West Coast Trail: Hike of a lifetime

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

The West Coast Trail is a famous multi-day backpacking trail in the backcountry that even experienced hikers find challenging. Hikers must climb over 100 ladder systems with heavy packs, trek through deep mud, cross fast-flowing rivers, and face rough West Coast weather, which can include heavy wind and rain. Before deciding to reserve a spot on the West Coast Trail, it's important that you and your group fully understand what to expect on the journey.


On this page:

Is this hike for you | History | Planning | Staying Safe | Transportation | Protecting the park | Frequently asked questions | Resources


Important updates for 2024

Hiker safety primer and pre-hike briefings: In 2024, a mandatory West Coast Trail Hiker Primer Video will be available for previewing on your own computer. Viewing this video is crucial for your well-being and safety throughout your hike and is required for all West Coast Trail hikers. Additionally, the Primer video will be shown at the Pachena Bay and Gordon River Hikers Orientation centers at 10 a.m. and 2.p.m. daily.

During the registration process at the WCT trailheads, staff will provide updates on tides, weather conditions, human-wildlife coexistence, trail maintenance/construction, and any other important information. You have the option to register your group the day before your hike and receive your WCT Backcountry Use Permits, map, current tide tables, and an injury report form in case of any trail-related injuries.

For all hikers departing from Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village), the West Coast Trail Safety Primer video will only be available at this location at 3:00 p.m. daily. It is crucial to watch this Primer video before arriving at the Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) trailhead. During registration, staff will provide updates on tides, weather conditions, human-wildlife coexistence, trail maintenance/construction, and any other important information. You are requested to return at 7:00 a.m. to receive your WCT Backcountry Use Permits before staff guide you to the water taxi that takes you to the start of the West Coast Trail.

Reservations: Reservations for the West Coast Trail can be made for the 2024 season as of 8 a.m. PST on January 22, 2024. To reserve call 1-877-RESERVE or visit www.reservation.pc.gc.ca


 

West Coast Trail Hiker Preparation Guide

Transcript [music]

Animated title sequence: The West Coast Trail, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Parks Canada logo

[Hikers enjoying the trail]

[Narrator] The West Coast Trail is a multi-day backcountry hike along the west shoreline of Vancouver Island.

[Animated map of the West Coast Trail] [Animated text: West Coast Trail | 6 to 8 Days | 75 km]

"

Spanning 75 kilometres from Pachena Bay to Gordon River, " the trail lies in the traditional territories of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht First Nations.

[Montage of Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht First Nations people cutting down trees, clearing brush, and conversing with camera man on the West Coast Trail]

These Nations have been here since time immemorial and continue to call Vancouver Island home. Today, through cooperative management, the West Coast Trail Guardians from each of these Nations help maintain the trail, share stories and welcome hikers.

[Hikers encountering bridges, ladders and uneven terrain on West Coast Trail.]

This is one of British Columbia’s most challenging hiking routes. It covers extremely difficult terrain and should only be attempted by seasoned backcountry hikers with multi-day trek experience.

[Hikers with large backpacks walking along beach]

Before reserving your space, know what you’re signing up for to make sure this hike is for you.

[Animated title sequence: Is the West Coast Trail Right for You?]

[Montage of West Coast Trail hikers descending tall ladders, walking along beach with other hikers, and balancing on narrow sections of raised trail.]

"

Hiking the West Coast Trail is difficult, even for experienced hikers." Most people will spend between 6 and 8 days in the backcountry, when travelling from end-to-end. There’s also a mid-way entry point at Nitinaht Village, which can shorten your journey by a few days.

[Hikers walking on slippery rocks, crossing a flowing river, propelling the cable car and traipsing through ankle-deep deep mud.]

Strenuous terrain, fast-flowing river crossings, ladders and cable cars, mud and rain are guaranteed challenges. On top of that, you’ll have a heavy backpack and will likely be exhausted.

Animated text: Did You Know? Help can take up to 24 hours to reach you. [Search and Rescue boat arriving to shore]

Did you know that if you get injured on the trail, it can take up to 24 hours for help to reach you? Before you decide to take on the trail, ask yourself these questions:

Animated text: Yes or No. Hiked overnight before? [Hiker setting up tent]

First, have you and everyone in your group done a multi-day, overnight backcountry hike before?

[Confident hiker explaining something to other hikers]

Remember, an experienced hiker can’t compensate for someone inexperienced.

Animated text: Yes or No. Able to hike long distances?

Number two: can you hike long distances over rough terrain with a heavy pack? You’ll be carrying all your supplies on your back.

[Hiker climbing down ladder with large, seemingly havy backpack]

Climbing up ladders and over slippery ground with that extra weight is difficult.

Animated text: Yes or No. Are plans flexible?

Third, are your plans flexible in case of delays?

[Hikers on West Coast Trail during heavy rain and walking quickly along a narrow section of trail]

Forging ahead in bad weather, hiking late in the day or rushing to finish often leads to injury.

[Montage of hikers standing on bank of crashing river, deciding not to cross and waiting out a storm]

Floodwaters, repairs or an accident on the trail can delay your trip by days. If you can’t be flexible, rethink your plan.

Animated text: Yes or No. Healthy and injury-free?

Next, are you healthy and injury-free?

Animated text: Recent surgery, Concussion, Heart condition, Recurring injuries

If you’ve had a recent surgery or concussion, suffer from a heart condition, or struggle with recurring knee, ankle or back injuries, this hike is not for you.

[Search and Rescue team flying over trail in helicopter and assisting injured hiker.]

Joint injuries are a leading cause of evacuation —even something as small as an aggravated knee should be cleared by your doctor.

Animated text: Yes or No. Everyone over the age of 12?

Finally, is everyone in your group over the age of 12? All hikers must be at least 6 years old to get an overnight permit, though the trail isn’t recommended for anyone under 12.

Animation: Adult and child hiker with red "X" flashing over child, indicating children under twelve should not attempt the West Coast Trail.

If you have children, it's best to choose another hike.

"

Animated text: Yes or No? Animated checklist with all five items checked off: - Hiked overnight before? - Able to hike long distances? - Are plans flexible? - Healthy and injury-free? - Everyone over the age of 12?

"

If you answered YES to all five questions, the West Coast Trail may be a great fit for you.

