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Travel Advisories

Discover What Fishing is All About in Ucluelet, BC

A fisherman’s dream lies within British Columbia’s west coast, where the rugged shores of Vancouver Island offer some of the most sought-after fishing experiences in the world. Along this pristine coastline, Ucluelet stands out as a premier destination for anglers seeking adventure in the Pacific Ocean. From thrilling salmon runs to bountiful halibut grounds, Ucluelet’s waters teem with marine life, promising unforgettable fishing expeditions. Whether you’re drawn to the challenge of reeling in a trophy Chinook or bounce your bait off the bottom for cod and halibut in the deep, Ucluelet’s diverse fishing opportunities cater to every angler’s passion. With its breathtaking scenery and abundant fisheries, Ucluelet embodies the essence of West Coast fishing at its finest.

Saltwater Fishing: Ucluelet is renowned for its saltwater fishing, particularly for salmon and halibut. Chinook (King), Coho (Silver), Sockeye, and Pink salmon can be found in these waters, with peak salmon fishing typically occurring from May to September. Halibut fishing is also excellent, with the season extending from March to October. Various charter companies operate in the area, offering guided fishing trips equipped with experienced captains and all necessary gear.

Freshwater Fishing: Ucluelet also offers opportunities for freshwater fishing. Nearby lakes and rivers provide habitats for trout and steelhead. The surrounding forests and pristine waters offer a serene backdrop for anglers seeking a quieter fishing experience.

Popular Fishing Spots: There are plenty of must-visit fishing spots in Ucluelet. Barkley Sound is best known for salmon and halibut, the Broken Group Islands for scenic angling, Florence Cove for accessible salmon fishing, Outside Lighthouse Bank for halibut, Big Bank for offshore salmon, and Little Beach for shore fishing. 

Regulations and Licensing: Anglers should familiarize themselves with British Columbia’s fishing regulations, including licensing requirements, catch limits, and seasonal restrictions. These regulations are in place to ensure sustainable fishing practices and the conservation of fish stocks.

Equipment and Gear: Appropriate gear is essential for fishing in saltwater or freshwater. Heavy-duty rods and reels capable of handling large salmon or halibut are necessary for saltwater fishing. In freshwater, lighter tackle suitable for trout or steelhead is appropriate. Local tackle shops can guide the best equipment for the area and target species.

Weather Considerations: Ucluelet’s coastal location means that weather conditions can change rapidly. It’s essential to check weather forecasts before heading out on the water and to dress appropriately for the conditions. Additionally, rough seas may impact fishing outings, so it’s wise to communicate with charter operators about any concerns.

Local Knowledge: Utilizing the expertise of local guides or experienced anglers can significantly enhance the fishing experience. Local knowledge of fishing hotspots, migration patterns, and techniques can increase the likelihood of a successful outing.

 

From fishing lodges to day trips, book your next fishing trip with one of Ucluelet’s local fishing charters: 

Kayaking in Ucluelet offers an incredible opportunity to explore the stunning coastal beauty of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Ucluelet is renowned for its rugged coastline, pristine waters, and abundant marine life, making it a popular destination for kayakers of all skill levels.

 

Here’s what you can expect when kayaking in Ucluelet.

Scenic Beauty: Ucluelet offers stunning scenery with rocky shorelines, secluded coves, and ancient forests. Paddling through its tranquil waters provides panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding landscapes. Start your kayaking journey in the calm waters of Ucluelet Harbour for leisurely paddling and wildlife observation. For a deeper exploration, head to the captivating Broken Group Islands, featuring over a hundred islets amidst breathtaking coastal vistas. Barkley Sound beckons experienced kayakers with its rugged coastline and sheltered waters, promising challenges and rewards.

Wildlife Viewing: The waters around Ucluelet are teeming with marine life. Watch for whales, sea lions, seals, otters, bald eagles, and various seabirds. Some lucky kayakers may even spot pods of orcas or majestic gray whales during their paddling adventures.

Island Exploration: Ucluelet is surrounded by numerous small islands and islets, each offering unique charm and exploration opportunities. Kayakers can paddle to these islands to discover hidden beaches, sea caves, and tidal pools.

