If you’ve been to Ucluelet, you’ve likely been directed to check out the Wild Pacific Trail. More specifically, you’ve probably been given information about the Lighthouse Loop and been told that no trip to Ukee is complete without a visit there. While that advice is not wrong and the Lighthouse Loop is absolutely fabulous, the Wild Pacific Trail stretches far beyond that section and also encompasses The Artists Loop, The Ancient Cedars Loop, and the Rocky Bluffs trail. There are 8km of trails to explore where you find countless lookouts with stunning views and see relentless waves crashing into the coast all around you!
We headed out to Ukee for a weekend of relaxing and we made sure to visit our favourite trails while we were here. The Wild Pacific Trail has it all so we tend to visit time and time again. We love all the small lookout paths and benches scattered throughout the trail. As you travel along the trail, be prepared to be distracted by the endless horizon and the crashing surf. If you go on a sunny day, you’ll see at least 50 shades of blue between the water, the waves, and the sky. If you go on a rainy day (which is 80% more likely, let’s be honest 😉), everything will look that much more ominous and powerful. You will be blown away!
We started our walk on the infamous Lighthouse Loop. Checking the forecast that day, it was going to be sunny and 7 metre (that’s 22 feet!!) waves were going to be rolling in. We left from our room at The Cabins at Terrace Beach and joined the Wild Pacific Trail at the He-Tin-Kis trailhead. From the moment the ocean came into view, it was impressive, scary, exhilarating, and awe-inspiring! We took Every. Single. Lookout. Path in order to maximize our ocean views. Watching the waves roll in and crash against the rocky outcrops became addictive and we simply didn’t want to look away. The 2.6km loop took us about two hours but it was time well spent.
Of course, the main attraction on the loop is Amphitrite Lighthouse. The lighthouse, first built in 1906, has been a shining beacon on this stretch of rugged coast for over 100 years now. It’s been rebuilt a few times; its original wooden structure was no match for the relentless waves and wind that roll in off the Pacific here. Amphitrite Point is frequently blasted with gale-force winds and rogue waves and the Lighthouse sits in a tsunami zone so it had to be constructed in a different design (think more short and squat than your average lighthouse) in order to survive in its spot.
On the way back to The Cabins at Terrace Beach, we found the new Bog Interpretive Trail and took a quick detour around that loop to find carnivorous plants, remnants of old power poles, and other bog treasures. It was only 300m and a cute side trip from the larger trail system. This piece of the trail was added in 2018 and is proof positive that the trail system is constantly evolving and growing.
After a quick lunch, we headed back out to the Ancient Cedars and Rocky Bluffs trail loops. When you arrive on the West Coast at the Highway 4 junction, you turn left to go to Ucluelet. The first signs you see for the Wild Pacific Trail mark the entrance to Ancient Cedars Loop and you can just park on the side of the road. These pieces of the Trail cover about 2km of the full trail system and is mostly an easy grade walking path with a couple ups and downs.
Most everyone goes out to the West Coast for the stunning coastline and amazing beaches. The Wild Pacific Trail is a perfect way to embrace both and get you exploring the Ucluelet end of the peninsula. Stroller and pet-friendly, the trails are perfect for the whole family.
One visit to the Wild Pacific Trail and it’ll no doubt become one of your favourite spots on the West Coast! I’ve seen whales swimming in the distance, a marriage proposal at a lookout point, toddlers running around in their muddy buddy suits, and everyone laughing and smiling as they complete the loops. This is one of the only walks I do time and time again and still finish feeling completely exhilarated 😍
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