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Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

Virginia Beach...
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Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

We are staying in a Nanoose Bay timeshare during the week of Sept 22 and want to do a day trip to the west coast after reading all the wonderful TA discussions. Is this doable as a day trip ( is it a 3 hr drive each way)?

We love easy to moderate hikes and walks with beautiful views of nature and the water/shoreline and would appreciate suggestions for must sees. Following are items of interest:

Would we have time to do the Lighthouse Loop and Artist's Loop hikes? What would be a good location for a picnic lunch?

What trails/walks should we do in the Pacific Rim Park ?

Are there other must sees along the way that are on the western side (we can do attractions on the east side another day)?

Thanks for any help.

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Nanoose Bay
Nanoose Bay
Vancouver Island, Canada
Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

I know people do it as a day trip, but yes, it really is a 3 hour drive. The last section before you get to Uclulet along Kennedy Lake is narrow and winding and needs to be driven with care and attention. Also keep in mind that there are user fees in National Parks ($8/day for an adult and $20/day for a family). With three hours each way, you know what time you are likely to get going and what time you are going to want to leave the coast, so how much time do you expect that will leave you in Pacific Rim? From that, we can advise you better about what you might do.

Ucluelet
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2. Re: Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

You will need to pare down what you can see because 5-6 hours that day will be spent traveling. You will have time to do all or part of the Wild Pacific Trail and perhaps a couple of trails in Pacific Rim National Park and a few moments at the beach, assuming you are not spending lots of time dining out and don't mind driving out here early in the day and leaving late at night. You could also consider a hotel for 1 night. Our favourite trails in the National Park are the Bog Trail and the Rainforest loops, but Schooner is gorgeous, also! Florencia Bay at Long Beach is our favourite Beach. A map of both Wild Pacific Trail and Pacific Rim National Park can be picked up at the visitor centre at the "junction" (left is 8 km to Ucluelet) and right is the start of the National Park.

Virginia Beach...
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3. Re: Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

Thank you both for your comments - much appreciated.

Given the 6 hr RT drive - maybe we will reconsider - not sure if it is worth it for a 4 hr visit. I just have to resign myself that I can NOT see everything during our first driving trip to the West from the East Coast. Still trying to decide if we are going to do Rainer, Crater Lake, and Columbia River Gorge enroute back to Virginia by way of Milwaukee?? So much to see!

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

daylight hours are shorter in september. i'd want to do that drive during daylight hours...at least the section between port alberni and the west coast.

Nanaimo, Canada
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5. Re: Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

We live in Nanaimo. Our first summer living here, we took three day trips to Long Beach. But we were used to long drives from living in the interior of our province, where it took longer than three hours to get to a specialist appt., or to get to a REAL mall for shopping, or a Costco!!!!!

And all the neighbours thought we were nuts! But yes, I think it is well worth it. If you can get yourselves on the road by six or six thirty in the morning, you can be there by nine thirty, ten at the latest. You would have a whole lot longer than four hours to do some hiking. Most of the trails in the park are actually not that long. You should have time to do a couple of them, or three, visit the Wick center (may not be open 7 days a week that time of year though), drive up Radar Hill, and visit Eagle Aerie Gallery in Tofino.

Ucluelet is worth a look too, if you have time. Will the aquarium be open still? Wonderful display, and every living thing is released at the end of the season. Cool shops in Ukee as well as the lighthouse, and the trail.

If you can share driving, I hope you are able to get out there.

There is lots to see on the way there as well, but those could be done another day easily from Nanoose.

Make sure you fill the gas tank again in Port Alberni before continuing west as there are no more gas stations until Tofino or Ucluelet.

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Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Vancouver Island, Canada
Virginia Beach...
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6. Re: Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

Joan123:

Thank you for the encouragement to get up early one day to do a day trip to the Pacific Rim NP. We really should take the opportunity since we don't know when we will return to the area and at our age, next time we may not to as physically active. Hubby and I left for work at 5:30 am every morning before we retired a yr ago - so we should be able to get up early one day for our excursion. More of a challenge driving back on the narrow winding road for 3 hrs after a full day of sightseeing. Maybe I can nap right away and we can switch after the first hour - LOL!

Joyce

Newcastle Upon Tyne
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7. Re: Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

I have recently returned from Vancouver Island and hired a car to drive from Nanaimo to Tofino. People warned me about the twisty, narrow roads - coming from England, Canadian twisty narrow roads are twice the width of our normal roads so I would not worry about the roads at all. Tofino is a great place to visit but we did not think much of Ucluelet. Certainly Chesterman Beach is worth a nice long walk.

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Nanaimo
Nanaimo
Vancouver Island, Canada
8. Re: Day trip to Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail

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