Kayak Tours and Rentals: Several outfitters in Ucluelet offer guided kayak tours and equipment rentals for visitors. These tours are led by experienced guides who provide safety instructions and insights into the local ecology and history. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced kayaker, options are available to suit your preferences. Ucluelet kayak rental services are widely available for those who prefer to explore independently.

Weather Considerations: It’s essential to check the weather and tidal conditions before embarking on a kayaking excursion in Ucluelet. Coastal weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared for changing conditions and dress accordingly.

Safety Precautions: While kayaking is a relatively safe activity, it’s essential to prioritize safety on the water. Wear a properly fitting life jacket, stay within your skill level, and be aware of other watercraft in the area. Visit AdventureSmart to help you best prepare for your outdoor adventure.  

 

Overall, kayaking in Ucluelet offers an unforgettable outdoor experience, allowing visitors to connect with nature and explore the pristine beauty of Vancouver Island’s west coast. Whether seeking adventure, wildlife encounters, or a peaceful day on the water, Ucluelet has something to offer every kayaker.

Discover Kayak Tours in Ucluelet:

Ucluelet, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is known for many things, but surfing hasn’t always been at the top of the list. This oversight, once a well-kept secret among locals, is now being brought to light.

Meet David Schiaffino – the 2019, 2021, and 2023 Longboard Champion of Canada. Not only is he a longboard enthusiast, but he also owns Ukee Poke and West Coast Shapes Ukee. He is a well-respected local who knows great longboard waves. With a vision of bringing people together through friendly competition, building community, and shining a spotlight on surfing in Ucluelet, his hard work and dreaming have paved the way for the first-ever Vancouver Island Longboard Surf Contest. This inaugural 3-day event marks just the beginning; the hope is to build a world-class surf event and add more competition days with top athletes in longboarding.

“The goal is to bring people together, create a buzz around longboarding, and showcase all that longboarding has to offer in this amazing place we call home.”

 –David Schiaffino

Let’s set the stage: the event will take place at Wickaninnish Beach, which sits humbly on the traditional territory of the Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ people and stretches as far as the eye can see. Named after Chief Wickanninnish, who ruled the Clayoquot Sound in the 1700’s, the beach resides within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Roughly a 15-minute drive from Ucluelet, “Wick” beach is considered Ucluelet’s local break due to its proximity to town. Known for its playful sand dunes, expansive shoreline, shorebirds, and sometimes strong rip tides, it once housed the renowned Wickaninnish Inn, now the Kwisitis Visitor Centre (temporarily closed). Spring and Summer bring vacationers and locals out in droves to embrace the sunshine, soft sand, and of course, the ocean.

 

Although longboarding is a relatively new sport to grace the waters of Vancouver Island, the embrace of smaller springtime swells means more people can try their hand at the sport. Technically speaking, the main difference between a longboard and a shortboard is the length – a longboard is above 9ft in length and uniquely allows surfers to propel into smaller waves, making it an ideal sport for Spring and Summer sessions. Ucluelet is home to several great surf shops, making it easier than ever to book a lesson for the whole family with a knowledgeable local. You might find longboarding to be your new favorite sport.

From May 31st to June 2nd, 2024, the Vancouver Island Longboard Surf Contest will bring together surfers and spectators alike, proving indeed that Ucluelet is a surf destination. The weekend promises to be packed with action, celebration, and great after-parties throughout town. It is the perfect time to ignite a new passion, experience a true West Coast community event, and witness longboarding talent like never before. Get ready for an unforgettable, family-friendly adventure as Ucluelet warmly welcomes you to explore the charm of its small-town surf culture.

Sponsorship packages are still available! Email david@wcsukee.com for more information. All ages and skill levels are welcome to compete, including men’s and women’s under 18, open (any age), and master (40+). Follow @vilongboardsurfcontest on Instagram for more information.

This spring, we invite you to experience the breathtaking beauty of our home. Ucluelet is more than just a picturesque backdrop for your adventures; it’s a vibrant community pulsating with the heartbeat of passionate locals who call this place home. From artists and artisans to fishermen and foragers, each resident contributes to the rich tapestry of life that defines Ucluelet.

