The beautiful Tonquin Trail in Tofino, British Columbia is a must do trail while you visit the coastal town. Offering beautiful views of Clayoquot Sound the trail begins at Tofino Community Hall and winds through the old-growth forest to Tonquin Beach and Third Beach. If you are looking to a beautiful but easy trail to hike while visiting Tofino the Tonquin Trail is must do!
Here is our guide to hiking the Tonquin Trail in Tofino, British Columbia!
Getting to the Tonquin Trail
There is three access points onto the trail which allows you to do a loop instead of having to double back on the same trail which is what we suggest!
The first access point is off Arnet Road by Tofino Community Hall. Drive to Arnet Road off 1st Street and head west. This is a dead end road that will take you up a hill to the parking lot. You can park here and start from the top of the trailhead. There are two access points here one takes you to the beach more directly and the other winds you through the forest towards Third Beach.
The second access point is where Leighton Way and Peterson Drive (off of Arnet) meet. There is a gravel path at the corner of Leighton and Peterson where you can walk straight down the gravel trail where it meets up with the path from the first access point off Arnet Road.
The last access point is where the road forks at Arnet Road and Tonquin Park Road. At the fork stay left and head down Tonquin Park Road where you will come to a set of wooden stairs and bridge that gives you the first look of Tonquin Beach. Head along the wooden pathway where you will come to a set of concrete stairs that the trees have grown thick around and on the other side you will end up on Tonquin Beach!
Our suggestion for a complete loop and the easiest loop is park along the side of Arnet road before the hill and walk up towards Tofino Community Hall and take the path on your right. You will walk down a series of hills on the gravol path that will take you to the stairs leading down to the beach. If you want to extend your trip and see all the view points along the trail towards Third Beach keep left and make sure to stop at each of the view points and see the beautiful views of the Clayoquot Sound. You will have to double back on this extension of the trail and then head down the stair to the beach and watch the waves roll in onto the sandy Tonquin Beach. To have an easier hike back out take the third access point back towards Tonquin Park Road where you will only have to deal with a series of staircases and no stairs and hills if you head backtowards Tofino Community Hall. This way you also get the opportunity to see more of the trail!
Distance of Hikes on Tonquin Trail
The Tonquin Trail in its entirety is 2.6 kilometres round-trip. The distance from Community Hall to Tonquin Beach is 850m and Community Hall to Third Beach is 1.3km. The difficulty of this hike is easy to moderate as there are some areas with steep gradient and a series of stairs.
Must See Spots While on the Tonquin Trail
Tonquin Beach – Tonquin Beach is a must see location – this wide sandy beach that is perfect to swimming or just exploring the sandy coast line. The beach offers beautiful views of the Clayoquot Sound. Maze Lookout – Maze lookout is probably the nicest lookout along the trail. With its nice boardwalk that juts out over the water overlooking Templar Channel, Wickannish Island and Lennard Island. The bent trees hanging low off the trail are part of the iconic look of the area.
Bridge Leading to Tonquin Park Road – This bridge was difficult to find but we were determined to find it. From Tonquin Beach there is a small opening with old concrete steps leading into the forest – here you will find a beautiful wooden bridge that offers a great lookout spot back onto Tonquin Beach.
This beautiful Tonquin Trail is an absolute must do while visiting Tofino! Where is your favourite spot to go while hiking the trail?