Tofino — Day 4 of a 5-Day Trip in Tofino
Day 4 was another beautiful day, which was ideal as we had a day planned for beach walks and forest trails. Our focus for Day 4 was visiting the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. In order to visit this park, you must get a park pass. There are a few options — 4 hour beach walk pass, daily (valid until 4pm the next day), annual pass, or the discovery pass. The 4 hour beach walk pass can be purchased at any of the parking lots in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The other options are only sold at select locations. We opted for the daily pass, which is $10/adult. The discovery pass is valid for more than 80 national parks in Canada for an entire year. This is a good option if you plan to visit other parks throughout the year.
Middle Beach Lodge offers a continental breakfast which includes pastries, hard boiled eggs, fruit, coffee, tea, and much more. We did not hesitate to partake.
After breakfast, we were off to the Tofino Information Centre to pick up a daily pass for the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve consists of more than 511 square meters of land with beaches and lush temperate rainforests. Our destinations for the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve were as follows — Long Beach, Rainforest Trail, Shorepine Bog Trail, and Wickaninnish Beach.
First stop – Long Beach. We did a short walk along Long Beach, but did not stay too long. The beach was quieter than Chesterman Beach, likely due to the rain. That did not stop the surfers from heading out in to the ocean. Long Beach also connects to Schooners Beach, Wickaninnish Beach, Combers Beach, which spans a total distance of 16km.
Next stop – Rainforest Trail. Rainforest Trail is true to its name and is popular for its wood boardwalk and lush trees. There are two loops, completing both will take about 40 minutes.
Next, we headed to Shorepine Bog Trail, another boardwalk trail. The ecosystem on this trail is unique, as it is a marsh-like habitat. It was almost as if we had been transported to another part of the world! The trail is short and can be completed in less than 30 minutes.
We then drove to Wickaninnish Beach, another popular beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. If you walk far enough along the beach, you will eventually get to Long Beach. Similar to Long Beach, there were many brave souls out in the ocean trying to catch the waves. We could also see a few paddle boarders riding the waves.
It was early afternoon and we were starving! So we headed back to downtown Tofino for a late lunch at 1909 Kitchen. We ordered the albacore tuna, woodfired meatballs, and thai chicken wings. Delicious! The restaurant also has tables by the window where you can enjoy your meal while gazing out at the water.
After lunch, we headed back to the Roy Henry Vickers Gallery to purchase artwork and picked up some maple candied smoked salmon from Dockside Smoked Fish Store. The Dockside Smoked Fish Store is located at the back of the House of Himwitsa Native Art Gallery. This is a good spot to view and purchase First Nations wood carvings, jewellery, gifts, and more.
We then drove to Cox Bay Beach. We watched the waves flow gently onto the beach and enjoyed our maple candied smoked salmon.
Cox Bay Beach
We walked towards the north of Cox Bay passing a cute rock opening which we had to investigate. It does not lead any where, but we took some nice photos!
There is a short trail called Sunset Trail leading up to Pettinger Point at the north of Cox Bay Beach, but the main trail entrance is located within the Pacific Sands Beach Resort. However, we climbed a few rocks from the beach and it eventually connected us to the trail. Pettinger Point is a good spot to watch the sunset and offers a higher view of the beach.
The sunset was mostly hidden by the clouds, but it was still a gorgeous spot. Next, we headed to Wolf in the Fog for some pre-dinner drinks and a snack. For food, we shared the Humboldt squid and for drinks, we ordered the Loose Bruce and the Cedar Sour. I particularly liked the Cedar Sour, which as the name indicates, has cedar infused rye.
Wolf in the Fog
To end our day, we walked to Shelter for dinner. We ordered the crispy brussel sprouts and mussels to share. Yum! I also ordered the Tofino Distillery Jalapeno Caesar – so spicy and good!
Shelter for Dinner
Complete Day 4 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
9:00am: Have breakfast and coffee at hotel. Option – Middle Beach Lodge.
10:00am: Purchase a day pass for the Pacific National Rim Park Reserve. Multiple locations to purchase from, but Tofino Information Centre is an option (8 minute drive from Middle Beach Lodge).
10:30am: Walk along Long Beach (9 minute drive).
11:00am: Walk the Rainforest Trail (5 minute drive).
12:00pm: Walk the Shorepine Bog Trail (6 minute drive).
1:00pm: Stop by Wickaninnish Beach (6 minute drive).
2:00pm: Have late lunch at 1909 Kitchen (19 minute drive).
3:00pm: Pick up smoked salmon at the Dockside Smoked Fish Store (5 minute drive). Visit the House of Himwitsa.
4:00pm: Head to Cox Bay Beach (12 minute drive). Hike up to Pettinger Point and watch the sunset.
6:00pm: Enjoy pre-dinner drinks at Wolf in the Fog (10 minute drive).
7:00pm: Have dinner at Shelter (4 minute walk from Wolf in the Fog).
5-Day Tofino Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 5-Day Tofino Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip to Tofino!