Spring Activities

Lace up your hiking boots and wander along winding trails that lead to hidden waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints, or paddle silently through pristine waters as you explore the tranquil beauty of Barkley Sound. Whether you’re travelling with friends, family, or just the two of you, there’s something for everyone. The Ucluelet Aquarium, Canada’s first collect and release aquarium, reopens for the season on March 1st. Looking for something to up your heartbeat? Rent a bike from Ukee Bikes and ride the town in style, or get on the water with Relic Surf Shop or Paddle West Kayaking.

Grab a Bite & a Brew

As you meander through the quaint streets of town, you’ll find yourself drawn to charming boutiques and cozy cafes, where the scent of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the salty tang of the sea. Strike up a conversation with a friendly local, and you’ll uncover hidden gems and insider tips that only those who call Ucluelet home can share.

Discover west coast dining experiences in Ucluelet.

Upcoming Events

Each year, as the storms power dwindles and the sun stays high for longer, Ucluelet comes alive with the vibrant energy of the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, a celebration of the return of Pacific Gray Whales to the west coast of Vancouver Island. Against the backdrop of Ucluelet’s rugged coastline, locals and visitors alike gather to honor the annual migration of gray whales and marvel at their breathtaking displays. From captivating educational workshops and exhilarating whale-watching excursions to lively community events and art exhibitions, the festival offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that deepen our connection to the ocean and its inhabitants. It’s a time of joyous revelry and profound appreciation for the natural wonders that define Ucluelet’s identity, reminding us of the enduring bond between humankind and the sea.

Discover Springtime events in Ucluelet.

Stay With Us

To fully capture the spirit of Ucluelet, you’ll want to stay a few nights, a week, or longer. From classic cabins, luxury resorts, eco-yurts steps from the ocean, and family-friendly campgrounds, check out available accommodations in Ucluelet.

Looking for Accessible Travel Tips?

Check out our Accessible Travel Guide video:


As the sun dips below the horizon, casting hues of pink and gold across the sky, take a moment to pause and reflect on the wonders you’ve witnessed during your time in Ucluelet. Whether you’ve come to reconnect with nature, indulge in culinary delights, or simply escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Ucluelet welcomes you with open arms and invites you to embark on a journey of discovery unlike any other.

Ucluelet aquarium showcases undersea wonders

Ucluelet Aquarium

Kayaking off Vancouver Island

Kayaking off Vancouver Island

Local craft brewery at Ucluelet Brewing

Ucluelet Brewing

Stunning views at the Wild Pacific Trail

Wild Pacific Trail

Celebrate whales at the Pacific Rim Whale Festival

Credit: George Fifield

Pluvio Restaurant in Ucluelet

Pluvio Restaurant and Rooms. Credit: Jordyn Giesbrecht

Storm season in Ucluelet is upon us, and we could not be more excited. Ask any Ucluelet local and they can attest to the majesty of a winter storm on BC’s west coast. The energy and sounds of massive waves crashing on the rocky shoreline, winds that make the trees dance, while rains quench the soil and restore shades of green that must be seen to be believed. The energy is palpable while walking on the Wild Pacific Trail and undeniably humbling. These waves bring about a feeling of connection and awe with mother nature. If you have heard the buzz about storm watching in Tofino, wait until you see the massive waves hit the rocky coastline of Ucluelet.

Ucluelet’s soundtrack during the winter months offers the calming rumble of waves connecting with the coastline while being offset by the buoy bell and foghorn. These rhythmic sounds from your cozy accommodation will lull you to sleep by natures sound machine. Things move slowly this time of year and so can you. Winter in Ucluelet means leaning into rest, restoration, quietness, and togetherness. It is the time to pick up a neglected book, cook a meal with those you love or cuddle in and storm watch. Do as much or as little as you feel called to.

