Hiking the Tonquin Trail in Tofino, BC

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!

Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia

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.

Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia

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!

Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia

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!

Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia

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.

Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia

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.  Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia Tonquin Trail Tofino British ColumbiaMaze 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.

Tonquin Trail Tofino British ColumbiaTonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia

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.

Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia

This beautiful Tonquin Trail is an absolute must do while visiting Tofino!  Where is your favourite spot to go while hiking the trail?

Hiking the Tonquin Trail Tofino British Columbia

Staying at Crystal Cove Beach Resort, Tofino

Looking for the perfect place to stay in the heart of Tofino set in the rainforest along the edge of the Pacific Ocean then Crystal Cove Beach Resort is the perfect place for you.  Offering private camping spots, beautiful log cabins, the perfect beach to watch the sunrise and so much more.

Here is our guide to staying at Crystal Cove Beach Resort in Tofino British Columbia.

Getting to Crystal Cove Beach Resort

If you are driving from Victoria it will take about five hours to reach Crystal Cove Beach Resort.  You drive North from Victoria along Highway (Island Highway), if you want to bypass Nanaimo take Highway 19 (exit right towards Campbell River) and continue to drive North from Nanaimo and watch for the Port Alberni exit (Highway 4 West).  Drive through Port Alberni and continue along Highway 4 until you reach the Ucluelet-Tofino Junction.  Turn right at the junction towards Tofino along the Pacific Rim Highway and Crystal Cove Beach Resort is another 30km down the highway on the left hand side.

Road Tripping to Tofino

Note* The drive between Port Alberni and the Ucluelet-Tofino Junction is a very mountainous and windy road that is only one lane for the majority of the way. Driving this road in the dark or rain can cause you to go much slower than initially expected especially if you are driving an RV.  Make sure to go to the speed you are comfortable and pull over at the passing spots to let other cars by.

Driving to Tofino

Checking In and Resort Office at Crystal Cove Beach Resort

The Crystal Cove Beach Resort office is open from 8:30am to 10:00pm everyday which is great to acomodate later arrivals.  Upon arrival you will be walk into a beautiful log cabin type building where you will be greeted by friendly staff to help you to check in.  The resort office beyond checking you in offers tour information, a list of sample menus for local restaurants in Tofino, complimentary DVD rentals, books to borrow as well as board games to play.  You can also purchase firewood, laundry soap, ice as well as tours.  The office also has a complimentary computer, telephone and big screen TV for guest use.

Additional to all the great amenities that Crystal Cove Beach Resort Office has to offer they also have Bean at the Cove Coffee Bar.  Bean at the Cove Coffee Bar offers complimentary brewed coffee in the morning or offer teas, lattes, americanos, pastries and more for a price.  Bean at the Cove Coffee Bar is open daily in the Summer from 8:30am to 3:00pm (June-September) and the rest of the season from 8:30am to 1:00pm.

Cabins and Cottage Accommodation at Crystal Cove Beach Resort

Cottage and Cabin Tofino Accommodation at Crystal Cove Beach Resort

One of the options for your Tofino accommodation is staying in a cabin or cottage at Crystal Cove Beach Resort.  The resort is home to 34 modern log cabins which include a full kitchen, BBQ on the deck as well as a fireplace.  Some of the cabins sit right along the MacKenzie Beach while others are tucked into the rainforest.  We did not get the opportunity to stay in the cabins as we were camping in our RV but when we return we will definitely be staying in one of these cabins!  To check out all the cabins offered at Crystal Cove Beach Resort check out their website here. 

RV Camping at Crystal Cove Beach Resort

We had the opportunity to camp for two nights at Crystal Cove Beach Resort and loved every minute of it including the rain!  This is the premiere Tofino RV park and camping that offers year-round RV camping in private spots that are tucked into the lush rainforest.  Each site offers 30 amp power, sewer and water hook ups as well as a picnic table, wireless internet and a fire pit.

