13 Epic Hikes in Tofino Plucked Right From The Rainforest

If you’re looking for a diverse and unique adventure in the Pacific Northwest, you must visit Tofino, BC.

From surfing to shopping to getting down and dirty in the mud, Tofino has all the coolest activities–the best (and one of the cheapest) of which is hiking!

Berty and I have spent a lot of time hiking around Tofino, and we know some pretty cool spots around the area!

In this post, you’ll learn all about the best hikes in Tofino, BC and how to prepare for your hiking adventure.

Best Hikes in Tofino - Combers Beach Trail Boardwalks

Things To Pack For Tofino Hiking Trails

While going on Tofino hikes, it’s important to be prepared for all kinds of weather and situations, so you can have the best time possible!

Here are some of the top essentials for hiking in the PNW that you should add to your Tofino packing list:

AllTrails Pro: This is a SUPER useful app, meant

Waterproof boots: These are ALWAYS an essential item while hiking in the Pacific Northwest! We’ve picked out some of our favorite hiking boots that work wonders in the PNW. Don’t forget to break them in before you hit the trails!

Rain Jacket: Sometimes this area can get pretty rainy, so don’t forget your rain jacket!

Dry Bag: Same thing here–bring a dry bag to protect all your valuable essentials while hiking in wet conditions! Even if it’s not raining, it’s good to have a dry bag to keep things safe from spills or getting lost.

Camera: Whether you love taking pictures with film cameras, instant cameras, or your iPhone, a dependable camera is essential while hiking in Tofino! There’s so many amazing things to photograph that you won’t want to forget.

Day Pack: For those who like to travel light, consider using a fanny pack instead!

Snacks and Water: It’s so important to stay energized and hydrated on the trail with snacks and water. Need ideas? Check out our complete list of diverse hiking snacks to energize you as you hike!

The 14 Best Hikes in Tofino, British Columbia

1. Tonquin Beach Trail

Tonquin Beach Trail - Best Hikes in Tofino
  • 2.0 miles out-and-back / 3.2 kilometers out-and-back
  • 219’ elevation gain / 67 meters elevation gain
  • Easy
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: lots of boardwalks and stairs, fun beach

The Tonquin Beach Trail is an easy, 2-mile trail that takes you to one of the best beaches in Tofino, BC!

This hike has an easily accessible parking lot, is the closest trail to downtown Tofino, and takes you all the way to the popular Tofino beach, Third Beach, making it one of the best trails in the area!

After your hike, check out all the top things to do in Tofino, BC, like surfing, camping, or going on a whale watching tour!

2. Cox Bay Lookout

Hikes in Tofino - Cox Bay Lookout Trail
  • 1.6 miles out-and-back / 2.6 kilometers out-and-back
  • 377’ elevation gain / 115 meters elevation gain
  • Moderately challenging
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: great overlook where you can see Meares Island, popular area for birding (bring your binoculars!)

The Cox Bay Lookout hike is a must-add to your weekend in Tofino.

From the fun hike through the beautiful forests of Canada to the epic views of Meares Island from the top of the lookout, the Cox Bay Lookout Trail is one to remember!

The trail is unmarked, but still open. You’ll find access near the cliffs are the far south side of the beach.

Make sure you have sturdy, waterproof hiking boots while hiking to the Cox Bay Lookout. The trail is steep and gets super muddy in the spring and summer (the views are worth the muddy trek!).

Read More: The 12 Best Boots For Pacific Northwest Hiking

3. Hot Spring Cove Trail

  • 2.0 mile / 13.2 kilometers
  • Elevation: 298 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • No permit required, but tour required
  • Cool features: boardwalks, cool viewpoints, hot springs!

Hot Springs Cove is a unique hiking trail near Tofino, because it requires a large amount effort to get there in the first place!

Maquinna Marine Provincial Park requires boat access, which almost always means you’ll have to book a tour guide to get you there. (Unless you have your own boat that is!)

Once on shore, it’s a flat, easy 1-mile trail on a boardwalk through the lush, Pacific Northwest rainforest.

At the end of the trail, you’ll be greeted with a natural hot spring on the edge of the peninsula for a scenic soaking sesh. Don’t forget your swimsuit!