If you choose to venture out of your cozy nook, the towering trees on the Wild Pacific Trail offer some refuge on the rainier days and a safe vantage point to watch the winter storms, they huddle over you like natures canopy umbrella. Embracing the elements is always an option for those who wish to feel the mist on their faces and the energy move through ground into your feet as you watch these waves pound the rocky coastline. Or for the seasoned winter surfer, grab your board and catch a swell. On the calmer days, see if you can book a harbour tour in a kayak or boat.

If complete relaxation is what you seek, selfcare with a customized treatment in Drift Spa at the Black Rock Resort or Nurture Day Spa at Water’s Edge Shoreside Suites, will round out your restorative journey.

With a variety of accommodations available, the opportunities for rest and relaxation are endless. Maybe it’s a cottage with a hot tub, or a hotel room with a king size bed and space for your furry companions, start dreaming and choose to be here this Winter. Its your time to treat yourself and Ucluelet has all the tools to do so.

 

 

 

 

Solo person exploring the beach with a beautiful backdrop of forest and ocean in Ucluelet, BC.

Mike Seehagel

Person exploring the incredible tidepools on the rocky coastline in Ucluelet, BC

Landon Sveinson

Group of friends headed out to catch some winter swell at the famous Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park nearby to Ucluelet, BC.

Mike Seehagel

1. Plan to stay a few days more!

There is so much to see, learn, and do out on the West Coast, that you’ll wish you were here longer. And don’t forget to build some much-needed downtime into your itinerary.

Check out our local accommodation providers.

2. What’s that plant or animal? Explore nature in a new way.

Ever wonder what flora and fauna surround you while walking the trails in Ucluelet? Take your exploration of the West Coast to new educational heights with the iNaturalist app, where you can explore, log photos, and learn along the way.Suggested Explorations:

Wander the Wild Pacific Trail ‘Lighthouse Loop,’ and see if you can find a banana slug or sword fern!
Explore the intertidal zone at Big Beach, where the rich marine life provides an incredible opportunity to learn and discover.

3. Discover the wonders of the intertidal zone at the Ucluelet Aquarium

Focusing on local species, interactivity, and sustainability, the ‘collect-and-release’ model at the Ucluelet Aquarium was the first of it’s kind in Canada.

4. Find some inspiration on the Wild Pacific Trail

Craggy volcanic rock and ocean swells form the backdrop of the Wild Pacific Trail. For a humbling experience, wander the 8.4 km of one of the top trails on Vancouver Island.

Lighthouse Loop (2.6km) – The first section of the trail to be built, this loop follows an undeniable scenic route to Amphitrite Lighthouse, which was re-built in 1915 to withstand the power of the Pacific Ocean.

Brown’s Beach & Artist Loops (3.5 km one-way) – Forest sections make way for wild vistas on the edge of the cliffside.

Ancient Cedars & Rocky Bluffs (1.25km) – This 15-minute loop winds through some of the largest trees in the area, and can be combined with the Rocky Bluffs to view wild rocky cliffs and surge channels.

5. Are you a history buff?

Take a self-guided historical walking tour with our On This Spot app.

6. Enjoy the local food and drink, at one of Ucluelet many incredible eateries

We are all about local, from amazing bakeries, untraditional BBQ, wood-fired pizza, awesome seafood food trucks, and one of the best new restaurants in Canada! Ucluelet has everything you need from grocery, delis and liquor stores, to fair-trade locally roasted artisan coffees and hand-blended teas.

Check out the mouth-watering options!

7. Surf or SUP at one of the West Coast’s many beaches and bays

Join a lesson or rent your gear with one of our local surf shops! Surf is a way of life on the west coast, so why not try your hand at this popular pastime?

Never been surfing or stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)? Lessons are highly recommended.

8. Kayak along Ucluelet’s historic waterfront or into the crystal blue waters of the Broken Group Islands

Local guides offer an opportunity to paddle out, on either a 3-hour tour of the historic harbour or on a day trip among the many islands in Barkley Sound that make up the Broken Group Islands.

Bookings are highly recommended. Check out the local operators offering kayaking out of Ucluelet.

9. Search for bears or whales on an ocean adventure

Explore miles of coastal scenery on the search for grey whales, which migrate up the coast in March and hang around to feed in the rich coastal waters until November.

