Sitting on the shores of the Pacific Ocean is Pacific Rim National Park, a 512 sq km (198 sq mile) UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve that offers various camping and recreational opportunities for lovers of outdoor activities. Located about 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Nanaimo, British Columbia, this national park offers activities such as birding, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, storm watching, geocaching, wildlife viewing, and surfing. Interpretive and park programs are also available at the park.
Pacific Rim National Park is divided into three units; Long Beach Unit; Broken Group Islands Unit; and West Coast Trail Unit, each offering fascinating adventures and interesting activities. The park offers a West Coast experience packed with nature and history.
Facilities and amenities available at Pacific Rim National Park include campsites equipped with electric RV hookups, Information and Visitor Centers, exhibits/signs, picnic areas, telephone, boat launches, indoor theatre, viewpoints, swimming beaches, flush toilets, showers, fire-pits, picnic tables, sanitary dump station, potable water, garbage facilities, restrooms, cooking facilities, bus/motor home/trailer access, and firewood. A hospital and a police station are available in the nearby Tofino.
The park features a booklet of 150 Adventures in Pacific Rim National Park for campers to check off their bucket list.
Pacific Rim National Park is located about 80 km (50 miles) southwest of Nanaimo, and is accessible via Highway 4 (also called the Pacific Rim Highway). Highway 4 has steep grades with little room for passing and is subjected to traffic congestion in the summer. The only unit in the park that is accessible by RVs, trailers, and cars is Long Beach Unit. Highway 4 runs through the park for 22.5 km (14 miles).
Local roads within the park connect the campground and areas of interest, such as Radar Hill, Pacific Rim Visitor Center, and Kwisitis Visitor Centre. Driving speed limit within the campground in the park is 20 km/hr (12 mph)
There are eight parking areas within Pacific Rim National Park, offering RV campers various options for parking their RVs and trailers. You’ll find parking spaces at Pacific Rim Visitor Center, Kwisitis Visitor Centre, Long Beach, Radar Hill, and off Grice Bay. Parking facilities are available at all surfing beaches in the park. Overnight parking is available for RV campers.
There are frequent bus services to Tofino from Vancouver, Victoria, and many Vancouver Island communities. Moreover, a passenger ferry service is available from Port Alberni, through the Broken Group Islands to Ucluelet.
Green Point Campground in Pacific Rim National Park features 94 pet-friendly campsites available for RVs and tents. All the campsites in the park are equipped with electric hookups for RVs. RV length limit at the campground is 35 feet (11 meters), however campers with longer RVs can contact the park ahead of their stay to request if spaces are available. Amenities at the campground include flush toilets, showers, fire-pits, picnic tables, sanitary dump, potable water, garbage facilities, restrooms, cooking facilities, bus/motor home/trailer access, and firewood available for a fee. Alcohol is not permitted in public areas in the campground and quiet hours are from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m. Maximum stay in the campground is seven consecutive nights.
Bird lovers love Pacific Rim National Park as it is a world-class bird haven with more than 300 bird species. This abundance of birds is supported by the diverse habitats in the park, ranging from sandy beaches to rocky shorelines, mud flats, dense coniferous rainforest, bogs, and meadows. What’s more, the park is along a migration route for birds in spring. Bird species available year-round in Pacific Rim National Park include bald eagle, common raven, steller's jay, chestnut-backed chickadee, black oystercatcher, great blue heron, belted kingfisher, winter wren and more.
The best way RV campers explore Pacific Rim National Park is by hiking on the eight trails in the park that add up to 12 km (7.5 miles) in the Long Beach Area. These trails are perfect for casual strolls and take campers along temperate rainforest and sandy beaches. The trails in the park include Willowbrae Trail, Halfmoon Bay Trail, South Beach Trail, Nuu-chah-nulth Trail, Shorepine Bog Trail, Rainforest Trails A and B, Combers Beach Trail, and Schooner Cove Trail. Other hiking trails are available at the West Coast Unit for campers to hike on.
Pacific Rim National Park offers RV campers wonderful cycling opportunities whether on the beach or the mountain highways. The Long Beach Unit is the only unit suitable for bicycling. The Pacific Rim Highway in particular is a challenging route for cyclists, offering them the chance to test their skills and endurance on 108 km (67 miles) of paved, steep, twisting mountain highway with variable shoulder width. Campers also cycle all the way from Ucluelet on a 10 km (6 mile) path, mostly paved, to Pacific Rim National Park.
Pacific Rim National Park is a boating paradise for RV campers as it offers great opportunities to explore sheltered coves and bays on the islands. Boaters in the park are required to carry a marine VHF Radio and Canadian Hydrographic Service Chart # 3670 which provides detailed information that boaters will need as they explore the park’s waters.
What’s more, as the waters in Long Beach Unit offer wonderful surfing experiences, the park receives 5,000 kayakers every summer, including pros and novices.
Pacific Rim National Park has two points of interest for campers who love to enjoy a good swim; Wickaninnish Beach and Combers Beach. Moreover, the park features secluded bays, beaches and lakes for visitors to enjoy. On the Wickaninnish Beach, campers get to explore intertidal zones and make sand castles in addition to wading into the water. Comber’s Beach, on the other hand, provides relatively quiet waters and offers a great view of Sea Lion Rocks.
All the beaches in the park are unsupervised and there are no lifeguards/surf guards on duty, hence caution is advised.
RV campers enjoy the outdoor adventure of geocaching at Pacific Rim National Park as they seek hidden caches spread throughout the park, particularly in the Long Beach Unit. All interested campers are required to bring their GPS or borrow one from the Kwistis Visitor Centre in the park. Thereafter, the modern-day treasure hunt can begin!