4. South Beach Trail

  • 1.0 mile / 1.6 kilometers
  • 46 stairs
  • Difficulty
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: boardwalks, cool viewpoints, Kwisitis Interpretive Centre

Found in Pacific Rim National Park, the South Beach Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in Tofino.

As you hike along the coastline, you’ll get sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and waves crashing into rugged coastal rocks, and get to enjoy a beautiful, sandy beach!

The South Beach Trail starts from behind the Kwisitis Interpretive Centre (formerly known as the Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre) and travels through several stunning viewpoints.

The South Beach Trail intersects with the Nuu Chah Nulth Trail–another epic Tofino hiking trail!

5. Wild Pacific Trail

Best Hikes Near Tofino - Wild Pacific Trail
Ucluelet Hikes - Wild Pacific Trail
  • 5.0 miles / 8.0 kilometers
  • Moderately challenging
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: two unique ways to hike this trail, epic sunsets

While deciding what hikes near Tofino you want to do, you’ll want to add the Wild Pacific Trail to the top of your list!

The Wild Pacific Trail is one of the best hikes near Tofino, and is great for kids (check out their interpretive walks!).

The trail is found in the area of the nearby city of Ucluelet (pronounced you-clue-let).

There are two different main trails:

A: Lighthouse loop (1.6 miles / 2.6 km), which includes the additional Terrace Beach Interpretive Trail (0.3 miles/0.5 km)

B: Big Beach to Rocky Bluffs (3.1 miles / 5 km one way), which includes the additional Ancient Cedars Trail (also called Artist Loop section, 0.6 miles / 1.0 km)

6. Rainforest Trails (A and B)

  • 1.25-mile loop / 2-kilometer loop
  • 731 stairs
  • Difficulty
  • Permit required? (several hikes require a Canadian national park pass)
  • Cool features: series of boardwalks, great for learning about rainforest plants, can be done two ways

In Pacific Rim National Park, the Rainforest Trails are another fun trail system that can be done two unique ways!

The popular Rainforest Trails provide visitors with a full experience of the Tofino-Ucluelet area and can be done on either side of the highway.

When parking near this trail, you’ll want to find the parking lot that is located on the west (ocean) side of the highway.

There are two separate loops on either side of the highway:

Route A: Starts from the east side of the highway. You can reach the trailhead by crossing the highway from the parking lot. Be alert and stay safe when crossing! You will enter the forest on a boardwalk and go left at the junction.

Route B: This is on the west side of the highway, by the parking lot. It will take you through beautiful old growth forests and by GIANT trees!

7. Nuu Chah Nulth Trail

  • 4.0 miles out-and-back / 6.4 kilometers out-and-back
  • 659’ elevation gain / 201 meters elevation gain
  • Easy
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: lots of boardwalks, wildlife, and pretty landscapes

The Nuu Chah Nulth Trail is a unique trail that starts at the Kwisitis Interpretive Centre and ends at South Beach.

The trail is open year-round and dogs are welcome (on a leash)!

Keep your eye out for bears while hiking the Nuu Chah Nulth Trail, as there have been reports of bear activity in the area in recent years.

It’s safe to hike this trail, as long as you take the proper precautions and leave wildlife alone! Maintain distance, bring bear spray, and report sightings, if they occur.

If you’re looking to stay in Tofino after hiking the Nuu Chah Nulth Trail, try glamping at WILDPOD Glamping or any other epic Tofino lodges near the city!

8. Combers Beach Trail

Hiking in Tofino - Combers Beach Trail
  • 0.5 miles out-and-back / 0.8 kilometers out-and-back
  • 108’ elevation gain / 33 meters elevation gain
  • Moderately challenging
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: takes you to a quieter beach, epic views of Sea Lion Rocks (bring the binoculars to see some sea lions!), lots of driftwood

One of the best hikes in Tofino is the Combers Beach Trail, because it leads you to an uncrowded beach where you can enjoy a picnic, explore the beach, and spend some quality time with your friends and family.

Short and sweet, the Combers Beach Trail is moderately challenging, making it perfect for families with kids and those looking for a quick trip.

9. Lone Cone (Currently Closed)

  • 3.4 miles out-and-back / 5.5 kilometers out-and-back
  • 2,368’ elevation gain / 722 meters elevation gain
  • Hard
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, unmatched views of the area, iconic Tofino hike

The steep Lone Cone Trail is a difficult, but worthwhile climb to the top of Lone Cone on Meares Island near Tofino.