Animated text: reservation.pc.gc.ca

Reserve your spot early, as hiking allocations go quickly!

"

Animated checklist with four items checked off and one list item with a red ""X"" beside it: - Hiked overnight before? - Able to hike long distances? - Are plans flexible? - Healthy and injury-free? - Everyone over the age of 12?

"

If you answered NO to EVEN ONE of these questions, consider one of many beautiful alternative hikes.

Animated list of alternative hikes: Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and Marine Trail – Vancouver, BC; Strathcona Provincial Park – Vancouver, BC; Wild Pacific Trail - Ucluelet, BC; Wild Side Trail - Flores Island, Ahousaht, BC

Now, it’s time to prepare…

Animated title sequence: How Do I Prepare for the West Coast Trail?

[West Coast Trail hikers walking over challenging, uneven terrain]

The West Coast Trail isn’t a hike you can decide to do on a whim —it’s a challenging trek, requiring careful preparation.

"

Animated title: When to Visit Animated text: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec [May to August highlighted in green]

"

The trail is reservable from May to September each year.

"

Animated title: Weather Animated text: 14 degrees celsius, 330 cm of rainfall

"

Summer temperatures average 14°C and the area sees about 330 cm rainfall annually.

Animation: rainclouds hovering over May and June

May and June are particularly wet. Before setting out, there are a few things you need to do: First, put together a training plan.

"

[Man outside on a training hike with his backpack and hiking boots on.] Animation: Freeweight icon, heartbeat icon Animated text: 3 months beforehand

"

Start a full-body strength and cardio program at least 3 months before your hike with uphill endurance training in mind. Practice hiking with your weighted pack and hiking boots well in advance.

[Hiker packing up campsite and typing up trip plan]

Remember, this should not be your first overnight backpacking experience! Before you leave, write out a trip plan and share it with your emergency contact.

Animated text: Where are you going? Who are you travelling with? What's your expected itinerary? What should they do if you don't return?

Include where you’re going, with whom, your nightly itinerary, an anticipated return date and instructions on what to do if you don’t return.

Because there are three access points to the trail,

[Search and Rescue helicopter landing on beach]

these details will be extremely helpful if search and rescue is required. Finally, while you’re on the trail, keep these safety tips in mind:

Animated text: Safety Tips. Take your time.

Move with caution, take breaks and set reasonable travel expectations.

[Montage of hikers rushing over tree roots and uneven surfaces on the West Coast Trail, then examples of hikers taking their time]

Accidents happen when people are tired or moving too fast. Always assume terrain is slippery and hike at the pace of your slowest group member.

Animated text: Safety Tips. Stay warm and dry.

Stay warm and dry.

[Hikers putting on sweaters and hiking during heavy downpour]

Injury and hypothermia happen more easily in cool, rainy weather, which is common on the trail, even in summer.

Animated text: Saftey Tips. Stay hydrated and well-fed

Keep hydrated and well-fed. It’s easy to become dehydrated and undernourished on the trail.

[Hikers stopping for snacks and mixing up trail food nad collecting water from streams, then filtering or boiling it]

You should be eating plenty of nutritious, high calorie food and drinking enough that you need to make regular pit stops —even on cooler days. Drinking water can be collected from most rivers and creeks —but to be safe, you should always carry enough to get you to the next large fresh water source. Always collect your water upstream and purify before drinking.

Animated text: Saftey Tips. Treat structures with respect

Treat the structures with respect.

[Hikers climbing ladder one at a time, loading gear in cable car before getting in and practicing general cable car safety

Limit the number of hikers at a time on ladders and cable cars and secure your equipment, straps, and clothing in the car before leaving the platform. Let the cable car come to a complete stop before pulling the rope to move yourself to the other side and keep your fingers and hair away from the pulleys!

Animated text: Saftey Tips. Be prepared for floodwaters

Be prepared to wait for floodwaters to subside at river crossings, which can take days.

[Hikers stopping to asses flowing river depth]

Don’t cross when water is flowing above the knees, as currents can easily sweep you downstream.

Animated text: Saftey Tips. Use tide tables

Use your tide tables and West Coast Trail map

[Hiker trapped by impassable headlands]

to avoid being trapped or cut off by impassable headlands.

"

Animated text: Saftey Tips. Store food properly [Hiker locking up food in metal wildlife-proof bin]

"

Always hang your food and garbage or store them in a wildlife-proof bin at the campsites so you don’t attract wild animals.

Animated text: Saftey Tips. Don't rely on cell phone

Lastly, there’s limited cell service on the trail.

[Hiker sitting on log, setting up safety device before heading out on hike]

If you have a safety device like a “SPOT”, “InReach” or satellite phone, learn to use it beforehand and have emergency messages pre-entered, just in case. Now that you’re familiar with the trail, it’s time to start packing.

[Animated title sequence: What Should I Pack for the West Coast Trail?]

[Hikers strapping on gators by stream and packing up campsite]

Your experience on the West Coast Trail will be far better if you’re comfortable and well-prepared.

[Hiker adjusting straps on backpack]

The first thing you’ll need is: A well-fitted backpack with a padded hip belt to distribute weight.

[Animated hiker icon offering supporting visual for 15-20 % bodyweight]

Your pack should weigh no more than 15-20% of your body weight.

[Hiker hanging backpack on outdoor scale at trail head and checking weight]

Weigh your bag as you pack and keep asking, “Do I really need this?”.

[Hiker adding unneeded items to bag with red "X" flashing overtop, indicating items are unnecessary]

Things like electronics, solar panels, and instruments are tempting but downtime on the trail

[Hikers boiling a pot of water on a camp stove and conversing around a campfire]

is usually spent cooking, socializing or sleeping. Sharing items like a tent, stove, pots and pans with your group can lighten the load and make everyone’s hike more comfortable!

[Hiker lining backpack with black garbage bag, then sealing clothes in a second garbage bag and placing in backpack]

Line your pack with a heavy-duty garbage bag or waterproof liner to protect your gear. You can also seal your sleeping bag and night clothes in an extra garbage or dry bag for added security.

