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Review of Radar Hill

Radar Hill
Ranked #31 of 53 things to do in Tofino
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Owner description: During WWII and The Cold War, Radar Hill was a part of the line of radar installations across the U.S. And Canada, watching for threats of long-range bombers. Radar Hill has a few rare lookout points over Pacific Rim's vast temperate rainforest. A gorgeous place to take in the view, the sweet breeze rolling in from the forest, all while cuddled up gazing over the horizon.
Reviewed August 11, 2012

We were told by quite a few guides on Whistler that we should stop and see this spot while in Tofino. It is actually is located before you get into the Tofino downtown, but if you miss it while driving in- its not far to make a trip back. No fees, short walk to spot from parking lot. Great memorial to Canadian troop during the Korean war- when all the troops from other countries pulled out from an area they stayed- US Pres. even decorated these Canadians for their service. View is very nice, but also to remember those who have sacraficed for others.

Thank threecharm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"cold war"
in 18 reviews
"korean war"
in 10 reviews
"war memorial"
in 8 reviews
"plane crash site"
in 4 reviews
"nice memorial"
in 3 reviews
"great history"
in 4 reviews
"easy walk"
in 8 reviews
"parks canada"
in 4 reviews
"short hike"
in 5 reviews
"pacific rim"
in 4 reviews
"sunny day"
in 3 reviews
"bomber"
in 11 reviews
"lookout"
in 13 reviews
"canso"
in 5 reviews
"summit"
in 4 reviews
"historic"
in 10 reviews
"monument"
in 3 reviews
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177 - 181 of 232 reviews

Reviewed August 7, 2012

We visited Radar Hill late in the day on a cloudy, rainy day in June 2012. I had read in a guidebook about a hike of approximately two hours near Radar Hill to see a crashed World War II bomber, so this was one of the many stops in the Pacific Rim National Forest that I wanted to visit. As it turns out I misunderstood the guidebook and we wouldn't have had time that day to do the hike anyway, but the hill was a nice quick stop.

First, Radar Hill is located within the Pacific Rim National Forest, specifically the section between Ucluelet and Tofino. It's must closer to Tofino. Unlike the British Columbia Provincial parks that are scattered throughout the island, Pacific Rim National Forest does have a use fee, but assuming you've paid for a day or longer pass for the PRNF, there's no additional fee to visit Radar Hill.

Also, the guidebook I was reading made it sound like it was a two hour hike to get to the top of Radar Hill and the plane wreck was just a few minutes from the summit. Not so. You can drive almost all the way to the top of the hill on very well-maintained roads. You definitely don't need a four-wheel drive. Once you're in the parking lot, there's a wide, paved (concrete) path that leads up to the first lookout point. The paved path is steep and would be treacherous on a day with heavy rain, but technically it's probably wheelchair accessible, as the path is in good shape. The distance from the parking lot to the first lookout is approximately 100 yards.

The first lookout point has the best views, though even these are partially obstructed by young trees. Being on the western edge of the island, the views are west to the ocean and nearby islands. On a day that isn't socked-in with clouds, it would probably be very nice. It's the highest coastal views that we experienced while we were on the island, though I think the Wild Pacific Trail (specifically the Lighthouse Loop portion) in Ucluelet is much more scenic.

From the first lookout point, the trail to the summit is quite short, but it's no longer paved or wheelchair accessible. Other than the concrete dome with a mount for equipment that's long been removed, the only thing at the summit is a geological survey marker. Despite being "the summit", the views are much more obstructed than at the first lookout. Note that there are some weird wooden platforms with a couple benches just below the summit in two different spots, but there's young trees all around the platforms so they're not meant to be other scenic lookouts. We never did figure out the purpose of these platforms, but I'm assuming they're meant for those that are feeling contemplative about the military history of the hill.

Since there was no obvious "this way to plane wreck" signs and it had been a three minute walk from the parking lot to the summit instead of the two hour hike that I had read about, I assumed that I had mixed up another guidebook entry with Radar Hill. We took a few minutes walking around and moved on to the next stop in the Pacific Rim National Forest.

After doing some more research later, I can confirm that there *is* a plane wreck and it's a couple hour hike, but it's not a two hour hike *to* the summit. Instead, it's a couple hours from the Radar Hill turn-off to the location of the wreck. The wreck is from a Canso bomber that crashed in 1945. Doing an internet search for "Radar Hill plane wreck" with or without Canso should turn up the info you need if you want to visit the wreck. Based on what I've read, the hike shouldn't be undertaken by the casual hiker.

If you need a good place to stretch your legs and potentially see some nice views of the ocean and nearby islands, especially if you've already visited a bunch of the other stop-offs in the Pacific Rim National Forest and you need a break from being in the rainforest, then Radar Hill is worth a stop. It only takes a few minutes to get to the parking lot near the top and the path to the lookout is well-maintained (though quite steep), so even if you're only moderately impressed by the view or the location, you're not out much time. On a clear day, the views to the ocean and islands will be very nice.

Thank Tim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

Go soon though, the trees are getting to the point where the view will be blocked before long. other than that, it was a nice short stroll with an excellent payoff at the end.

Thank AEWishard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 2, 2012

There is a lookout at the top of this hill, that awards you a nice view of the Tofino area. There are also some trails for walking.

Thank LangleyVagabond
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 26, 2012

There isn't actually anything there except a plaque and a map of what it used to look like. The trail wasn't very long.

Thank Mom2Grlz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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