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Must See and Do

One of the most frequent comments you hear after people dis-cover the area is: “We had no idea there was so much to do, and so many beautiful things to see!” Don’t miss a thing…Come experience it all!

The Wild Pacific Trail

Come visit Trip Advisor’s top trail in British Columbia!

The Wild Pacific Trail is free, family friendly and accessible year round. All ages from 0 – 100+ will enjoy the stunning ocean views and the towering majestic rainforest that the 9km+ trail weaves itself through. Wheelchair access is proudly available at the Lighthouse Loop area.

The vision of ‘Oyster Jim’ Martin (The Trail’s Founder) 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 magnificent glory. The long term vision of the Wild Pacific Trail Society is to create a spectacular trail system on the outer coast from Amphitrite Lighthouse to the beaches of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Did You Know? Oyster Jim started the trail over 20+ years ago. One man. One amazing vision!

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The Ucluelet Aquarium

Come visit Canada’s largest catch and release Aquarium and see our Octopus! You’ll experience interactive exhibits, fun touch tanks, and discover all the amazing marine life that inhabits the waters of Barkley and Clayoquot Sound. Family friendly; open March to Dec every year.

You can expect an up close and personal encounter with a diversity of local marine life, and a stimulating “hands on” learning environment for children of all ages (Big kids welcome Mom & Dad!). Knowledgeable interpreters explain the mysteries of the sea that are at the Aquarium with guided tours and special events celebrating the amazing array of creatures found in the waters around Ucluelet.

All the marine life you’ll see on display are caught locally (mid March) and then released back into the wild at the end of every season (beginning Of Dec). Not only does this practice minimize our impact on the environment, it keeps our displays new and interesting. Release days are locally publicized events in which the Aquarium returns all specimens back to the wild with a festive farewell from the community. Everyone is invited to join in the send-off!

Did You Know? Every year Ucluelet names it new Octopus that is catches from our local waters!

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Amphitrite Point Lighthouse

At the mouth of the Ucluelet Inlet, located on the Wild Pacific Trail’s Lighthouse Loop, you will come across the Amphitrite Point Lighthouse.

From the 100+ year old historic Lighthouse, one can view the Pacific Oceans wild waves, stunning sunsets, and even catch a glimpse of the spray from whales on the horizon or maybe witness bald eagles in all their soaring glory. All from this one spot on the edge of the West Coast.

Bring a book, a camera, and a scarf and spend some time simply soaking up the scenery and relaxing to the magical sounds of the sea.

Did You Know? The Lighthouse was the default background for the Windows 7 Operating System installed on over 400 million computers!

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Ucluelet is one of the top ten sea kayaking destinations in the world! Kayaking the calm, sheltered waters of the Harbour is an ideal way to begin to discover this unique area. Watch harbour seals, sea lions, eagles, bears and the occasional whale from your unique vantage point on the water, while gliding past the rocky shores of the Pacific Coast shoreline.

Ucluelet gives easy access to the Broken Group Islands of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Kayaking through these islands you will discover sandy white beaches, calm lagoons, blow holes, diverse wildlife and unique native history. The West coast is not so wild in these protected waters and even complete beginners can get on the water and create memories of a lifetime.

Did You Know? You can kayak year round in our harbour on ideal winter days!

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Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours

Get ready for an experience of a lifetime! Local whale & wildlife tour operators provide a fantastic opportunity for you to experience the breath-taking beauty of coastal British Columbia and the majestic whales and wildlife in their natural environment.

March to October is the peak season for tours, while some local operators do go year round. You will catch sightings of whales spouting and experience first-hand, the innate characteristics of these mammals within their natural habitat. See bears roaming the shoreline during low tide, and travel along the coastline of the Barkley Sound & Broken Group Islands in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The area presents many opportunities to view sea lions, harbour seals, pelagic birds, and lots of other wildlife offering something for everyone. Watching these marine mammals and wildlife is truly an experience you will remember for the rest of your life!

DID YOU KNOW? Come During March for WhaleFest! The waters around Ucluelet see as many as 20,000 grey whales in one of the greatest annual migration on the planet. They are travelling from Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea (Alaska) to feed in the fish-rich waters of the North for the winter. This is a journey of over 22,000 kilometres, the longest of any migration of any creature in the world. If you plan your trip in March or April, you might just get to be a part of it all!

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Broken Group Islands

Not visiting The Broken Group Islands while in Ucluelet is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower! The Broken Group Islands are a pristine untouched archipelago of hundreds of islands within the Barkley Sound and part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve; just 20 mins south of Ucluelet. The area is accessible only by boat, and are consider one of the top sea kayaking destinations in the world. Contact one of Ucluelet’s local kayak or charter boat companies for daily or multi day tour packages to experience this natural wonder!

Did You Know? The color of the water around some of the islands is so clear it rivals the Caribbean.

Saltwater Fishing

Ucluelet has some of the best saltwater fishing in North America year after year! The Fishing Charter business here is booming; people come from all over the world to fish off our pristine coastline. The Barkley Sound (just minutes from Ucluelet), has been called the ‘Salmon Super-Highway’; Coho, Sockeye, Pink, Chinook and Chum can all easily be fished from here.

DID YOU KNOW? According to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ landed catch stats, Ucluelet is the largest port in Canada for landed groundfish also such as Halibut, Cod, Flounder, and Sole. Contact one of Ucluelet’s local charter companies for an phenomenal experience on the water! (Link to fishing charter page).