"

[Hiker walking around campsite testing pack weight] [Hiker walking through parking lot with items swinging off side and red ""X' flashing over the improperly packed bag]

"

All your equipment should fit inside your pack, with heavier items near the bottom. Don’t leave anything swinging off the sides —it could get caught on trees or rocks and throw you off balance.

[Hikers lacing up boots and testing on slippery surfaces]

The next thing you need is proper hiking boots. Quality boots with good ankle and arch support are a must. Opt for soft rubber soles for traction on slippery surfaces and break your boots in at least one month before your hike

[Photo of tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad lined up with animated labels]

For shelter, a tent with a waterproof fly is necessary. You’ll also need a synthetic-filled sleeping bag and a sleeping pad for proper insulation at night.

[Closeup of hiker stirring pot of oats over a camp stove]

For meals, pack foods that are high energy, lightweight, and quick cooking,

[Photo of dehydrated meal, dried fruit and almonds, energy bars, and bag of oatmeal, with animated labels]

like dehydrated meals you can add water to, energy bars, dried fruit and nuts, and oatmeal.

[Person adjusting temperature on camp stove and writing out meal plan on pad of paper]

Bring a lightweight stove and fuel and plan your meals before your trip to keep pack weight to a minimum.

[Hiker going through backpack and pulling out sealed bag of trail food]

It’s a good idea to have at least a day’s worth of emergency rations in case you end up on the trail longer than expected.

[Photo of rain gear, under layers, rain gear, socks, hat and gloves]

For clothing, bring a waterproof jacket and pants, quick-dry under-layers that will stay warm when wet, like wool, fleece and Polypropylene, as well as proper hiking socks, a warm hat, and gloves.

[Hikers walking through a downpour]

Avoid cotton and jean materials—again, hypothermia is a risk if you get wet, Even in summer, the coast is typically blanketed with fog, meaning cool, damp conditions.

so quick-dry clothing is essential.

[Animated icons of a watch, a bandaid, rope, a water droplet, walking sticks, a lighter, and an emergency signaling device]

Other important items to remember are a watch to use with tide tables, a first aid kit including prescription medication, 15 metres of rope to hang your food, a water container and purification system, collapsible hiking poles, a waterproof fire starter and, if possible, an emergency signaling device…

[Hikers trying to find the right way to go]

Remember, your cellphone will be unreliable on the trail.

Animated text: parkscanada.ca/wct-brochures

There are a few other items to consider bringing. Download the West Coast Trail Hiker Preparation Guide from the Parks Canada website for the full list.

[Hikers taking ofdf backpacks and sitting down in red Parks Canada chairs to enjoy the view]

The West Coast Trail is an incredible bucket list experience —one you’ll remember forever. Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to get out there and start training. Happy trails!

Credits:

"

[Parks Canada logo Like. Comment. Share. PC.GC.CA social media logos]

"

Download a copy of the West Coast Trail Hiker Preparation Guide here.

Is this hike for you?

Multi-level ladders like this are just one of the many challenging hiking features found on the West Coast Trail

This hike is not for everyone

The West Coast Trail is an iconic backcountry, multi-day backpacking trail that is a challenge for even the most experienced hikers. Hikers climb more than 100 ladder systems with a heavy pack, trudge through deep mud, wade through fast-flowing rivers, and endure rough West Coast weather - often heavy wind and rain.

Before you decide whether to make a West Coast Trail reservation, make sure you and the rest of your party have a good understanding of what is involved.

This is a remote Type 3 trail and hikers should expect missing or rotten boardwalks, missing planks, missing ladders or consecutive ladder rungs, non-functioning cable cars, downed trees, and unpassable creeks and rivers.

The West Coast Trail IS for hikers who are:
  • Proficient in multi-day overnight backpacking. Experienced group leaders cannot compensate for inexperienced hikers.
  • Able to hike long distances through rough terrain carrying a heavy backpack containing everything needed to be prepared for a wilderness experience.
  • Flexible with their hiking plans to adjust if conditions warrant delays. Injuries, weather patterns, or other factors could mean a longer hike than anticipated. Hikers may have to wait several days during heavy rain to cross rivers safely.

If you checked off ALL these boxes, then the West Coast Trail may be for you!

The West Coast Trail SHOULD NOT be considered if:
  • You have no prior multi-day backpacking experience.
  • You have a serious heart condition, breathing difficulties, or other complications associated with a medical condition.
  • You experience re-occurring knee, back, or ankle injuries and/or pain. You have had previous knee, hip or leg injuries.
  • You have had recent surgery or a concussion and are at risk of re-injury.
  • You are under 12 years of age. The West Coast Trail is not recommended for children under 12. All party members must be at least 6 years of age; Parks Canada will not issue a West Coast Trail Backcountry Use Permit to children under 6 years old.

If you checked off ANY of these boxes, then the West Coast Trail is not for you.

Some alternative options may be:

  • Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and Marine Trail, Vancouver Island, BC
  • Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island, BC
  • Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet, BC
  • Wild Side Trail, Flores Island, Ahousaht, BC
  • Jasper National Park, Alberta
  • Banff National Park, Alberta
  • Bruce Peninsula National Park, Southern Ontario
Are you prepared for a multi-day backcountry hike?

All hikers in your group MUST be prepared for:

  • 6-8 days in the back-country: This may vary depending on experience, weather, trail conditions, and if you enter/exit at Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village).
  • Rugged, uneven ground: on average it takes approximately 2-3 days to travel the southern 22km of the trail between Gordon River and Walbran Creek.
  • Slippery conditions on muddy trails, thousands of slippery roots, uneven wooden surfaces, boulders and rocky shorelines.
  • Difficult travel: wading rivers, climbing long and steep ladders, using cable cars, following an irregular trail, negotiating steep slopes and earth slumps.
  • Damaged structures: trail maintenance is ongoing. Boardwalks will be broken, will have exposed nails, will be uneven, or may be completely missing. Ladders may be completely missing or may be missing consecutive ladder rungs. Cable cars may be out of commission, making river crossings dangerous and impossible in areas. Hikers may have to wait several days during heavy rain to cross rivers safely.
  • A temperate rainforest climate: Rainfall averages 330 cm (130 in.) per year with heavy rainfall possible at any time. Floodwaters can delay hikers for days. Fog is common, especially in July and August. The average summer temperature is 14° Celsius (57° F). Incidents of hypothermia and physical injury increase significantly during prolonged wet periods. Be prepared for cold wet conditions even during the warmest summer months.
  • Aches, pains, and injuries: Muscle soreness, pain and injuries happen. It is important to understand that it may take more than 24 hours for help to be notified. Weather and sea conditions may also cause delays for the rescue team.

