Pacific Rim National Park Reserve -
Welcome to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada.Backed by the Vancouver Island Range and facing the open Pacific Ocean, Pacific Rim presents the rich natural and cultural heritage of Canada's west coast. Its cool and wet maritime climate produces an abundance of life in the water and on land. Lush coastal temperate rainforest gives way to bountiful and diverse intertidal and subtidal areas. These natural wonders are interwoven with the long and dynamic history of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations and European explorers and settlers.
Few people forget the first time they walk out onto seemingly infinite Long Beach, a 10-mile strip of undeveloped coastline set against a backdrop of lush emerald rain forest and distant mountains. One of Canada’s most visited tourist attractions, the beach attracts surfers, beachcombers, and marine life enthusiasts.
Skirting the western fringe of Vancouver Island, Long Beach is the most northern of three park units, a 34,800-acre chunk of beach-fronted coastal temperate rain forest, and since 2000, a core protected area of the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. The shoreline stretches roughly between the town of Tofino in the north and Ucluelet in the south.
Unknown to the world before 1959, when a road was punched across the width of Vancouver Island, the beach became an end-of-world refuge for draft dodgers, hippies, and surfers until 1970, when the beach settlements were evicted for the new national park. Much of the laid-back vibe of that earlier era remains.
Directly to the east of Ucluelet are the Broken Group Islands—an archipelago of more than a hundred tiny, rugged islands at the center of Barkley Sound, a popular kayak destination. Only about 13,950 acres of land is found across the 26,440 acres of ocean park area; this maze of waterways and channels is accessible by watercraft only.
The southernmost area is the 10,130-acre West Coast Trail unit, named for the 47-mile hiking path through pristine rain forest between Port Renfrew and Bamfield. The trail was established in 1907 as an emergency rescue path for shipwrecked mariners after 120 people died when the Valencia ran aground on a reef near Pachena Point during a gale.
The unifying elements of these three different units are water, rain forest, and the native Nuu-chah-nulth culture. Present in the Pacific Rim area for thousands of years, these master mariners and whale hunters utilized the natural resources for trade and sustainability and often battled the waves of Spanish, then British (and later Americans) who descended on the coast in the late 18th century to exploit furs, timber, and whale oil. Today 7 of 15 Nuu-chah-nulth tribes maintain at least 22 small reserves within the park boundaries and nine at the border of the park; they are active partners in park administration and interpretive programs.