All fishing requires a license and can be obtained here: https://www-ops2.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/nrls-sndpp/index-eng.cfm

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Surf In Canada? Absolutely!

Just a short drive down the road from Ucluelet are some of Canada’ longest beaches that can be surfed year round. People come from all over the world to catch a wave; in what is considered one of Canada’s top surf destinations!

The most accessible surf beaches from Ucluelet, are Wickaninnish Beach and Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Ucluelet has fantastic family friendly local surf shops that provide everything from lessons to rentals. Suit up and paddle out, once you catch your first wave you’ll be hooked!

Did You Know? Every May/June the Canadian Surf Association holds its Canadian Surf Championships just down the road in Tofino!

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Arts and Culture

Experience the environment that inspired Emily Carr & The Group Of Seven!! (arguably Canada’s most famous painters). Immerse yourself in the diverse history and culture of Western Canada with exciting internationally acclaimed original artwork from career and First Nation artists. Spend time in one of the many art galleries and shops in Ucluelet showcasing local painters, photographers, drawings, carvings, glass art, weaving, tapestries, pottery, jewelry and more.

The Wild Pacific Trail has artist’s loops and painter’s perches to create your next original masterpiece. Don’t forget to bring your camera, canvas or sketch book and prepare to be inspired.

DID YOU KNOW? Emily Carr and the Group Of Seven painted right here in and around Ucluelet! Stop by the Pacific Rim Arts Society as well as one of our local Galleries to get all the amazing history.

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Storm Watching

One of the world’s most unique experiences!

Come witness Storm Watching on the West Coast of Canada along the top rated Wild Pacific Trail! Nothing is more exhilarating than the fury of the wind, rain and waves during a winter storm. The raw power of nature has become a fascinating draw for tourists from around the world to Ucluelet.

The best time for storm watching is November through March, as gale force winds tear along the coast at over 70km an hour (appx 45mph). The Ucluelet region gets over 4 meters of rain a year (most during this season). Impressive heavy waves pound the beaches, hitting the rocks and sending white sea spray high into the air. Please be sure to pack for all weather conditions (Gortex is always in vogue) and note that just as likely you will have rain, the coastal weather will change quickly and you can find yourself in pure sun walking along a beach over the winter season.

DID YOU KNOW? Ucluelet gets around 10-15 mega storms per year with over 90mph winds! It’s a breathtaking experience you wouldn’t want to miss.

PS: Never stand on the rocks. The ocean and mother nature are unpredictable. Always find a safe vantage point on the Wild Pacific Trail and our beaches.

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The Long Beach Golf Course is considered one of the most challenging 9 hole championship courses located on the edge of the Pacific Rim of Vancouver Island.

From beginner to seasoned golfer, your experience is guaranteed to be an enjoyable one. Due to the temperate climate of the west coast of Vancouver Island, the golf course is open year round, ensuring you to find a snow free course in the winter. Surrounded by the ancient rainforest of Clayoquot Sound to the north and the breathtaking beauty of Barkley Sound to the south, Long Beach Golf Course invites you to experience this unsurpassed location for a round or two of golf.

Did You Know? The Golf Course also has a super fun 18 hole mini putt course. Tons of family fun! Open year round.

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Cycling in Ucluelet is amazing!

You can hop on a friendly and professional E-bike tour or rent a bike and bike along our wild Pacific coast and the inlet, and discover points of interest including historic Ucluelet harbour, Amphitrite Lighthouse, Big Beach and the rugged coastline cliffs.

We also have an amazing bike path that goes straight from our edge of town all the way along the forest edge to the Pacific Rim Visitor Center at the Junction of Hwy 4. Cycling in Ucluelet is family friendly; a real wonderful experience and a nice slow pace to enjoy nature and quality time.

For the more advanced athletic cyclist, the ride from Ucluelet to Tofino is amazing. This is a serious bike ride. It is just over 42km (85km round trip) and leads out of town on Peninsula Rd to the main Junction and then along to Highway 4 towards Tofino. You will pass along the edge of the forest and then through the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

The bike ride along the Highway is permitted, but please be sure to use caution if biking on the shoulder of this road to Tofino. Advanced cyclists only.

The Government of Canada recently awarded a multi-million to begin the building of a new biking and walking trail in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in British Columbia to make it even easier to travel between Ucluelet and Tofino.

Please note that cycling is not allowed on the Wild Pacific Trail nor on any of the walking trails in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, but if you wait until low tide you can joyfully cruise the hard-packed sands of Long Beach.

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Finally, experience for yourself what zipling is really all about… Located near Clayoquot Plateau Provincial Park, about 40 minutes from Ucluelet, along BC Highway 4, lies the experience of a lifetime. This is an epic adventure you will surely remember for the rest of your life! When asking visitors, that are just returning from their eco-tour, “How was it?” The answer is always the same… “AWESOME!”

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Photo Credits:
Featured Image by Douglas Ludwig
Wild Pacific Trail photo by Barbara Schramm
Ucluelet Aqaurium by Ucluelet Aquarium
Amphitrite Point Lighthouse photo by Brian Congdon
Kayaking photo by Majestic Ocean Kayaking
Whale Watching photo by Brian Congdon
Broken Group photo by Mark Penney
Saltwater Fishing photo by Derek Ford
Surfing photo by Douglas Ludwig
Arts and Culture photo by George Fifield
Storm watching photo by Barbara Schramm
Golfing photo by Tourism Ucluelet
Zipling photo by West Coast Wild Adventures

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