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Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

New York City, New...
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Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

Hi,

I am planning to make the drive from Victoria to Tofino in a few days by myself. I heard the drive is beautiful, but I keep hearing different things regarding the difficulty of this drive during this time (re: weather, road conditions)

I have driven mountainous roads before, but I just want to know if I'm being nuts to do it solo. I plan on driving it in the daytime only. I also know what I should be aware of when I drive it.

Any advice would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Peter

Canmore, Alberta
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1. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

You are perfectly fine to drive it by yourself. It's not that bad of a drive. The only thing you have to watch out for is large trucks or RV's coming in the other direction. The road gets skinny in some areas and the larger vehicles tend to hog up the road.

Just take your time and you'll be fine. There will be no where near the amount of traffic that there is in summer.

Sometimes people that drive the road all the time will get behind you and try to push you along, just drive at what you feel comfortable and don't let them bother you.

You may experience fog or rain, pretty much the same conditions that you could experience when you drive over the Malahat coming out of Victoria.

Enjoy Tofino :)

New York City, New...
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2. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

Thanks for your response!

Just wondering, does it torrentially rain along that route?

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

Well, I wouldn't say torrential as in monsoon. However, it can rain heavily. Last November (2009) at Tofino there were 4 days in the month with 3 at 66 mm and 1 at 104 mm. (2.5 in and 4 in respectively) When you get 4 inches in one day, you're going to notice it. The rest of the days of the month were much less in volume - no more than 35 mm (1.5 inches). So far this month the rain has been more reasonable. I think it will be the luck of the draw as is everyday around here when it comes to the weather.

Edited: 11:49 pm, November 07, 2010
Nanaimo, Canada
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4. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

The drive is not nearly as intimidating and challenging as is often made out on TripAdvisor IMO. Our European guests chuckle upon their return after I have given them a bit of warning about the road.

About 130 (give or take) kilometres from Nanaimo there is a bit of windy road, high up overlooking Kennedy Lake that you should drive a bit more defensively on but otherwise it is a beautiful drive with great scenery.

As travelbug1999 mentions your only real concern might be pickup trucks driving to and from Port Alberni to Tofino. I usually turn up my rear view mirror, drive the speed limit and let the guys pass me when they choose to.

Enjoy the drive!

Canada
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5. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

**Sometimes people that drive the road all the time will get behind you and try to push you along, just drive at what you feel comfortable and don't let them bother you. **

I would refrain from just driving along at your own speed and not letting the locals who know the road bother you. PULL OVER and let them by. Yes they know the road and can do the speed limit and if they choose to do more than the limit, you are not helping by plugging along and holding them up. It is much moe considerate for them, and much less harassing for you, to pull over and let them have at it. Not to mention, much safer.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

Thanks for the responses! I'll just take my time and let people pass if i get a chance

Canmore, Alberta
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7. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

Yes I totally agree about pulling over, but there are sections when you can't do that. That was more what I was referring to when I meant don't let them push you :)

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

The road between Victoria and the cutoff for Highway 4 near Parksville (to go across Vancouver Island) is four-lane highway (although, in places, particularly around Nanaimo, you will have stop lights for intersections).

Highway 4 between the cutoff and Port Alberni is very undemanding.

It is the road between Port Alberni and the T-section where you can either head to Ucluelet or Tofino that may be tricky for some people (and not even the entire stretch, since the road from Kennedy Lake to the T-section is rather boring). However, this section of the road is good paved secondary highway. Over the years, it has been straightened out a fair bit, with passing lanes and pull-offs added. If you are used to mountainous driving, you should have no problem with it. It twists and turns and is somewhat narrow in places. You don't make good time and it is a road best driven in daylight hours for the first-time traveller there. However, we've driven over to Tofino for 30 years and have never had a problem. You'll be fine, as long as you drive safely.

The west coast of Vancouver Island can be very, very wet. Have a look at Environment Canada website -

www.weatheroffice.gc.ca

and know the forecast before you go. If it rains, adjust your driving speed accordingly.

Parksville, B.C.
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9. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

You may also want to go to www.drivebc.ca before you leave to get up to date road conditions.

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Drive to Tofino in a few days (November drive)

Thanks again for all the great advice!