Black bears may be found along the coastlines, flipping rocks in their quest for a tasty meal.

The vibrant ecosystems of coastal Vancouver Island mean you never know what you might see out on the water!

Check out the local operators offering wildlife watching experiences.

Bookings are highly recommended.

10. Wandering the stunning trails and beaches of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

From old-growth rainforest to windswept sand dunes, the many trails of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve offer ancient bogs, towering cedars, and Nuu-chah-nulth history.

Parks.canada.ca/pacificrim

11. Observe the rocky pools in Big Beach’s intertidal zone

The intertidal zone of the West Coast is incredibly rich in biodiversity, and Big Beach is a wonderful place to explore it! Keep your eyes peeled and you might even find 19th-century shipwreck along the shoreline.

Be a Better Beachgoer!

Our local beaches host hundreds of visitors a year, which means lots of interactions for the inhabitants. Watch your step when exploring the intertidal zone, hang on to your cigarette butts, and please leave the beach at the beach!

12. Try your hand at fishing for halibut, cod, or salmon

For a truly ‘West Coast’ experience, try your hand at open water fishing with one of the local charters. Depending on the season, halibut, salmon, or lingcod could be the catch of the day!

Bookings are highly recommended.

13. Hop on an e-bike for a tour on the Ucluth Peninsula

Explore the west coast on a state-of-the-art electric bike, stopping at local points-of-interest (and maybe a few secret spots) for some incredible photo opportunities!

Bookings are highly recommended.

14. Take a flight over the rugged coastline with West Coast Wild

If you’re looking for the adventure of a lifetime, Ucluelet has an adventure that only the imagination is capable of; whether it be whale watching, as they dive for herring and roe, or the sea lions and otters as they play amongst themselves, you’ll have an “eagles eye” perspective on it all when you take a flight tour above the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Bookings are highly recommended.

15. Soar over the Kennedy River canyon on a series of 6 ziplines

Fly through the mystical forest of Tla-o-qui-aht territory on a series of 6 ziplines that hover high above the Winchee River in Kennedy River Canyon.

Check out West Coast Wild Zipline!

Bookings are highly recommended.

16. Golf year-round at the Long Beach Golf Course

There is something fun for everyone at the year-round Long Beach Golf Course. A mini putt, driving range, and a 9-hole championship course let you practice your putt and swing in any season!

17. Bike, hike, or skate along Ucluelet’s 8km multi-use pathway

Ucluelet’s multi-use pathway follows the Pacific Rim Highway and offers a paved path for use with roller-skates, bicycles, skateboards, strollers… anything with wheels! Or, if you choose to walk, you can connect up with a hike along the Wild Pacific Trail.

18. Observe the stunning West Coast sunset

A west-facing coastline means wildly colourful sunsets!

Crossword

Directions

  • Click ‘Play’ beneath the puzzle
  • Click on clues to highlight rows and columns
  • Type in your answer
  • *Optional: Print this puzzle
  • Share with your family and friends!
Play Ucluelet Crossword

Jigsaw Puzzles

Directions

  • Click ‘View Puzzle’ beneath the puzzle you’d like to work on
  • Drag and drop to place pieces
  • Modify options using the menu in the top left corner (including #of pieces and background colour)
  • Share with your family and friends!

Ukee Days is a 3-day weekend-long festival celebrating West Coast life. The celebration happens in late July every year. For full current details and more information, please visit: ukeedays.wordpress.com, and be sure to check out the sample schedule below to get an idea of all the community fun.

The festival features logger sports demonstrations, live music and performances, awesome food and retail vendors, an eclectic parade, beer gardens, surf & turf BBQ, and some of the most interesting and unique contests you have ever seen.

Only the best of family-friendly West Coast fun… We look forward to seeing you there!

Stop by the Pacific Rim Visitor Centre as you arrive on the West Coast. There is a lot going on, from free guided interpretive walks on the Wild Pacific Trail to a speaker series on “The Wonders Of The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.” This summer in Ucluelet is going to vibrant!

