Canada has more than a few amazing National Parks to check out, many of which can be found in British Colombia. While the parks in the mountains get a lot of the focus, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve should be high on your list.
Located on the west side of Vancouver Island, this stunning National Park is comprised of a diverse range of environments. As such, there’s a lot to do in Pacific Rim, more than one might expect. There are a lot of reasons why you need to go there.
The key parts of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Being on the west side of Vancouver Island puts the park right on the Pacific Ocean. As such, the environment in this park is diverse and stunning. When planning a trip, it’s important to decide how you’re going to enjoy it in advance.
Pacific Rim has a number of excellent beaches but the biggest, best, and most popular of them is Long Beach. While it is a superb place to spend time, unsupervised swimming is not recommended due to the powerful rip currents. That just means it needs to be enjoyed safely.
The Broken Group Islands are another part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It is made up of a collection of islands that are in the middle of Barkley Sound. They are quite picturesque and are interesting to explore by kayak.
In addition to Long Beach and the Broken Group Islands, the West Coast Trail is another important part of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It runs for 75 kilometers along the edge of the park, hitting several key sights along the way.
What to do there
The main reason to head to Pacific Rim is to get outdoors and explore. And there is plenty to do outside, regardless of which part of the park you head for. It actually offers some pretty surprising options for visitors.
Long Beach is a prime example of this as it reputedly has some incredible surfing at the right time of year. It is, of course, right on the Pacific Ocean. This was one of the first surfing spots in British Colombia and remains one of the most popular.
As previously mentioned, the Broken Group Islands also have several opportunities for superb sea kayaking. On top of that, the West Coast Trail is considered to be one of the best hiking experiences in the world. Anyone who is into hiking or sea kayaking needs to stop by this park.
Naturally, there are campgrounds, picnic tables, and various other amenities that one would expect to find in a park like this. More surprisingly, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve apparently offers great scuba diving in different areas, particularly in the winter months.
Finding incredible wildlife
What makes Pacific Rim National Park Reserve stand out is the fact that you can make a trip your own here. Some people prefer surfing while others want to do some kayaking or scuba diving. And there are people who just want to camp.
But Pacific Rim also has some of the densest and lushest forests around. They contain a huge array of plant life. These forests are home to a variety of amphibians, invertebrates, birds, and mammals including Vancouver Island Cougars, mink, black bears, marten, and Roosevelt Elk.
The ocean offers its own unique wildlife spotting opportunities. Kelp forests are home to permanent porpoise, seal, and Stellar Sea Lion populations. On top of that, the park is also on the migratory routes for killer whales, grey whales, basking sharks, and humpback whales.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve isn’t a park that gets talked about a lot outside of those who are in the know. It’s worthy of the “best-kept secret” cliche but hopefully, that will change a bit. This is too incredible a place to keep completely secret.