 


History of the West Coast Trail

The 75 kilometre (47 mile) West Coast Trail is part of the ancient paths and paddling routes used for trade and travel by first nations. Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht villages and camps were well established before the foreign sailing ships started to arrive off this coast over 200 years ago.


More history

As the years passed and the number of ships sailing the Juan de Fuca Strait increased, so too did the number of shipwrecks and drownings along the coast. In time, the coastline became known as, “the Graveyard of the Pacific.”

To aid sailors navigating the shoals, currents, thick fogs, and winter storms of the west coast, the government of Canada established the Cape Beale Lighthouse in 1873 and the Carmanah Lighthouse in 1891. By the time the Carmanah Lighthouse was operational, a telegraph line had been strung through the trails and traditional territories of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht First Nations to establish communications between the lighthouses and Victoria.

While the lights and lines helped, they were not enough to stop the number of shipwrecks from growing. In 1906, when the steamship Valencia went down with the horrific loss of more than 125 lives, the public outcry prompted the Canadian government into further action: Pachena Lighthouse was constructed in 1907; lifesaving stations were established at Cloo-ose and Bamfield; the telegraph route was upgraded to become the Dominion Life Saving Trail, complete with six shelters stocked with provisions for both shipwreck victims and their rescuers.

As navigation technology improved, many of these measures became obsolete and were abandoned. In 1970, PRNPR was established and in 1973, the lifesaving trail was included in the National Park Reserve as a recreational hiking trail, beginning a new chapter in its history.

Today, over 7,500 backpackers hike the West Coast Trail every year. They come to see the beauty, experience the challenges, and walk the path of those that came before them.


Planning your West Coast Trail adventure

The West Coast Trail (WCT) is open and reservable from May 1 to September 30 each year.

Prolonged periods of heavy rain, strong winds, high tides, large waves and short days necessitate closing the trail from October 7 to April 30 annually.

Passes and permits

Maximum group size is 10. The only exceptions are custodial groups who may have up to 18 hikers.

Entry and exit points: Pachena Bay (north), Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) (mid-point), and Gordon River (south).

Entry or exit at any other point is not permitted unless an evacuation is required.

Hikers should plan for a minimum of 2-3 nights between Nitinaht Narrows and Pachena Bay.

Hikers should plan for a minimum of 4-5 nights between Nitinaht Narrows and Gordon River.

Potential Fire Bans: It is vital that all hikers check on the status of fire bans before the hike and adhere to any prohibitions or restrictions. When permitted, fires must be kept small, and located below the high tide line.

National Park Entry Pass

All visitors to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are required to always have a valid National Park Entry Pass while they are visiting the National Park Reserve.

Youth (17 years of age and younger) receive free entry into all of Parks Canada’s places but still require a National Park Entry Pass. This means that, in addition to requiring a valid West Coast Trail Backcountry Use Permit, all visitors 18 years of age and older are also required to purchase a valid National Park Entry Pass.

While on the West Coast Trail all hikers must always have their National Park Entry Pass on their person. Do not leave the pass in your vehicle.

The revenue from national park entry fees remains within the Coastal BC Field Unit to support the services and facilities that all visitors enjoy (including boardwalks, the Guardian program, trails, ladders, cable cars, campgrounds, outhouses, visitor safety, programs and more.)

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve daily entry passes can be purchased at any facility in the national park reserve, (including the West Coast Trail Orientation Centres) or from Huu-ay-aht First Nation Market & Cafe, Secret Beach Campground and Kayak Launch, Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Ucluelet, Tourism Tofino or the Wickaninnish Inn.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve annual entry passes can be purchased at any facility in the national park reserve, (including the West Coast Trail Orientation Centres), they can be purchased online or from Huu-ay-aht First Nation Market & Cafe, Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce, Secret Beach Campground and Kayak Launch, Tourism Ucluelet, or Tourism Tofino.

Parks Canada annual Discovery Passes can be purchased at any facility in the national park reserve (including the West Coast Trail Orientation Centres) or they can be purchased online.

Commercial Groups/Tours must purchase their national park entry passes through the Parks Canada Commercial Sales Office (see your business license application for more details).

Reservations

Reservations for Gordon River, Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) and Pachena Bay entries are available online and through the Parks Canada Call Centre up to 2 days prior to departure.

Reservation Service Online Call centre
Reservation Service is available mid-to-late January until September 30, 2024 - 7 days a week.
  • 8 am - 6 pm PST
  • 7 days a week
  • 1-877-737-3783 (Canada & USA)
  • 1-519-826-5391 (International)

When making a reservation, have the following ready:

  • Preferred start and end dates - first choice and alternate dates.
  • The access point you plan to start from - Pachena Bay, Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) or Gordon River.
  • The exit point - Pachena Bay, Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) or Gordon River.
  • The number of hikers and age range in your group.
  • Hiker names and emergency contacts for each hiker.
  • Method of payment: Visa, MasterCard or American Express.
  • An email address to send confirmation and orientation information.

To avoid overcrowding and reduce environmental damage, Parks Canada limits the number of overnight hikers each day.

Standby list: Standby spaces are no longer available, all spaces are 100% reservable.

Reservations for overnight back-country camping at Keeha Beach are available online or through the call centre. Register your group at the West Coast Trail Orientation Centre at Pachena Bay prior to overnight hiking to Keeha Beach or Tapaltos Bay.

The Nitinaht Triangle is closed to all guests.

Fees

In addition to a National Park Entry pass, a West Coast Trail Backcountry Use Permit is required for all users of the West Coast Trail . These fees help support the cost of operating the West Coast Trail (e.g. rescue services, information services, construction of ladders, cable cars, boardwalks and bridges).

Additional ferry fees pay for passage across Gordon River and Nitinaht Narrows, a service provided by the Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations throughout the hiking season. If entering or exiting the trail from Nitinaht Narrows, the Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) Water Taxi fee is $70.00 per person one way for travel up or down the lake.

