North American National Park #37: Pacific Rim, British Columbia

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North American National Park #37: Pacific Rim, British Columbia
North American National Park #37: Pacific Rim, British Columbia

Pacific Rim National Park is located on the west coast Vancouver Island. It comprises a Pacific coastal ecosystem and is known as the surfing capital of Canada.

The park is actually consists of several parts along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. The Long Beach section is the easiest to visit and has the best access. The West Coast Trail section is technically closer to Victoria, but has no easy access. This is important to note because when you look at the park on a map, it might seem that the park is closer to Victoria than it actually is if you want to visit.

Pacific Rim National Park

To reach Long Beach you have to drive up the eastern shore to near the town of Courtney and then across the island. Expect a 2-3 hour drive from Victoria or closer ferry terminals. The nearest towns are Tofino and Ucluelet which sit on either ends of the beach.

As you can see in the photo, there was a very thick fog over the beach when I was there. Just a mile inland, however, and the fog was totally gone and the sky was blue.

What to See in Pacific Rim National Park

Pacific Rim National Park

When visiting the Pacific Rim National Park, you cannot afford to miss the mammalian species that inhabit the park’s premises. Some of these mammals and wildlife species include cougar, black-tailed deer, raccoon, mink, and black bear.

In addition, you can also marvel at the sight of many marine animals like sea lions, seals, porpoises, and whales. Some of these marine animals will be seen lurking the shores of Long Beach.

The geography in the park is also unique, partly because the moist air masses from the Pacific Ocean will cover the area of the park during fall and winter. The area is filled with several mountain ranges, which results in the deposit of precipitation in these mountain ranges. This phenomenon is known as orographic precipitation. Even during the summer months, the forest is covered in fog.


View my complete list of North American National Parks I visited.