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The Real West Coast

Check out a few of Ucluelet’s cultural, ecological and historical views, along “Canada’s Surf Highway”

The Real West Coast Badge

Each photo tagged with #therealwestcoast at the following locations will count as an entry for one of three grand prizes!

Full contest details: www.therealwestcoast.ca

Ucluelet Landmarks

Mouth Ozzard on the Real West Coast

Mount Ozzard

Contest Checkpoint: Whiskey Landing & Mount Ozzard

Take a scenic shot from the historic Ucluelet waterfront, with mighty Mount Ozzard (pronounced oh-zard) in the background at 766 metres (2,500 feet). It’s still known as Chuumata in the Nuu-chah-nulth language.

Small Craft Harbour on the Real West Coast

Small Craft Harbour

Contest Checkpoint: Ucluelet Boat Basin View – With Anchor

At the Ucluelet Small Craft Harbour spot the giant, hand-forged anchor in front of this photogenic working harbour, a slice of West Coast life.

The Lighthouse on the Real West Coast

The Lighthouse

Contest Checkpoint: The Lighthouse on The Wild Pacific Trail!

While Ucluelet is named after the Nuu-chah-nulth word meaning “safe harbour”, the open ocean on its outer coast is known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific” on this coast. Your walk on the Wild Pacific Trail will give you several dramatic viewpoints of these storied waters. Get up close to the 100+ year-old Amphitrite Lighthouse!

Ucluelet Aquarium on the Real West Coast

Ucluelet Aquarium

Contest Checkpoint: Ucluelet Aquarium

Starfish, clams, green surf anemones, Californian sea cucumbers, rock fish, jelly fish, even giant Pacific Octopuses (a baby one of course), discover the fascinating marine life of the area! The creatures on display are gathered from local waters near Ucluelet and are released back into the wild at the end of each season.

Big Beach on the Real West Coast

Big Beach

Contest Checkpoint: Hidden Shipwreck on Big Beach!

Find the hidden shipwreck from 1900 on Big Beach! Accessible directly from Matterson Drive (and across from the Ucluelet Community Centre).

West-facing Big Beach is a great spot for a picnic, beach fun or a sunset at low tide. Family friendly.

Tofino Landmarks

The Carving Shed in Tofino on the Real West Coast

The Carving Shed

Contest Checkpoint: The Carving Shed on North Chesterman Beach

Tucked away where the forest meets the beach, right by the Wickaninnish Inn, this rustic shed is a workshop for some very talented wood carvers. Warning: You may want to settle in and apprentice, too.

Weeping Cedar on the Real West Coast

Weeping Cedar Woman Statue

Contest Checkpoint: Weeping Cedar Woman Statue

She was carved in 1984 by Godfrey Stephens to aid the first protests against logging the ancient rainforests of Meares Island. Politically and culturally significant, she now stands facing Meares Island Tribal Park at the Tofino Village Green playground, a reminder of Clayoquot Sound’s important environmental history.

Tonquin Trail Lookout

Contest Checkpoint: Tonquin Trail Lookout!

This new trail walks you through old-growth rainforest to small, sandy and almost secret Tonquin Beach. Get comfy in one of the coves or, if you’re lucky, see the fish jump right out of the water!

Anchor Park on the Real West Coast

Anchor Park

Contest Checkpoint: Anchor Park

Situated on Tofino’s historic Main Street at Third Street, this small park overlooks a working harbour and allows for views of Meares Island Tribal Park, including the colourful homes in the Tla-o-qui-aht community of Opitsaht.

Pacific Terminus on the Real West Coast

Pacific Terminus Sign

Contest Checkpoint: Pacific Terminus Sign!

This is it, the end of the Trans-Canada Highway! Take that photo right in front of the hand-painted orca sign and enjoy the views and life on the First Street Dock. Although the “official” terminus is down-island in Victoria, we think you’ll agree that true end-of-the-road culture lives here, at the end of Canada’s Surf Highway.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Landmarks

Pacific National Park Reserve on the Real West Coast

Kwisitis Visitor Centre

Contest Checkpoint: Kwisitis Visitor Centre BALCONY

Situated on sandy, driftwood-bordered Wickaninnish Beach, the balcony of the Kwisitis Visitor Centre offers jaw-dropping views of the open Pacific. Don’t miss this.

Pacific National Park Reserve on the Real West Coast

Rainforest Trail

Contest Checkpoint: 2 Red Adirondack Chairs

This trail, divided into parts A and B on both sides of the Pacific Rim Highway, guides you on a walk suitable for all ability levels through an ethereal old-growth forest, with helpful signage along the way. Take a photo break in the 2 red Adirondack chairs placed conveniently for an up-close view of a giant cedar.

Pacific National Park Reserve on the Real West Coast

Incinerator Rock

Contest Checkpoint: The Plaque on the rock!

Named for the often-climbed rock with sweet views of Long Beach, this part of the beach is part of Canadian surf history, with visitors and residents alike changing in and out of their wetsuits here for decades. Get yours on and ride some waves, go beachcombing or settle in the sand for some YOU time. (Driving a RV? The park at in the Long Beach lot, steps away from this one.)

Pacific National Park Reserve on the Real West Coast

Radar Hill

Contest Checkpoint: The Viewing Platform

An exhilarating bird’s eye view of Clayoquot Sound is what you’ll get here, along with the story behind Kap’Yong Memmorial and the significance of this historical site. This is one of the newest, and most spectacular viewpoints anywhere on #therealwestcoast.

Pacific National Park Reserve on the Real West Coast

Nuu-Chah-Nulth Trail

Contest Checkpoint: Totem pole on the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Trail!

Tucked in behind the Kwisitis Visitor Centre on the pretty, 1.6km South Beach trail, is a beautiful totem pole. Snap your photo, then continue on and connect directly to the longer Nuu-chah-nulth Trail.

Port Alberni Landmarks

Cathedral Grove on the Real West Coast

Cathedral Grove

Contest Checkpoint: Any Giant Tree

Pull over and sing the praises of this glorious stand of old-growth Douglas fir trees, where you can walk a network of trails on either side of the highway.

Harbour Quay on the Real West Coast

Harbour Quay

Contest Checkpoint: Harbour View

There’s no better intro to Port Alberni than time spent at the Harbour Quay. This waterfront area offers some cool little eateries and shops (and a playground), as well as a scenic viewpoint on the Alberni Inlet, Vancouver Island’s longest inland waterway!

Victoria Quay on the Real West Coast

Victoria Quay

Contest Checkpoint: Nuu-Chah-Nulth Whaler Sculture

This iconic First Nations sculpture, carved of yellow and red cedar, now lives on the boardwalk at Victoria Quay, where Johnson Road meets the Somass River.

Railway on the Real West Coast

Alberni Pacific Railway Steam Train

Contest Checkpoint: Train Station or Steam Donkey

Board this train, pulled by a restored 1929 Baldwin ex-logging locomotive at the 1912 CPR station and take the 35 ride through the city and its forested ravines to the Mclean “Steam” Sawmill. Gregarious retired loggers demonstrate the logging process of bygone days with the use of the “steam donkey”.

Sproat Lake on the Real West Coast

Sproat Lake Provincial Park

Contest Checkpoint: Petroglyphs!

Follow the shady trail at the eastern end of the Lake, and discover one of the finest panels of prehistoric petroglyphs in British Columbia. Little is known about this petroglyph, named K’ak’awin, but it isn’t hard to imagine this rock carving as depicting some mystical ancient monsters of the lake.

The Real West Coast Badge

Photo Credits:
Featured Image by Elizabeth Epp

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