Hikers planning to enter or exit the trail at Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) can pay this fee, in cash, directly to the water taxi operator.

The water taxi leaves only once per day:

  • approximately 8:00 a.m. from Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) to Nitinaht Narrows
  • approximately 4:30 p.m. from Nitinaht Narrows to Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village)

A reservation fee of $25.75 per person is applicable when making a reservation through the Parks Canada Reservation Service.

Cancelation Policy

When cancelling a reservation 21 days or more prior to the departure date, the West Coast Trail Backcountry Use Permit and the ferry fees are fully refundable. The reservation fee is non-refundable and an $11.50 on-line (or $13.50 through the call centre) cancellation fee will apply per booking.

When cancelling a reservation 20 days or less prior to the departure date, the West Coast Trail Backcountry Use Permit fees are non refundable, only the ferry fees are eligible for a refund if cancellations are made within 20 days of the departure date. The non-refundable cancellation fee of $11.50 online (or $13.50 through call centre) also applies.

All fees are subject to change.

 

Example Hiker Fees:

Pachena Bay to Gordon River (Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) to Gordon River (Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village)to Pachena Bay
Reservation Fee $25.75 $25.75 $25.75
West Coast Trail Backcountry Use PERMIT $166.75 $166.75 $166.75
Ferry Fee – Gordon River $28.00 $28.00 -
Ferry Fee – Nitinaht Narrows $28.00 - -
Water Taxi Fee – (Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) to Nitinaht Narrows (one way) - $70.00 $70.00
National Park Entry Fee;

or Pacific Rim Annual Pass; 
or National Discovery Pass

see below see below see below
National Park Entry Fees
National Park Entry Fees: Adult Senior Family or Group
  $11.00/day $9.50/day $22.00/day
  • All fees are per person, include all taxes, and are listed in Canadian funds.
  • All fees are subject to change.
  • Hikers making a reservation through the Parks Canada Reservation System pay all of the applicable fees at the time of their reservation, except for any Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) Water Taxi fees and National Park Entry passes. National Park Entry passes can be purchased in person at the West Coast Trail Orientation Centres prior to starting your hike.

Visit our website or contact the National Park Reserve for an up-to-date fee schedule prior to your departure.

Hiker safety primer and pre-hike briefings

All users of the West Coast Trail MUST view the West Coast Trail Hiker Safety Primer.

The Primer is viewed online; links are sent out 1 - 2 weeks before arrival. Additionally, the video will be shown at the Pachena Bay and Gordon River Hikers Orientation centers at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.

The purpose of the West Coast Trail Hiker Safety Primer is to:

  • Provide information about safety issues to reduce the number of hiker injuries and wildlife encounters.
  • Reduce environmental impacts by providing backcountry etiquette information.
  • Provide information on how to be CoastSmart.
  • Provide information on how to read tide charts.

West Coast Trail Pre-Hike Briefings:

Before your hike, you must attend a briefing at Gordon River, Pachena Bay, or Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village). Parks Canada staff will provide information about current issues and trail conditions, as well as issue West Coast Trail Backcountry Use permits or West Coast Trail Day Use permits. National Park Entry Fees and any other additional fees will be collected.

Please bring your reservation confirmation information to the briefing.

Hikers will be issued a waterproof Pacific Rim National Park Reserve West Coast Trail map and Tofino tide table references when they register at the briefing.

  • West Coast Trail pre-hike briefings are only offered at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. daily between May 1 and September 30 at Gordon River and Pachena Bay.
  • Reservations are not necessary for the West Coast Trail pre-hike briefings.
  • Hikers may check in and participate in a pre-hike briefing session as early as the day before their hike starts.
  • We strongly recommend hikers start the trail a minimum of 5 hours before sunset to ensure a camping area is reached before nightfall. Hiking from Gordon River to Camper Bay in one day is not advisable. Plan to camp at Thrasher Cove. Statistics show that most accidents occur later in the day in this area.

Pre-Hike Briefings at Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village):

  • Hikers accessing the trail at Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) will go through the pre-hike briefing process at the Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) Orientation Centre in Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village).
  • The West Coast Trail Safety Primer video will only be available at this location at 3:00 p.m. daily. It is crucial to watch this Primer video before arriving at the Balaats’adt (NitinahtVillage) trailhead.
  • Pre-hike briefings are offered at the Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) Orientation Centre at 7:00 a.m. (subject to change). Hikers are able to register their party at 3:00 p.m. the day before but must meet the following morning for a pre-hike briefing.
  • Plan accordingly, an overnight stay at Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) may be necessary prior to departing on the 8:00 a.m. water taxi. A water taxi fee of $70.00 is payable directly to the operator. (Note: there is only one water-taxi down the lake per day, at 8:00 a.m., leaving from Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) to Nitinaht Narrows. A return water taxi to Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) is at 4:30 p.m. daily).
Ferry crossings and access points

The Gordon River Ferry operates daily from May 1 to October 7. The first crossing is at 8:45 a.m. and then 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

The Nitinaht Narrows Ferry operates daily from May 1 to October 7 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on an as needed basis.

At the access points:

There are some basic tourism services at, or near, all access points. These include accommodations, campgrounds, phones, fuel, some groceries, and food services. There is an ATM at Huu-ayaht First Nation’s Market and Café in Bamfield.

There are no banking services in the villages of Bamfield, Port Renfrew, or Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village).

Cell phone service is limited in Bamfield and Port Renfrew. There is no cell service at the Pachena Bay Trailhead or Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village).

Equipment

To enjoy your West Coast Trail experience you must be comfortable; use quality, lightweight equipment. Your pack should weigh no more than 25%-30% of your body weight. Reassess the content of your pack if it is heavier than this.

