Tofino Treasures & Awesome Ucluelet – Part Two: Ucluelet

Mar 9, 2022

Image: Lighthouse Loop of the Wild Pacific Trail. Credit: iwona_kellie For most people, the phrase “Pacific Northwest” brings to mind images of mossy old-growth forests, magnificent beaches, abundant wildlife and fierce ocean storms. If that kind of untamed nature is your jam, then there’s nowhere “Pacific Northwest-ier” than Tofino and Ucluelet! Located in spectacular Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, BC, these two small towns are about 20 minutes from each other. An abundance of well-serviced RV campsites and a wealth of beautiful trails and beaches make “Tuff City” and “Ukee” – as the locals call them – popular destinations for any wilderness-loving RV enthusiast. When travelling to a new destination, it’s always helpful to have a local perspective on the best things to see, do and eat. Since we happen to know some Tofino residents, we thought we’d poll them for their favourite local places to go in their downtime. Part One was a list of 5 special places to visit in Tofino, while Part Two covers their 5 favourite things about Ucluelet. We hope you find this list handy!

Wild Pacific Trail

Hiking this spectacular trail is a great way to enjoy the beauty of Ucluelet’s rugged coastline. The area has its own unique landscape and ecology, different from anything you’d see in Tofino. The path is built as close as possible to the shoreline and on windy days you can feel the spray of the surf on your face. The trail has different sections of varying length. The full “Lighthouse Loop” is an easy 2.6km trail that you can start from one of three parking lots. (There is designated RV parking at the Lighthouse Loop parking lot located off Coast Guard road.) There are also three smaller interpretive trails off Lighthouse Loop: The Bog Loop, Terrace Beach First Nations Trail, and Spring Cove Mudflats trail. Other areas of the trail include Big Beach Children’s Interpretive Trail, Ancient Cedars and Rocky Bluffs, and the Artists Loops. Website: https://www.wildpacifictrail.com/home.html Trail Map: https://www.wildpacifictrail.com/pdf/brochure.pdf

Currents Restaurant at Black Rock Resort

Enjoy incredible vistas of the wild Pacific Ocean from the floor-to-ceiling windows at Currents Restaurant in Black Rock Resort. Overlooking the Wild Pacific Trail between Big Beach and Brown’s Beach, this world-class resort is renowned for its excellent storm-watching opportunities in winter. Enjoy delicious food such as fresh-caught salmon, house-made gnocchi and flat-iron steak, all beautifully plated and served in a cozy and friendly atmosphere. If you happen to be staying at the resort, they also offer a delicious breakfast menu with a variety of smoothies, bennies, and other healthy (and not-so-healthy) options. Go for the view; stay for the food! Website: https://www.blackrockresort.com/dining/ Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xdUdwTt95KwmSWvC8

Ukee Days

Ukee Days is a 3-day annual festival celebrating everything Ucluelet! It features a variety of entertainment including logger sports demonstrations, live music and performances, local food and retail vendors, a unique parade, beer gardens, and West Coast BBQ. The whole family is sure to love watching the weird and wonderful Ukee Days’ contests such as the Pudding Eating Contest, Ukee Days Keg Toss and the Wheelbarrow Wobble Races. The 2022 Ukee Days are scheduled for July 22-24, so if you happen to be camping nearby, you should definitely check it out! Friday events take place at the Ucluelet Village Green next to the District Office, while Saturday’s festivities are held at the fairgrounds at 160 Seaplane Base Road. Website: https://ukeedays.wordpress.com

Ucluelet Aquarium

If you’re visiting Ucluelet between March 1st and November 30th, don’t miss the chance to visit Canada’s first collect-and-release aquarium! The residents of this special aquarium change frequently as new specimens are brought in and the critters collected earlier in the season are released back to their natural habitats. On any given day you can expect to see a variety of local sea life including sea urchins, rockfish, sea cucumbers, crabs, jellyfish, sculpins, perch, squat lobsters, feather duster tubeworms and maybe even an octopus. The aquarium has a special focus on raising awareness about local marine biodiversity and promoting respect for the ocean environment and frequently participates in local scientific surveys on the health of Pacific ocean ecosystems. They also offer a number of special programs including scheduled talks at local parks and beaches. If you’re arriving in your RV, you can park it at the free parking lot located on Cedar road across from the RCMP station. Website: ​​https://uclueletaquarium.org Map: https://goo.gl/maps/BD1NHp8YdMDiJAVn8

The Blue Room

All this fresh Ucluelet air is bound to make you hungry. How about a big brunch where the locals eat? Even if you wake up late, don’t worry – they serve breakfast all day. Enjoy a filling meal made with fresh local ingredients, served in the dining room or on their large patio overlooking the harbour. Offerings include the “Ukee-Ranian Breakfast” with perogies, whale-shaped pancakes for kids, and rotating drink specials such as Waffle Mimosas and Charcuterie Caesars. At the Blue Room Bistro, they promise you’ll Come Hungry, Leave Stuffed! Website: https://www.facebook.com/theblueroombistro Map: https://goo.gl/maps/hh2w3zLY15r6VMvA8

Bonus: Protect the Clayoquot Wilderness

If you love the wild West Coast as much as we do, you might like to learn more about the fauna and flora of Clayoquot UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Check out the following two organizations for a ton of educational materials about these precious, threatened ecosystems, and find out what you can do to help preserve them for future generations. Rainforest Education Society – https://raincoasteducation.org Friends of Clayoquot Sound – https://focs.ca

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