Top 10 Things to Do in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

rim park, west coast trail

Welcome to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, where the forest is so old, even the trees have wrinkles! This coastal wilderness located on the western coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and get in touch with nature. In this blog post, we'll be sharing the top 10 things to do in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve that are guaranteed to make you forget all about your daily worries, from surfing waves that are taller than your ego to hiking trails through rainforests so dense, you might get lost in your thoughts. So, put on your adventurous hat, leave your worries at the park entrance, and let's get wild!

1. Take a walk on the Rainforest Trail

south beach trail, parks canada

If you're looking for an adventure that will make you feel like you're in a scene straight out of "Jumanji," then taking a walk on the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim National Park is the perfect activity for you.

As you step onto the trail, you'll be surrounded by towering trees, mossy rocks, and an endless canopy of leaves that stretch high above you. It's like stepping into a magical world where fairies and unicorns might just be lurking behind the next tree.

But don't worry, you won't need a machete to hack your way through the dense vegetation, as the trail is well-maintained and easy to navigate. You'll have the chance to spot a variety of wildlife along the way, from birds to deer to the elusive Sasquatch (just kidding, he's probably not real).

And if you're feeling extra adventurous, why not pretend you're Indiana Jones and bring a whip and fedora? Okay, maybe leave the whip at home, but a fedora would be a pretty cool accessory for your Rainforest Trail expedition.

Just be prepared for the occasional spider web to the face or slipping on a wet rock, but hey, that's all part of the adventure, right? So, lace up your hiking boots, grab your water bottle and get ready to explore the mystical and magical Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim National Park.

2. Visit the Kwisitis Visitor Centre

pacific coast mountains

When you're ready for a break from all the surfing, hiking, and beachcombing that Pacific Rim National Park has to offer, head over to the Kwisitis Visitor Centre, where you'll learn all about the park and the region's natural and cultural history.

The Kwisitis Centre is so much more than just a visitor centre. It's like visiting a museum, an art gallery, and a science lab all rolled into one. You'll see displays of animals that you never even knew existed, like the Pacific giant octopus or the elusive Vancouver Island marmot (which is basically like a squirrel on steroids).

But don't let all the serious stuff intimidate you. The Kwisitis Centre is also a great place to have some fun. You can take goofy photos with the life-size whale statue, pretend to be a park ranger and give your friends impromptu guided tours there, or even try your hand at carving your totem pole (though maybe don't quit your day job just yet).

And if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the infamous Pacific Rim Sasquatch. Okay, maybe not, but the gift shop does sell some pretty convincing Sasquatch souvenirs that make for great gag gifts.

3. Go surfing at Long Beach

surfing, sunset, waves, long sandy beaches

The waves are legendary, the scenery is breathtaking, and the wetsuits are…well, let's just say they're not the most flattering piece of clothing you'll ever wear.

But fear not, brave surfer, because once you catch your first wave, you'll feel like you're on top of the world. Or, you know, on top of a six-foot swell. You'll feel like Kelly Slater, Laird Hamilton, or any other surfing legend you've ever heard of.

But let's be real, most of us are not surfing legends. We're just trying not to wipe out too many times and embarrass ourselves in front of the other surfers. And if you do wipe out, don't worry - it's all part of the fun. Just make sure you don't lose your board, or you'll be that guy/girl who has to swim to shore with their tail between their legs.

But even if surfing is not your thing, Long Beach is still worth a visit. You can watch the pros ride the waves from the safety of the shore, go for a stroll on the beach, or just soak up the sun and enjoy the ocean breeze. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can always try your hand at building a sandcastle.

4. Take a guided kayak tour along the rugged coastline

girl, kayak, lake, Pacific Rim park

If you're looking for a way to explore the rugged coastline of Pacific Rim National Park without getting your feet wet (or maybe you do want to get wet, who am I to judge?), then a guided kayak tour is the perfect activity for visitors of you.

As you glide through the crystal-clear waters, you'll feel like you're on a secret mission to discover hidden coves and secret beaches. You might even feel like a spy, sneaking up on unsuspecting sea lions and otters. Just don't forget to bring your binoculars and a fake mustache (for added stealth, of course).

And if you're lucky, your kayak guide might even have a sense of humour. They might point out rocks that look like celebrities or tell you tall tales about sea monsters that live in the depths below. Just remember to take everything they say with a grain of salt (or maybe a whole shaker of salt).

But the real highlight of the kayak tour is the stunning scenery. You'll see towering cliffs, sandy beaches, hidden waterfalls, and maybe even a bald eagle or two. And if you're feeling adventurous, you can even try kayaking through a sea cave (just make sure you don't get stuck).

5. Hike the Wild Pacific Trail

Rainforest Trail along the Pacific Ocean

As you hike west along the rugged coastline, you'll feel like you're on a quest to save Middle Earth (or at least, save yourself from the monotony of everyday life). You'll encounter lush forests, rocky cliffs, and breathtaking ocean views that will make you feel like you're on top of the world. Or, you know, on top of the west side of a tall hill.

The real highlight of a trip on the Wild Pacific Trail is the wildlife. You might encounter black bears, cougars, or even a Sasquatch (okay, maybe not Sasquatch, but it's fun to imagine). And if you're lucky, you might even spot a pod of whales or a playful seal in the ocean below the bog trail.

But don't forget to bring your camera (or your smartphone, let's be real) - the Wild Pacific Trail is a photographer's paradise. You'll want to capture every stunning vista and every quirky animal encounter for posterity. Just make sure you don't drop your phone off the edge of a cliff in the process (it happens more often than you'd think).

