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Pacific Rim National Park, Ucluelet

By Casey Beam

The magnificent Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is the only national park on Vancouver Island, BC. The park is a thin strip of land that runs along the south-west coast of the island along the Pacific Ocean.

During the winter months this area is exposed to the full force of the mighty Pacific Ocean. The relentless pounding is the reason for the constantly changing shoreline.

The entire park encompasses 511 km (197 sq mi) of land and ocean. The reserve is categorized by its rugged coasts and lush temperate rainforests. Parts of the park are open from mid-March until mid-October. Other parts are only open over the summer months.

During the off season, the area is constantly subjected to moist air masses coming inland from the Ocean. The presence of the mountain ranges causes the air masses to rise and cool releasing large amounts of rainfall, over the “wet” west coast during this time of year. The area averages over 3000mm (nearly 10 feet) of rain per year.

Sitka Spruce is usually found in close proximity to the coast due to its resistance to ocean spray and abrasive wind-blown sands. The spruce acts as a buffer protecting the inland forests from the ocean.

This unique park covers an area of 49,962 hectares of land and ocean and has three distinct geographic areas – including long sandy beaches, an island archipelago, old-growth coastal temperate rainforest and significant Nuu-chah-nulth archaeological sites.

The section that is easiest to access is the area between Tofino and Ucluelet. This part of the park is known as Long Beach. There are also numerous trails in this region, running through bogs and temperate rainforest areas.

The Broken Islands area is known as The Broken Group Islands region and is found in Barkley Sound. The largest forested islands are Effingham, Turret, Turtle, Dodd, Jacques, Nettle and Gibraltar Island. Access to the area is typically by boat, making this area is a very popular destination for kayakers.

The West Coast Trail is a 75 km (47 mi) trail along the west-coast of Vancouver Island from Port Renfrew to Bamfield. The trail was built so sailors who were shipwrecked on the coast could escape the wilderness. The “Lifesaving Trail” was constructed between 1907 and 1910. The trail fell out of use in the 1950s, but was reborn again as the West Coast Trail in the 70s. Today, the demanding trail takes hikers along rocky beaches, through rainforest, and across sometimes rough and muddy terrain.

Now the question that you may be asking yourself is where do you review more information on this? Click here for information on the Pacific Rim National Park area? To widen your research to the BC coast in general go here! Around Vancouver Island

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Beam, Casey "Pacific Rim National Park, Ucluelet." Pacific Rim National Park, Ucluelet. 22 Jun. 2010. 17 Sep 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Beam, C (2010, June 22). Pacific Rim National Park, Ucluelet. Retrieved September 17, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Beam, Casey "Pacific Rim National Park, Ucluelet"

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