at Big Beach as well as at the Community Centre and Tugwell Field on Forbes Rd.
How far from Ukee/Tofino: 1km from downtown Ukee, 42km from downtown Tofino
Trail Distance: 2.75km (Artist Loop) + 1.5km (Rocky Bluffs)
How long it takes: 75 min one way. 2.5 hours return.
Number of Stairs: < 50
Equipment Required: None
Parking permit required: No
Closest Tsunami Safe Zone: High School and Associated Fields or Tugwell Fields
Toilets Available: Yes, at Big Beach and Brown’s Beach only.
Wheel Chair Accessible: No
Level of Difficulty: Easy
The Artist Loop - Wild Pacific Trail Part 2
The Wild Pacific Trail has been voted #1 on TripAdvisor as the best attraction in British Columbia, and when you experience the rush of power that is the Pacific Ocean gushing wildly through the surge channels in the sea-sculpted black rocks, cliff-side, you will understand exactly why.
This hiking trail on the outer west coast of Vancouver Island is well planned, beautifully maintained and continually expanding. Beginning at Big Beach, across from Ucluelet’s Community Centre at the corner of Peninsula Rd. & Matterson Rd., the adventure begins with the Children’s Interpretive Trail at Big Beach Park. (see map)
Here you will find picnic tables, a sea-side gazebo and interactive signs featuring local creatures to pique the interest of passers-by. To continue on the Wild Pacific Trail from Big Beach, follow the path north from the beautiful Eagle sign, up some hills and stairs to the Black Rock Resort. The trail picks up again from the parking lot of the resort, or alternately you may find yourself on Marine Drive. If this is the case, turn left and you will come to the main parking lot at Brown’s Beach no more than 200m down the road.
Although the Artist Loop section and beyond are not considered wheel-chair accessible, even those with reduced mobility can catch a glimpse of the spectacular sparkling sea, here on the Wild Pacific Trail’s longer leg. From the Brown’s Beach trailhead, there is walking access to a most beautiful look-out onto the Pacific Ocean, approximately 50m east of the Brown’s Breach parking lot.
The have ferns grown to skirt the edge of the meticulously manicured pathway. The dense canopy of trees above are wind-twisted and huddled together into what is called a Krummholz tunnel. Encircled by green, you need not worry about a little rain or wind because the forest provides a surprisingly good natural shelter from the elements.
Storms are exciting to watch from the shore and even a layer of thick fog makes this trail just a little bit more wondrous to walk on.
As this trail traces the edge of rocky cliffs, you may get a peek of sea animals playing in the aquamarine water below. Sea otters, seals and even whales make their playground in these waters and with any luck you’ll be able to see what life is like for the fauna here on the Wild West Coast. Drink in all of this exquisite scenery from one of the many benches and painter’s perches. The dizzying feeling of looking down at the ocean and watching its waters churn in the jagged, rocky surge channels below is an all encompassing experience of Mother Nature’s bounty that hikers on Vancouver Island will love.
If this sounds like fun, check out part 1 of this series - Wild Pacific Trail’s Lighthouse Loop.
Make sure to look at our list of things to do in Ucluelet if you plan on visiting us soon!
The Wild Pacific Trail
The man with the dream and the plan to create this wondrous walk in the woods is “Oyster Jim” Martin. It has been his enthusiasm and persistence that has paved the way for this free public use trail on some of the most rugged and lush plots of land. The vision of Oyster Jim is to create an accessible nature experience which embraces green trail building practices which allows people to catch a glimpse of this temperate rainforest in all her glory. The end goal of the Wild Pacific Trail Society is to create a spectacular trail system on the outer coast from Amphitrite Lighthouse to the beaches of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
The care and concern for the preservation of the local flora and fauna is apparent when walking this trail. The twists and turns that the trail takes have been carefully calculated to protect the beautiful and wind-blown ancient trees, while allowing us adventurers the most majestic scenery of the coastline from various viewpoint decks.
The summer of 2014 saw the Wild Pacific Trail Society introduce Interpretive Walks to the Wild Pacific Trail experience. These outdoor classroom opportunities are for adults and kids alike and are focused on the natural and cultural history of the Peninsula. The Summer Program is free of charge thanks to partnerships with funders such as The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, the Raincoast Education Society, the Ucluelet Aquarium and the District of Ucluelet.
Whether you're looking for a sunny and temperate summer hike or a winter storm-watching adventure, the Wild Pacific Trail is the perfect natural playground for an outdoor excursion that you won’t ever forget.
Please feel free to show your appreciation for all the people past and present who have been dedicated to making the Wild Pacific Trail such an unforgettable Nature experience by donating to the future of the Wild Pacific Trail here.
If you’ve ever visited the Wild Pacific Trail on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, we want to hear about what you remember from your time here in Ucluelet.