 

 

What’s On

Sunday Market (All Summer) from 10am – 2pm. Make It, Bake It & Grow It! Come down to the Village Green (at the bottom of Main St across from the Ucluelet Aquarium) for our quaint local market.

This year, the Canada Day celebrations on July 1st will be infused with excitement. 2017 marks the 150th year since Confederation; Canada’s sesquicentennial. The town celebrates down on the Village Green with music, vendors, and more! Local restaurants are already planning their events for the big day. It is sure to be one of the most exciting Canada Day celebrations in recent memory.

Summer Fest (July) kicks off the festival circuit with two weeks of art, film, music, and dance.

Ukee Days (July), the annual celebration of the community, always draws a large crowd. Tents showcasing local businesses and artisans cover the field. Food trucks and beer gardens feed the patrons. Live music, logger sports, and an opening parade entertain visitors. Ukee Days is an unmissable, jam-packed weekend. What happens in Ukee, stays in Ukee!

Checkout our event calendar and discover more events in Ucluelet this summer!

Explore the Outdoors

Of all the things to do in Ucluelet, exploring the outdoors is an absolute must. Perched on the edge of the Pacific, Ucluelet has clean sea air, endless blue skies, and awe-inspiring vistas. Enjoy the summer in one of the most beautiful places on earth. In Ucluelet, there are outdoor activities abound.

Take a Hike

Hiking the renowned Wild Pacific Trail will provide unmatched oceanic panoramas. This trail ranks #1 on Vancouver Island for a good reason; at over 8km, the spectacular landscape varies, from high cliffs to ancient cedar groves (with some trees over 1000 years old!). The 45 – 60-minute Lighthouse Loop weaves through the forest and along craggy outcroppings. At its most dramatic, the path overlooks the Broken Group Islands to the south, over pristine coastlines and rocky shores. The Ancient Cedars & Rocky Bluffs section of the trail passes under the largest trees in the area, before emerging onto wild rocky bluffs. Down at the Artist Loops and Brown’s Beach, channel your inner artist as you watch the waves crash onto the coast from the Painter’s Perches.

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve contains several beautiful trails. The pathways wind over boardwalks, along bogs, and into the heart of the rainforest. Sun-kissed beaches come alive with the thud of the ocean waves as they pummel into the sand.

Ride the Waves

Renowned worldwide as a surfing and paddle-boarding destination, the West Coast doesn’t disappoint. Visitors to the Ucluelet and Tofino can expect rolling waves, clear waters, and sandy beaches. Just 10 minutes from Ucluelet, water sports are king on Wickaninnish and Long Beach.

Surfing around Ucluelet is accessible to all levels, from seasoned pros to beginners. Surf shops in town offer rentals, lessons, and camps to acquaint visitors with the waves. Stand-up paddle boards provide the opportunity to float out onto calm harbours and shorelines. Twenty minutes from town, visitors can paddle on the glassy expanse of Kennedy Lake.
It’s no wonder they call Highway #4 ‘Canada’s Surf Highway

See It From The Sky

Far above the towering cedars, visitors can explore the pristine rainforest, blue waters, and snow-capped peaks by plane. Flightseeing opens a world of possibilities. Catch a glimpse of swimming whales to understand how large these mammals truly are. View the Barkley Sound from the sky, take a tour of the mountains to the east, or find a secluded beach. Many floatplane operators offer charters to take you where you want to go. The world of the West Coast is your oyster when you take to the skies.

Visitors can also take in a bird’s eye view while riding the thrilling zip line that hangs above the Kennedy River.

©Steve Wilkinson Photography

Take It All In

The sunsets out here are spectacular. Catch the last warm rays of the sun before it dips beneath the horizon at one of several vantage points. Head over to Amphitrite Point on the Wild Pacific Trail, and view the Pacific panorama as the sky darkens. Witness just how fast the sun disappears over the edge. Big Beach also offers a great spot to watch the sun go down. The West Coast sunset is one of Mother Nature’s finest shows. Sit back, relax, and take it all in.

Summer is full of excitement in Ucluelet. From vibrant culture to thriving ecosystems, summer here has something for everyone.

Come out and #DiscoverUcluelet

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