  • Sturdy boots: High quality hiking boots with good ankle and arch support are required. Soft rubber soles provide better traction on slippery surfaces than hard soles. Do not break in new boots on this hike. An additional pair of sandals or running shoes are good for wearing around camp and for river crossings.
  • Rainwear and warm clothing: Bring a durable waterproof jacket and pants; under-layers that keep you warm when wet and are quick to dry, as well as a warm hat and gloves.
  • Lightweight backpacking stove and fuel.
  • High energy, lightweight, quick-cooking food. To reduce excess pack weight, pre-plan and pack daily meals and snacks before your trip.
  • Backpacks require a well fitted, padded hip belt and should be lined with a heavy duty garbage bag or waterproof liner. All of your equipment should fit inside your backpack.
  • A tent with a waterproof fly is absolutely necessary.
  • Sleeping bag: synthetic fills are preferable, as down bags lose warmth when wet. Pack sleeping bags in waterproof bags and carry them inside the backpack.
  • Closed-cell foam sleeping pad.
  • The current Pacific Rim National Park Reserve West Coast Trail Map, which will be obtained at the trailheads along with a copy of the current tide charts (Tofino).
  • A watch for use with tide charts.
  • First aid kit that includes personal medications and treatments for injuries.
  • 15 metres (50 ft) of synthetic rope per group to hang food, use as clothes-line, etc.
  • Cell phones have limited use but can be useful in some locations. Do not rely on cell coverage but they can be used in conjunction with other signaling methods. Ensure phones are fully charged.
  • Gaiters and hiking poles.

Also consider:

  • an emergency signaling device
  • cash for unexpected emergencies (up to $100 per person is recommended)
  • water container, water purification equipment
  • toilet paper
  • zip-lock type plastic bags for keeping permits and other small items dry
  • waterproof lighter and/or matches
  • fire starter
  • garbage bags to pack out all your refuse
  • sun screen
  • lip screen
  • sunglasses
  • hand sanitizer
  • toiletries
  • flashlight
  • weather radio
  • repair kits for equipment
  • lightweight shoes for camp and river crossings
  • cooking and eating utensils
  • walking stick or retractable hiking poles
  • bear spray and/or air-horn

Do not bring an axe, firearms, bear bangers, or pets!


Staying safe

 

Before you leave for the trail, write a trip plan: leave it with a responsible person who is not hiking with you (e.g. friend or family member). Detail where you are going, with whom, when you plan to return, and what to do if you do not return as planned. If possible, include an expected nightly trip itinerary and any known medical issues within the group. A West Coast Trail Backcountry Use Permit does not fulfil this role.

For an example of a trip plan see: AdventureSmart.ca.

A safe and enjoyable trip

Travel in the backcountry requires special attention to safety due to the numerous hazards one may encounter. Every season a number of hikers sustain minor injuries but are able to safely make their way off the trail without assistance. Additionally, 60-80 hikers suffer more serious injuries requiring evacuation by Parks Canada’s Visitor Safety team. The most significant contributing factors leading to injuries are previous health issues or a combination of the weather, rough terrain, fatigue, and the level of physical preparation of hikers, however unavoidable accidents do happen.

Based on these factors, we encourage hikers to:

  • Prepare themselves physically for the hike.
  • Keep packs as light as possible and be prepared to carry your pack for 6-8 days.
  • Travel slowly and cautiously over slippery terrain (stay focused).
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Set reasonable travel expectations each day for your abilities.
  • Use hiking pole(s).

Ensure that your party takes time to enjoy the experience. Many accidents and injuries occur when hikers are rushing, not paying attention to terrain, tired, or hiking too late in the day. Do not cross rivers when water level is above your knees. Respect the capabilities of the slowest group member. Take adequate rest breaks and keep the group together. Never split up the group.

During wet, rainy weather, occurrences of physical injury and hypothermia increase significantly. Hypothermia is the lowering of the core body temperature; if not stopped, symptoms can progress from slurred speech and lack of co-ordination to uncontrolled shivering to loss of consciousness and finally heart failure. Ensure everyone in your party is warm, dry, hydrated and well fed.

Assume all walking surfaces are always slippery, not only during damp or rainy periods. Slippery conditions on muddy trails, roots, wooden surfaces, boulders, and rocky shorelines are a major hazard. Hiking too fast, fatigue, poor light conditions, improperly balanced or heavy packs and inadequate footwear all contribute to injuries and accidents.

Bridges and ladders: special care should be taken on all built structures. No more than one person should be on a section of ladder at one time, and no more than two people on a bridge at one time. Large groups should allow extra time to progress past ladder sections. Always maintain 3 points of contact when on ladders.

Cable Cars: keep your fingers, hands, and hair away from the pulleys. Only two people (and their gear) per cable car and platform. Platforms can be very slippery, use caution.

Trail Maintenance is continually ongoing. Boardwalks may be broken for several kilometres; ladders may be missing rungs. Cable cars may be out of commission, making river crossings dangerous and impossible in areas.

Hikers must wade across some creeks and rivers. Be prepared to wait for flood waters to subside; this may take one or more days. Wait for safe water levels and low tides, undo all straps including chest and hip (if you fall, you can slip out of your pack more easily) and wear running shoes or sandals (for river crossings only).

High tides can make beach walking very difficult and sometimes impossible. Carefully follow both the tide charts (Tofino) and West Coast Trail map to avoid being trapped or cut off. Consider the overnight high tide when pitching your tent on the beach. Watch also for large ocean waves and swells when hiking near the water’s edge. For more information on being CoastSmart and to “Know Before You Go Near the Water” refer to CoastSmart.ca

Tsunamis: If the ground shakes under your feet, or you see the waterline quickly recede from the shore, a tsunami may be coming. Move to higher ground and/or follow tsunami evacuation routes. Attempt to gain 20 metres in elevation in 20 minutes.

Drinking water is available from most rivers and creeks. Collect water upstream, then purify, boil or filter it. Do not contaminate water for others.

Do not consume bivalve shellfish (clams, mussels, & oysters) due to regular occurrences of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). PSP can result in serious illness or death.

Fresh water fishing is not permitted on the West Coast Trail.

Salt water fishing is permitted on the West Coast Trail. Carry the appropriate licenses (BC Tidal Waters Sports Fishing License) and follow the regulations and closures.

How to contact help in an emergency

In an emergency follow the safety advice given to you by Parks Canada staff, lighthouse keepers, First Nation Trail Guardians, or ferry operators; they will notify authorities and assist you until more help arrives.

Cell phone coverage is inconsistent on the West Coast Trail. Do not expect cell phone service, however, roaming connection to US carriers may be possible at some shoreline locations.

Devices such as “SPOT”, “inReach”, satellite phones, and VHF radios are often the only devices that will work on the West Coast Trail. Be familiar with your device and how it operates. Make sure to let your contact person know how to contact Parks Canada Emergency Response in case of an emergency.