The iconic Lone Cone Trail offers visitors jaw-dropping views of the PNW, Tofino, the Clayoquot Sound, and Pacific Ocean.

While planning for the trek, be sure to wear the proper gear, bring nourishing snacks, and know that there is a $10 fee to take the water taxi to the trailhead.

Note: Unfortunately, the Lone Cone Trail is currently closed until 2024. Keep checking AllTrails–it will update when it reopens!

10. Schooner Cove

  • 1.2 miles out-and-back / 1.9 kilometers out-and-back 
  • 173’ elevation gain / 53 meters elevation gain
  • Moderately challenging
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: lots of boardwalks, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

One of the most popular Tofino hiking trails is the Schooner Cove Trail, because of its stunning mountain views, old growth forests, and privacy, as it’s a less frequently visited beach.

Found in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the Schooner Cove Trail takes you to a lovely beach area that is beautiful year-round and particularly fun to explore during low tide.

11. Canso Plane Crash Site

  • 3.1 miles / 5 kilometers
  • 115’ elevation gain / 35 meters elevation gain
  • Easy to moderately challenging
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: Old plane crash to explore, cool forests

In 1945, a Canso bomber plane crashed into the forests near Tofino, BC after an engine malfunctioned. Only one in the twelve-person crew died after the crash, though the plane did not survive the fall.

You can see the Canso Plane Crash Site for yourself! As parking is slim in this area, one way to reach the site is parking at the lower parking lot at Radar Hill.

Then, you’ll walk back along the road south of Radar Hill, and follow the highway south.

Count 15 telephone poles down the highway and enter the forest, just south of the Radar Hill turnoff. You’ll see a small drawing of a plane on the closest telephone pole. Follow the trail and these directions, and you’ll make it to the site!

Heads up: Hiking to the Canso Plane Crash Site is discouraged, because it’s an unmarked hike and is not promoted by Tourism Tofino, but it’s also not off-limits. Basically, it’s a hike at your own risk.

Be sure to bring your waterproof hiking boots, as this area can get pretty muddy in the late spring and summer!

12. Willowbrae Trail

Example of boardwalks you’ll encounter
  • 2.6 miles out-and-back / 4.2 kilometers out-and-back
  • 390’ elevation gain / 119 meters elevation gain
  • Moderately challenging (mostly easy, but the stairs to Florencia Beach make it more challenging for some hikers)
  • No permit required
  • Cool features: in Pacific Rim National Park, cool rocky beach views, boardwalks and stairs to the beach, secluded bay

In Pacific Rim National Park, the Willowbrae Trail takes you through Florencia Beach and Half Moon Bay–both fun places to explore near Tofino.

One of the best things about the Willowbrae Trail is that it’s often very secluded, so you can get an entire beach to yourself!

This is a great place to hike for kids who love playing on the beach, finding critters in tide pools, and exploring the beautiful, lush rainforests of Canada.

13. Shorepine Bog Trail

Shorepine Bog Trail - Best Hikes in Tofino BC
  • 0.5 mile loop / 0.8 kilometer loop
  • 32 feet elevation gain / 10 meter elevation gain
  • Easy
  • Need Pacific Rim National Park Pass
  • Cool features: in Pacific Rim National Park, boardwalk, interpretive signs, cool plants

Shorepine Bog is a fun hiking trail in Tofino, perfect for the whole family! It’s easy to keep track of the whole crew here, because the entire loop is on one boardwalk.

Here, you’ll find a bog, with a grouping of interesting plants, trees, and shrubs that don’t grow many other places in Tofino!

What are some of your other favorite hikes in Tofino? Tell us in the comments below!

More Vancouver Island / Tofino Resources

The Best Places To Stay In Tofino (Hotels, Campgrounds + Resorts)

The Complete Tofino Packing List

17 Incredible Things To Do In Tofino, BC

The Perfect 3-day Tofino Weekend Itinerary

How To Reach Hot Springs Cove in Tofino, BC

The Best Places To Live In The Pacific Northwest

11 Fun Facts About Natural Hot Springs

The 9 Best Resorts In The Pacific Northwest