- Distance 2km
- Elevation Gain 336 stairs
- Camping No
The Schooner Cove Trail is a popular two-kilometre hike in Vancouver Island's Pacific Rim National Park. As a short and relatively easy trail, this scenic hike leads you through lush rainforests and over gentle meandering streams before arriving at a spectacular beachfront area.
To begin your hike, walk to the far corner of the parking lot, where you'll see the start of the trail as it crosses a gravel road and enters the forest. The trail continues briefly on a gravel path before reaching a set of wooden stairs, which quickly descend into the forest. Here, the forest floor is thickly covered with green moss, and the trail continues on a series of stairs and boardwalks before dropping into the first small valley and bridge, which crosses one of several little creeks. From here, climb the wooden stairs and continue along the boardwalk. After a few steps, the trail descends into another set of steps and into a small valley before continuing up a third set of steps, which will guide you through the valley.
As you wind through Schooner Cove's verdant rainforest trail, the rolling sounds of the ocean are hard to miss. Continue following the path, and you'll eventually catch a glimpse of the water. Keep on the trail, and a short distance away is a set of steep wooden steps that descend onto a flat boardwalk section, which leads out onto the beach.
This beautiful and pristine beach offers amazing views of a rocky outcrop, which can be accessed at low tides. However, it's important to be extremely careful as tides can change quickly in the area - making it easy to become trapped by a single rising tide.
To explore this area further, walk south along the ocean to Long Beach, a 10-kilometre expanse of beachfront that seems to stretch on forever.
How to get to Schooner Cove Trail
Schooner Cove is located on the north end of Pacific Rim National Park, just north of Long Beach.
From Tofino: Drive south and watch for signs to Schooner Cove (which will appear after the signs marked for Pacific Rim National Forest). At the Schooner Cove sign, turn right into the parking lot.
From Ucluelet: Drive north along Highway #4, past the intersection and into Pacific Rim National Park. Watch for signs to Schooner Cove, then turn left into the parking lot.