6. Watch for gray whales on a whale-watching tour

whale watching, alaska, whale

Ahoy, matey! If you're looking for a whale of a time (pun intended), then a gray whale-watching tour in Pacific Rim National Park is just what the doctor ordered.

As you set sail on your ocean adventure, you'll feel like a seasoned sailor, scanning the horizon for signs of life. You might even want to bring a telescope or a pirate's spyglass, just to get into the nautical spirit. And if you're feeling particularly bold, you can even wear an eyepatch and pretend like you're Captain Hook (just don't try to steal anyone's hand, please).

But the real treasure on this voyage is the majestic gray whales. These gentle giants migrate along the west coast of the Pacific Coast every year, and you'll have a front-row seat to the show. You might even see a mother and her calf frolicking in the waves, or a group of whales breaching (which is just a fancy word for jumping out of the water like they're trying to audition for a dolphin show).

The tour guides are there to educate you about these magnificent creatures. They'll tell you all about their behaviour, their diet, and their social structure (spoiler alert: they're way cooler than most humans). And if you're lucky, they might even teach you some whale songs (just don't sing them too loudly, or you might scare off the real whales).

But be warned - watching for whales can be a bit like playing a game of Where's Waldo (or Where's Wally, depending on where you're from). You might have to be patient and keep your eyes peeled for any telltale signs, like spouts of water or the sound of whales breathing (which is called a blow, by the way).

7. Camp at the Green Point Campground

barn, cabin, fire

Are you ready to experience nature up close and personal? Then pack your tent and head to Green Point Campground in Pacific Rim National Park, where the sights and smells of the great outdoors await you (but don't forget the bug spray, unless you want to be the main course at the mosquito buffet).

As you set up camp, you'll feel like a true wilderness warrior, ready to face any challenge that nature throws your way (including those pesky raccoons that like to steal your food when you're not looking). You might even want to wear a camouflage outfit and pretend like you're a survival expert (just don't forget to bring your smartphone charger, because let's be honest, who can survive without Instagram these days?).

The treasure of camping at Green Point Campground is the stunning natural beauty that surrounds you. You can hike through lush rainforests, walk along windswept beaches, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a bald eagle or a black bear (just make sure to keep a safe distance, unless you want to end up as a bear snack). And at night, you can snuggle up in your sleeping bag and listen to the sounds of the wilderness (which might include the occasional snoring camper or nocturnal wildlife party).

8. Explore the Broken Group Islands

rugged coasts separate regions from Schooner Trail

As you set sail on your adventure, you'll feel like a swashbuckling explorer, ready to discover new lands and claim them in the name of adventure (or just for the sake of bragging rights). You might even want to wear an eye patch and a pirate hat, just to get into character (and to protect your delicate skin from the harsh sun, of course).

But the real treasure of the Broken Group Islands is the diverse array of marine life and natural beauty that you'll encounter. You can paddle through crystal clear waters, past towering cliffs and secluded coves, and maybe even catch a glimpse of some curious sea otters or playful seals. And if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can even camp on one of the uninhabited small islands and pretend like you're Robinson Crusoe (just don't forget to bring a map and a compass, or you might end up stranded for real).

You might have to paddle around a few times to find the hidden coves and secret beaches and trails that make this place so special. And if you're not careful, you might even get lost in the labyrinth of islands wandering beaches and channels (which, let's be honest, might be kind of fun if you're in the mood for an adventure).

9. Explore the tidal pools at Schooner Cove

Long Beach Unit

Do you have a craving for adventure that's just not being satisfied? Are you looking for an experience that will make you feel like Jacques Cousteau or Ariel from The Little Mermaid? Then come explore the mountains and tidal pools at Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park!

Once you reach the tidal pools, you'll be transported to a whole new world, filled with colourful sea creatures, slippery seaweed, and possibly even a lost mermaid or two (although that might just be wishful thinking).

You'll have the chance to get up close and personal with some of the ocean's most fascinating inhabitants, from starfish and anemones to crabs and snails (just don't forget to wash your hands afterwards, unless you want to smell like the low tide for the rest of the day). And who knows, maybe you'll even discover a new species of sea creature and get to name it after yourself (just make sure to double-check with a marine biologist first).

10. Take a First Nations cultural tour

three separate regions in first nations

Led by knowledgeable and passionate guides, these tours will take you on a journey through the history, traditions, and legends of the local indigenous communities. You'll have the chance to witness captivating performances of traditional dances and songs, try your hand at carving or basket weaving, and learn about the ancient art of totem pole carving (just make sure to bring your chainsaw).

But a First Nations cultural tour is more than just a chance to learn about the past - it's also a chance to connect with the present and support the ongoing efforts of First Nations communities to preserve and share their culture. You might even get the chance to meet with local elders and hear their stories firsthand (just make sure to bring plenty of tissues for when the tears start flowing).

And don't forget about the food! A First Nations cultural tour is the perfect opportunity to sample traditional indigenous cuisine, like salmon cooked over an open fire or bannock bread (just make sure to bring your appetite and maybe some antacids). You might even learn a thing or two about the traditional medicinal properties of plants and herbs, although we can't guarantee that your new knowledge will cure your hangover.


In conclusion, if you haven't already added Pacific Rim National Park Reserve to your travel bucket list, you're seriously missing out! This place has everything you could ever want in a coastal wilderness, from ancient rainforests to dunes that are perfect for rolling down (just don't forget to wear pants, unless you want a sandy butt). The top 10 things to do in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are guaranteed to make you laugh, scream, and maybe even cry tears of joy. So, whether you're an experienced hiker or a newbie surfer, don't be afraid to embrace your wild side and explore all that this incredible park has to offer. Just don't blame us if you end up never wanting to leave!

Leave a comment