- Distance 3km
- Elevation Gain 91 stairs
- Camping No
The Tonquin Trail is an easy walking trail that passes through rainforests along the Pacific coast and provides access to Tonquin Beach, which is a great location for watching sunsets. The beginning of the trail is within walking distance of the town of Tofino and can either be accessed by a trail at the end of Tonquin Park Road or from the Tofino Community Hall. There are some wooden stairs along the trail down to the beach but the forest trails are gravel and offer a fairly easy walk.
From the parking area at the end of Tonquin Park Road, walk up the paved path as it passes between some houses and quickly reaches a wooden platform at the top of a set of stairs. Walk down the stairs and cross the bridge, continuing into the forest. Within a couple of minutes, you reach the end of this section of trail as it arrives at Tonquin Beach.
The beach is a popular spot during the sunny evenings as it's one of the best locations in Tofino to watch the sunset. Since the beach is not located directly facing the Pacific Ocean, it does not receive the giant ocean waves and therefore, is much calmer than other areas, like Long Beach.
To continue hiking the rest of the Tonquin Trail, return to the trail where you accessed the beach and just to the right, further along the forest's edge, there is another trail. Follow this trail to the right as it reaches a large set of wooden stairs. Walk up the wooden stairs to the top and continue a short distance until you reach a junction, where the trail to the left goes to the Tofino Community Hall. Go right at the junction and follow the trail as it wraps along the coastline, staying in the forest above the ocean.
Continue following the trail and taking the opportunity to walk along any short trails to the right that offer viewpoints of the ocean. There is also a short forest loop at a junction on your left, which takes a brief excusion along a different route before return to the trail along the coastline. You can choose to do this path either on the way or when you return as it gives you a different option.
The Tonquin Trail eventually heads down a hill and ends at a rocky beach that is surrounded by the small BC coastal rock. Return by walking back up the hill and following the same route you took. If you did not take the side trail through the forest, you can do that on the way back, or simply stay on the coastal route and pass both junctions for the side trail. Continue walking until you reach the junction with the parking lot to the Community Hall. If you parked at Tonquin Park Road, go left and down the wooden stairs, returning to the beach briefly. Then step back up onto the trail that enters the forest, crosses the bridge, and heads up the wooden platform of stairs, before returning down the paved path to the start of the trail.
How to get to Tonquin Beach
Access to Tonquin Beach is best done at the end of Tonquin Park Road, where there is a number of parking spots at the end of the road. It is only a 10 - 15 minute walk from Tofino. To get here by car or foot, go to 1st Street and turn left heading southbound. When you reach a park on your right, go right onto Arnet Road. A few hundred meters later, go left onto Tonquin Park Road and drive / walk to the end where a trail begins on the left side.
A second option with more parking is to start your walk from the Tofino Community Hall. To start from the Community Hall, drive south on 1st Street from Tofino and turn left onto Arnet Road. Drive to the end where it veer right into the parking lot area.