- Distance 2km
- Elevation Gain 731 stairs
- Camping No
Located in Pacific Rim National Park, the scenic Rainforest Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails among locals and visitors in the Tofino-Ucluelet area. The trail has two routes, one on each side of the highway (listed as "Route A" and "Route B" below). The parking lot is located on the west (ocean) side of the highway.
Route A starts from the east side of the highway, which means you'll have to carefully cross the highway from the entrance of the parking area. Speed limits in this area are up to 80 kilometres per hour, so it's important to be alert and cautious in making sure there is plenty of distance between yourself and any oncoming cars as you cross this busy stretch of road.
Once on the other side, enter the forest along the wooden boardwalk and go left at the junction. This 2-kilometer trail runs parallel to the road for a short distance before curving deeper into the forest, leaving the sound of cars behind. You'll see a pair of grand, old trees lying across the trail - simply duck down to pass underneath them. The trail then drops down to a steep set of stairs taking you farther into the forest and weaving you through the thick foliage. You'll soon reach a junction with a short trail on the left. (To the right of the trail, however, stands a grand, majestic tree that's not to be missed: This one is nearly twice as thick as the trees surrounding it.)
Continue along the trail as it drops and climbs through the forest until you reach another junction with a short trail to the left, offering a view of a small creek. Back on the trail, walk up the wooden steps and follow the boardwalk as it leads you back towards the junction. A short walk to the left returns you to the highway, where you (again) carefully cross the busy road and return to the parking area.
Route B starts from the far right side of the parking lot. To begin this 2-kilometer hiking loop, follow the gravel trail - which soon turns into a wooden boardwalk. At the junction, turn left and follow the trail as it descends farther into the forest and passes alongside beautiful moss-covered trees and tiny streams. Along the way, you'll find several signboards offering information about the local ecosystem. Continue as the trail climbs and then again descends, threading its way deeper into the forest before looping back around. (Of course, all of those steps you walked down earlier means you'll have to now climb a number of wooden steps for your return trip.) Follow the trail as it climbs back up, passing a few viewpoints along the way, before reaching the junction you came across earlier on your hike. Veer left for a short walk along the gravel trail, which will guide you back towards the parking lot.
How to get to Rainforest Trail
Located in Pacific Rim National Park, the Rainforest trail parking area is south of Long Beach.
From Tofino, drive south and into Pacific Rim National Park. Watch for signs to the Rainforest Trail and turn right into the parking lot area.
From Ucluelet, drive north, past the intersection, and into the park area. Watch for signs to the Rainforest Trail and turn left into the parking lot.
The parking lot is on the west side of the road. Route A starts from the east side on the other side of the highway. Route B begins at the far end of the parking area.