Crystal Cove Beach Resort RV Park and Camping Tofino AccommodationThe shower house has flush toilets and offers warm showers that do not need tokens and have no timers shutting off the water.  We stayed in site 7 and had lots of space in our campsite and felt secluded.  We were just steps away from the laundry, washrooms, office as well as the beach.  Check out the campground map here to find the spot best for you!

Things to Know Before Visiting Crystal Cove Beach Resort

Crystal Cove Beach Resort

We highly suggest you make a reservation whether it is during peak season or low season.  Tent camping is not available at Crystal Cove Beach resort, but there are plenty of other places you can camp including Pacific Rim National Park if you are travelling with your tent.  There is a minimum of three night minimum stay during peak season and two night minimum stay during low season.  Pets are welcomed at Crystal Cove Beach Resort as long as they are on leash on the grounds.

Top Things to do at Crystal Cove Beach Resort

Our top recommended thing is to watch the sunrise over MacKenzie Beach it will be the perfect way to start your day.  The pink and purple hues that light the sky as the sun begins to rise behind the campground are a site you will not want to miss.  Watch the waves crash into the rocks and listen to the sound of the beach.  This serene setting is the best way to start your day with a cup of coffee from Bean at the Cove Coffee Bar.

Sunrise at MacKenzie Beach Tofino Crystal Cove Beach Resort

Explore the grounds of Crystal Cove Beach Resort with the beautiful organic gardening that is located throughout the grounds and the beach.  Explore the winding roads that take you through the rows of beachfront cabins and cottages, private RV sites and find your spot for your next visit to this hidden gem of a Tofino destination.

Crystal Cove Beach Resort Tofino Accommodation

Crystal Cove Beach Resort is one of the nicest campgrounds we have ever stayed in with the beach access steps away from all accommodations, the complimentary drip coffee, board games, DVDs and books all for borrow really are a nice touch.  It is the perfect getaway for family, couples and friends.  Regardless of your trip you will not be dissapointed with your stay at Crystal Cove Beach Resort and we cannot wait to come back!

Staying at Crystal Cove Beach Resort Tofino Accommodation Staying at Crystal Cove Beach Resort Tofino Accommodation

What to do in Tofino When it’s Raining

Sitting along the Pacific Ocean Tofino is well known for its storms.  People flock from around the world to cozy up in their cabins and watch the storms roll off the ocean.  But what do you do in Tofino when it’s raining and you still want to get out and explore this beautiful coastal town?

Raining in Tofino


We had the opportunity to experience a true Tofino rain storm where it rain over 150mm of rain during the day we were planned on exploring.  Well we didn’t let a little (A LOT) of rain stop us.  The most important thing when coming to Tofino is come prepared for the rain.  Make sure to check out our post on what to pack while visiting Tofino.

Here is our guide on what to Tofino when it’s raining!

Rainforest Trail Hike

Tofino Rainforest Trail

Head to the Rainforest Trail just outside of Tofino when it’s raining.  This beautiful hike is covered under the thick canopy of the rainforest that cuts the rain significantly.  Located in Pacific Rim National Park this scenic Rainforest Trail is one of most popular hikes amongst visitors and locals alike.  The trail has two loops one on each side of the highway.  We opted to explore loop A that is a 1.2km loop on the wooden boardwalk weaves you through the rainforest with thousands of year old trees.  The loop should take you no more than an hour with stopping at each of the interpretative signs to learn as you go. On a rainy day you wont see many others out on the trail so you will have this majestic forest all to yourself.

Bundle Up and Walk the Beaches

Tofino when its raining

People come from all over the world to watch the storms – why stay inside and miss the beauty of Tofino in the rain?  Head over to Cox beach and watch the swells roll into the beach and slam against the rocks.   Go for a walk along the beach you will be surprised how many other adventurers you will find out amongst you but it will still be very peaceful!