Each hiking party is responsible for assisting injured members of their party.

If you are injured,

  • but can hike and don’t need medical attention, try to get off the trail at the nearest exit with assistance of your party or other hikers and report your injury to Parks Canada staff; you should not continue hiking in the hope that your condition will improve.
  • and cannot hike to the nearest exit or you need medical attention, follow the instructions in the West Coast Trail Safety Information sheet that is issued to all parties with their West Coast Trail Backcountry Use Permit. Parks Canada staff are responsible for assisting injured hikers. The majority of evacuations are done by the Parks Canada Visitor Safety Team by boat, though a serious or complex evacuation may require assistance from other agencies.

Parks Canada staff will evacuate injured hikers to the nearest exit point, ambulance, or medical facility. This is not necessarily the most convenient location for the injured hiker.

Minor complaints such as blisters, sore feet, fatigue and lack of food do not warrant evacuation. The Visitor Safety team works very hard and often gets multiple call-outs on the same day. Please only contact them for serious situations or questions.


Transportation to and from the West Coast Trail

Parks Canada provides this listing for the convenience of hikers. It is not intended as a testimonial for the services. Hikers make their own arrangements for transportation services. Refer to Resources section of this page for contact information. Reservations for transportation are recommended.

Vehicles can be left at a number of locations near the access points. Ask for details once you arrive at the West Coast Trail Orientation Centres.

To Pachena Bay West Coast Trail Orientation Centre, 5 km south of Bamfield
  • Drive on gravel logging roads from Port Alberni (2 hrs) or Duncan (3 hrs).
  • Bus from Victoria (5.5 hrs), Nanaimo (3.5 hrs), with the West Coast Trail Express.
  • Bamfield Taxi is available to transport hikers from Bamfield to the Pachena Bay trailhead.
  • In 2018, Huu-ay-aht First Nations put in a 4.5 km walking trail, Tiičmis Tašii, that provides a safe walking connection between Anacla and Bamfield. Please use this trail when accessing Bamfield and do not walk on the road.
To Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) Orientation Centre in Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village), 80 km southeast of Port Alberni
  • Drive on gravel logging roads from Port Alberni (2 hrs) or Duncan (2.5 hrs)
  • See the Ditidaht First Nation website for detailed directions to Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village)
Between Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) and Nitinaht Narrows

The Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) Water Taxi makes only one scheduled trip each way per day between Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village), at the head of Nitinaht Lake, and Nitinaht Narrows on the West Coast Trail.

  • 8:00 a.m. departure from the Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) Dock to Nitinaht Narrows on the West Coast Trail.
  • 4:30 p.m. departure from Nitinaht Narrows on the West Coast Trail to Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) dock.

Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) is a small, remote community; an overnight stay may be required. You have the option to stay in the motel or campground for the night. There is no cell phone service.

To Gordon River West Coast Trail Orientation Centre, 5 km north of Port Renfrew
  • Drive from Victoria via Highway 14 (2 hrs), or Duncan (1.5 hrs) via logging road.
  • Bus from Victoria (2 hrs) with West Coast Trail Express.
Between Port Renfrew, Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) and Bamfield by logging road
  • Bus (3 hrs) with West Coast Trail Express on gravel logging roads

When travelling by West Coast Trail Express to Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village), the West Coast Trail Express will stop at the Junction (7 km from Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village)) and you will be transferred to Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village) by another vehicle.


Protecting the West Coast Trail and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Parks Canada is responsible for ensuring the sustainability and integrity of the natural and cultural resources in its care. Everyone can help to protect the ecological integrity and cultural heritage of the West Coast Trail. Working with others, we strive to provide Canadians and international visitors with the opportunity to learn about Canada’s heritage.

Parks Canada, the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations work collaboratively to ensure protection, preservation and presentation of these lands. Respectful behaviour from all hikers will lead to a safe and rewarding experience and contribute to a healthy, functioning ecosystem.

Backcountry etiquette: low impact camping

It is an offence under the Canada National Parks Act to collect, remove, destroy, or deface any natural or cultural heritage resource within national park reserve boundaries. This includes defacing artifacts, cutting trees for firewood or makeshift shelters and collecting or removing marine life, shellfish, fossils, artifacts, plants, etc. Leave Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in as good or better condition than you found it.

Use a stove and minimize fires. Do not rely on fires for cooking, staying warm or drying out. Small driftwood fires are permitted below the high tide line on beaches only: fires are not permitted in the forest. Use only driftwood (no thicker than your wrist): do not cut vegetation, trees or other plants, and keep fires away from beach logs. Make sure fires have burned out, or are extinguished with water, and dismantled. No trace of the fire should be left. Conserve firewood for other hikers later in the season

Support safe water: use outhouses. Outhouses are available at all designated camping areas. If you are stuck between outhouses, dig a hole 20 centimetres (7 inch) deep, at least 30 metres (100 feet or three bus lengths) away from water sources and well off the trail. Bury the human waste. Dispose of toilet paper in outhouses or pack it out. Use composting outhouses for bodily waste and toilet paper only. They are not compost piles for food scraps, garbage, feminine hygiene products or disposable wipes.

If possible, camp on the beach above the high-tide line to reduce the impact and soil compaction in vegetated areas.

Ensure all washing (bodies, clothes, and dishes) is carried out in the ocean or at the mouth of rivers. Do not contaminate any water upstream. Dispose of any dirty water at least 30 metres from drinking water sources. Use only biodegradable soap.

Your actions can kill wildlife and endanger hikers. Use metal food lockers or bear poles to store wildlife attractants if they are available, and if they are not available hang your food, garbage and toiletries out of reach of animals and away from tents. Items should be a minimum of 4 metres (12 feet) off the ground, 3 metres (9 feet) from the trunk of the tree and 3 metres (9 feet) down from the limb.

Pack it in, pack it out. There are no garbage cans on the West Coast Trail: everything you pack in you must pack out, including orange peels, extra food (do not think you are doing anyone a favour by leaving extra food or supplies in the food lockers), feminine hygiene products, tarps, ropes, and wet clothes. Before arriving at the trail, minimize packaging to reduce garbage and weight. When you depart a campsite, do not leave any items in the metal food lockers. You are not helping other hikers by leaving food or other items behind. The food lockers will become full and unusable, will eventually smell, and still be an attractant to wildlife. Pack out all of your garbage and food.

