How to get there: From the BC Highway #4 junction of Tofino/Ucluelet, go left/South for appx 10kms (8mi) on Peninsula Rd. through Ucluelet. Turn right onto Coastguard Road.
Parking Lots: There are three parking lots for the Lighthouse Loop.
- Main Parking Lot – Coast Guard Rd: This is the main parking lot for the Lighthouse Loop and is the start of the trail (mile zero). The lot is midway down Coast Guard Rd. This parking lot is not suitable for RV’s and they will have access issues (Please see #3 below for alternative lots).
- He-Tin-Kis Park is a smaller parking lot just off Peninsula Rd.
- For those with reduced mobility, there is a wheel-chair accessible parking lot at the end of Coast Guard road. This lot is also suitable for RV’s to use.
Parking permit required: No
How far from Ucluelet: 2km from downtown Ucluelet (5mins appx), 43km from downtown Tofino (35mins appx).
Trail Distance: 2.6km
How long it takes: Less than 1 hour
Number of Stairs: 0
Closest Tsunami Safe Zone: Coast Guard Road High Point
Toilets Available: Yes
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 as one of the top trail on TripAdvisor 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 Lighthouse 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 scenery and 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 lot at Coast Guard road, you will come to a fork in the path. By turning toward the He-Tin-Kis parking lot and 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
One of the most photographed lighthouses on the West Coast!
The original wooden lighthouse at Amphitrite Point was built in 1906 after the tragic shipwreck of the Pass Of Melfort; sadly in 1914, massive storm waves destroyed this lighthouse. In January 1915 construction began on the current lighthouse, under very extreme weather conditions. For three months straight with 14 hour workdays, men pulled 450 pound loads of materials from Spring Cove (on the Harbour side of Ucluelet) through heavy mud and rain. The new sentinel style lighthouse has kept watch over Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands for over one hundred years.
Did You Know? The Amphitrite Lighthouse was even the default lighthouse picture for Windows 7. Almost 400 million people saw the picture installed on their computer!
Artist’s Loop & Ancient Cedars
How to get there: From the Highway #4 junction of Tofino/Ucluelet, go left/South on Peninsula Rd. to Ucluelet for appx 8km (5mi) take a right onto Matterson Dr. and turn right again onto Marine Dr. The Brown’s Beach parking lot is on your left past Black Rock Oceanfront Resort.
Parking Lot: The main parking lot is at Brown’s Beach. Not suitable for RV’s.
Some additional parking is available at the Ucluelet Community Centre (corner of Matterson Dr & Marine Dr) as well as Tugwell Field on Forbes Rd. These locations are better for RV’s.
How far from Ucluelet/Tofino: 1km from downtown Ucluelet, 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: 20 (if starting from Big Beach)
Parking permit required: No
Closest Tsunami Safe Zone: High School and Associated Fields or Tugwell Fields
Toilets Available: Yes, at Big Beach, Brown’s Beach, Tugwell Field and Ancient Cedars Loop
Wheel Chair Accessible: No
Level of Difficulty: Easy
The Artist Loop & Ancient Cedars section of the Wild Pacific Trail are beyond beautiful; prepare to be inspired! Experience the power of the Pacific from oceanside benches, viewing nooks and decks. For the best vistas follow the Artist’s Loop along the coastline, or take the bypass routes to enjoy the quiet forest. For prime viewing, step up into the wooden painter’s perches or larger decks – a photographer’s paradise! On a clear day you can see the coastline all the way towards Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
On your way along the coast to the Rocky Bluffs section, be sure to take a detour to the Ancient Cedars loop and witness the wonderful old growth grove of western red cedars (some over 800 years old!).
STAY ON THE TRAIL, remember bare rocks are frequently pounded by the surf and the ocean can be unpredictable (even on the sunniest of days).
Big Beach & Picnic Area
Be sure to make Ucluelet’s iconic Big Beach part of your day!
This family-friendly picnic area features a covered gazebo with picnic tables for lunch as well as fun interactive signs for children of all ages featuring local creatures from sea to sky.
From awesome sunsets, calm summer evenings filled with beach fires to witnessing the sensational power of the wild Pacific Ocean during storm watching season; Big Beach will not disappoint. You will certainly take this beach with you in your memories… it has expansive ocean views and wonderful little tide pools in the black volcanic rock formations on the shore, tree-lined trails leading to and from the beach connect partly to the Wild Pacific Trail.
From the gazebo, follow the trail upwards to a wonderful viewing perch. Continue along this path and you will be lead to the parking lot of the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort on Marine Drive where you can connect to the Wild Pacific Trail.
Did You Know? Our coastline is also considered the “Graveyard of the Pacific”? Search for the remains of a turn of the century SHIPWRECK! Hint: Look for an interpretive sign to the left of the beach towards the long grassy area.