Head to the Long Beach Lodge Resort Grab a Drink or Bite to Eat & Play Games

Long Beach Lodge Resort

Where can you go watch the rain but stay dry in Tofino when it’s raining? Head over and check out the Long Beach Lodge Resort.  Go in for a full meal or just a cup of hot chocolate or coffee to warm up! Make sure to grab a seat by the floor to ceiling windows that over look Cox beach.  Looking to spend an few hours here? Ask your server for board games – they are tucked away but they would be happy to pull them out for you!

Go Surfing

Tofino in Rain

You get wet when you go surfing so it doesn’t matter whether its raining or not! Book a beginning surf lessions with one of the may companies that offer beginingers surf lessions or if you have surfed before rent a board and go hit the waves!

Go Whale Watching

Looking for an excursion in Tofino when it’s raining that takes you out on an adventure? Whale watching goes out rain or shine (as long as the storms arnt too bad – call your tour operator before you head over).  The whales don’t appear based on the weather so head out on a covered boat or if your brave in one of the zodiac boats for an experience you wont soon forget.

Head to Tacofino


Tacofino is open rain or shine and this is an experience you need to have before you leave Tofino.  Offering a variety of tacos, burritos and more this is THE place to get tacos in the city.   Surprisingly enough the line on a rainy day to get a taco was equally as long as it is on a sunny day.  Getting a taco should be on your bucket list during your visit to Tofino.

Go Puddle Jumping

Why not play in the rain? Relive your childhood a bit and go for a jump in these massive puddles! We had so much fun jumping around in the puddles and you should too!  Head outside in Tofino when it’s raining with your rainboots and make sure to have some fun!

Tofino Puddle Jumping

Tofino when it's raining

Ultimate Packing Guide for Tofino

The beautiful coastal town of Tofino is well known for its epic storms that roll off the Pacific Ocean.  Your trip to Tofino can be sun filled or equally beautiful with its moody rain storms.  It is really important when packing for your trip to make sure you are ready so you can enjoy your time here rain or shine.  When preparing your packing guide for Tofino make sure to check the weather forecast and be prepared for all types of weather since you will be on the coast.

Packing Guide for Tofino

Make sure to check out our guide on what to do in Tofino when it is raining to be sure you don’t miss out on any of the great experiences Tofino has to offer!

We have prepared our packing guide for Tofino so you are sure to be ready when you visit!

Everyday Packing Guide for Tofino

Packing Guide for Tofino

Tofino is known as a surftown and their attire reflects that with its relaxed lifestyle and casual attire that is accepted everywhere throughout the city.  Be prepared to dress in layers as the tempature can change throughout the day and with a change in the weahter as well.  Make sure to pack light weight shirts, sweaters or a fleece layer, warm socks, hat and mitts and a hair tie to help keep your hair from blowing around in the wind.

How to Prepare for the Rain

Tofino when its raining

To make sure you are well prepared for the possible rain make sure you pack a waterproof jacket, rain boots, rain pants if you plan on going outside.  A spare change of clothes is also recommended considering you may soak through your gear depending on how long you spend outside.  If you forgot to bring a part of your rain gear we highly recommend heading over to the Tofino Pharmacy located at 360 Campbell Street right in the downtown and they have everything you could need from rain boots, rain jackets and pants to food, souvenirs and more.  To top it all off Tofino Pharmacy is incredibly well priced for their rain gear – we both got a pair of rain pants for $30/each!

Hiking in Tofino

Hiking in Tofino

Planning on heading out for a hike in Tofino? Make sure to have hiking boots or sturdy running shoes.  If any of your shoes are waterproof or have waterproof soles that is even better as if it is not raining the trails could still be wet or muddy and no one likes wet feet!  Make sure to bring water and a snack on the trails with you as some of the hikes are quite long and you could find yourself in need of a drink or snack and there are no conveniences along the trails.  A hat and sunglasses are ideal on sunny days and a rain jacket or wind breaker are a good idea to bring with you if there is rain in the forecast.

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