Lighthouse Loop - The Wild Pacific Trail
About the Author:
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 BC 4 junction of Tofino/Ucluelet, go left/South on Peninsula Rd. through Ucluelet for 10kms. Turn right onto Coastguard Road.
Parking lots: 3. General access is at first parking lot on Coast Guard Rd. He-Tin-Kis park is a smaller parking lot off Peninsula Rd. For those with reduced mobility, there is a wheel-chair accessible parking lot at the end of Coast Guard road.
Map: Click Here to See Map
Parking permit required: No
How far from Ucluelet/Tofino: 2km from downtown Ucluelet, 43km from downtown Tofino
Trail Distance: 2.6km
How long it takes: < 1 hour
Number of Stairs: 0
Equipment Required: None
ClosestTsunami Safe Zone: Coast Guard Road High Point
Wheel Chair Accessible: Yes, from furthest parking lot on Coast Guard road to the Amphitrite lighthouse... and beyond! (if you have an all-terrain wheelchair)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
There’s a good reason why this trail has been listed #1 on TripAdvisor as the top destination in British Columbia. Catching a glimpse of the spray from whales on the horizon or witnessing bald eagles in all their soaring glory are just some of the breath-takingly beautiful scenes you could see while hiking the Light House Loop.
This beautifully manicured trail is spotted with the iconic tree-lined horizons of BC and seemingly endless ocean vistas. The Wild Pacific Trail’s Lighthouse Loop is a must-do for anyone traveling to Vancouver Island.
The low bellowing hoot of the Red Can, just off shore from the Amphitrite Lighthouse, will linger in your dreams long after you’ve left the Lighthouse Loop leg of the Wild Pacific Trail…Once is simply not enough.
Located at the farthest reaches of the tiny coastal town of Ucluelet, just 4 hours North of Victoria and 3 hours west of Nanaimo, this epic experience of the natural world will not fail to impress.
Accessible to everyone because of its well maintained pathway, a walk in the woods has never been so scenic. The trail has plenty of view point rest areas with benches dedicated to and donated by people who’ve been moved by this beautiful place.
Bring a book, a camera, a cushion and a scarf because you’re going to want to spend some time simply soaking up the sceneryand relaxing to the rushing sounds of the sea.
There are toilets available at the Lighthouse trailhead and at the Coast Guard road parking lot, so adventurers will be able to stay for a good stretch of time without having to go back to the "real world.” However, there is no potable water available, so be sure to bring your own drinking water.
At the 2km mark of the trail, just before heading back to the parking lotat Coast Guard road, you will come to a fork in the path. By turning toward the He-Tin-Kis parking lotand the Terrace Beach Interpretive Trail, you will come to one of the most picturesque beaches that this area has to offer. Terrace Beach is great for beach combing, walking barefoot on the sand and sunset beach fires.
The calm, lapping waves on the sandy shore of Terrace Beach are what made this the site of an ancient First Nations’ canoe beach. The Wild Pacific Trail Society has installed interpretive signs on this part of the trail to identify native uses of plants and share a rich history dating back 5,000+ years.
The Amphitrite Lighthouse
The lighthouse was built in reaction to the deadly December shipwreck of the Pass of Melfort in 1906.The treacherous winter waters at the end of the Ucluth Peninsula smash over reef and rocks, so the lighthouse was built to prevent future shipwrecks on this tumultuous stretch of the Pacific sea.
The original lighthouse was replaced in 1915 with a more sturdy sentinel to withstand hurricane force winds, which are not at all uncommon during winter storms at sea. This lookout keeps watch over Barkley Sound and the archipelago of the Broken Group Islands. In the springtime it boasts auspicious views of whales migrating to the north, and sometimes even close-up views of the whales feeding close to the coastline.
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 and 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 fromvarious 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 winterstorm-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 worked to make the Wild Pacific Trail such an unforgettable nature experience by donating to the future of the Wild Pacific Trail.
If you’ve visited the Wild Pacific Trail on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, we would love to hear about what you remember from your time here in Ucluelet now that you’re back home.