First Nation reserves and treaty settlement lands located along the West Coast Trail are private property. The First Nations welcome you and ask that you stay on the main trail/beach and obey all signs. Patrol and Guardian cabins are not for hikers.

Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.

Living with wildlife

Black bears, wolves and cougars use the beaches and trails. All wild animals are potentially dangerous. To avoid a dangerous encounter with wildlife stay alert and keep these points in mind:

  • Keep food and garbage inaccessible to wildlife; they are attractants.
  • Keep children (6 years and older) close to you.
  • If you encounter a predator, group together, face the animal and retreat slowly. Give them an avenue of escape; do not run or play dead.
  • In the unlikely event of an attack, try to appear big and aggressive: shout, wave a stick or throw rocks.
  • Knowledge, alertness and a clean campsite can help avoid a dangerous encounter. Never approach a predator. Always give them an avenue of escape.
  • If you encounter a predator, do not run - it may trigger an attack. Follow the recommendations in You are in Black Bear Country and You are in Wolf and Cougar Country.
  • Read the West Coast Trail bulletin and talk to the Parks Canada staff at the West Coast Trail Orientation Centres if you have questions.
  • Report any wildlife sightings (with location and details) to the West Coast Trail orientation centre staff when you exit the trail.


Frequently asked questions

Do I need a permit to hike the trail?

Yes. Even if you are only planning a day hike, you need to obtain a permit, participate in the orientation session and check-in once you are off the trail.

Should I make a reservation?

Standby spaces are not available; all spaces are reservable.

Do I have to pay a fee?

Yes. Fees must be paid by everyone that hikes the West Coast Trail. Payment is made at the time of reservation.

Are tsunamis a likely occurrence?

The west coast experiences several small earthquakes each year. The chances of a tsunami occurring are very slim. If a tsunami alert is issued, hikers on the trail will be notified. If you feel the ground shake or if the water in the ocean suddenly goes out, head for high ground and follow the tsunami escape route.

Will I have to pay for an evacuation if I need one?

When you pay for your West Coast Trail Backcountry Use Permit, part of your payment goes to support the rescue services that Parks Canada staff perform.

I have heard that dogs have been allowed on the trail. Is this true?

Dogs are not permitted on the West Coast Trail unless they are service animals.

Can I hire a helicopter to bring my family to Tsusiat Falls for the afternoon?

No, the only means of accessing any section of the West Coast Trail is to hike from either Pachena Bay, Gordon River or Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village).

What do I do if food lockers are full when I arrive at a camping area?

If the food lockers are full, or there isn’t one where you are camping, hang your food approximately 4 metres off the ground and 3 meters away from tree trunk. Do not hang your food above your tent or your neighbours’. Clothes you wore when cooking your dinner should be left outside of your tent at night as clothes can absorb food odour.

I know removing natural or cultural resources from the beach is not allowed. Can I keep a glass ball if I find one?

Yes. Removal of any man-made object is permitted.

What do I do if food lockers are full when I arrive at a camping area?

If the food lockers are full, or there isn’t one where you are camping, hang your food approximately 4 metres off the ground and 3 meters away from tree trunk. Do not hang your food above your tent or your neighbours’. Clothes you wore when cooking your dinner should be left outside of your tent at night as clothes can absorb food odour.

Where can I park my car while hiking the West Coast Trail?
There is unsecure parking available near each of the trailheads.

For answers to other questions, contact us: pacrim.info@pc.gc.ca


Resources

West Coast Trail information

Parks Canada Emergency Dispatch (24 hours)

  • 1-877-852-3100 (toll-free) or
  • 250-726-3604

*Please note that the toll-free number only works in North America and is not available on satellite phones.

Parks Canada Reservation Services (West Coast Trail)

  • 1-877-737-3783 (toll free Canada and the US)
  • 1-519-826-5391 (outside the toll free area)
  • reservation.pc.gc.ca

West Coast Trail Orientation Centre Pachena Bay (Bamfield)

  • Phone: 250-728-3234
  • Open daily 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., (May 1 to Oct. 5)

West Coast Trail Orientation Centre Gordon River (Port Renfrew)

  • Phone: 250-647-5434
  • Open daily 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., (May 1 to Oct. 5)

West Coast Trail Orientation Centre (Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village))

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Administration Office

2040 Pacific Rim Highway

P.O. Box 280, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0

250-726-3500 (year-round)

Parks Canada Email

Transportation (subject to change)

BC Ferries (Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo)

Nitinaht Lake Water Taxi (across Nitinaht Narrows and to Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village))

Pachena Bay Taxi

Transport services between Bamfield and the trailhead.

  • 250-918-8294

Tofino Air Servicing all of Vancouver Island

Pacific Seaplanes Inc. (Bamfield, Barclay Sound, Ucluelet, Tofino, Port Alberni, Port Renfrew, Nanaimo, Victoria, Vancouver)

Victoria Clipper (Seattle to Victoria - Passenger Ferry)

West Coast Trail Express Bus (Victoria, Nanaimo, Bamfield, Nitinat Village, Port Renfrew)

  • 1-888-999-2288 or 250-477
Accommodation (subject to change)

Nitinaht Campground

Pacheedaht Campground (beside the Gordon River West Coast Trail Orientation Centre in Gordon River, Port Renfrew)

  • 1-250-647-0090

Pachena Bay Campground (beside the Pachena Bay West Coast Trail Orientation Centre in Pachena Bay, Bamfield)

Awis Guesthouse, Hacas Inn and Upnit Lodge (Bamfield)

Nitinaht Wilderness Charters

  • 250-745-3509

Cabin and camping on the West Coast Trail at the Nitinaht Narrows and a Bed and Break¬fast in Balaats’adt (Nitinaht Village)

Other useful references (subject to change)

Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce

Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce

Bamfield Chamber of Commerce

Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Pacific Region

  • Port Alberni Office - 250-720-4440
  • Fishing and Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Information 24 hour line [sub area 23 (8)]
  • 604-666-2828 or 1-866-431-3474
  • www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Tide Charts (Tofino)

Weather Forecasts

CoastSmart

Adventure Smart

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