Posted by: sunnyharvy | October 10, 2014

Off to the West Coast

We headed west from Parksville on Route 4, one of only two paved roads that reach the West Coast of Vancouver Island. One of our stops along the way was a brief hike around Cathedral Grove, a rare and endangered remnant of an ancient Douglas Fir ecosystem. The biggest trees in the Grove are about 800 years old measuring up to 250 ft in height and 29 ft in circumference.




The three-hour drive west across Vancouver Island is quite spectacular. The road winds around lakes,  up and down mountains, between thick vast forests of huge trees, and along rivers. I was glad that Al was driving so I could take in the incredible scenery without distraction.


 Kennedy Lake


Gotta pay attention driving on this road.


Small picturesque lake along the road.

We arrived at Ucluelet, our destination at the end of the road, with just enough time to find a beautiful cliff-side boondocking spot overlooking a rocky inlet. Here’s our view. Not bad, eh? Parked next to an empty lot amid Million$+ homes.


We took a brief morning walk around the neighborhood after breakfast and then drove out a bit further to hike the spectacular Wild Pacific Trail around the point.




Who knows what this is all about? We’ve seen it in a few locations now.




A quick drive through the town and boat harbor of Ucluelet before heading to the other end of this road to visit the surfing mecca of Tofino.


We’ve never seen a stop sign on the water before. What if you’re in a sailboat?!? This one is at the harbor entrance.



This gem hasn’t seen the harbor for quite some time. It is now berthed on the main street through town.

Tofino has a discernibly different vibe than Ucluelet. Several nearby Pacific Ocean beaches provide the best surfing conditions in Canada, which brings a younger, more active crowd. Apparently it gets extremely crowded and occasionally rowdy during the summer months, so we are grateful to be here when it is quieter even though it is a bit cool and foggy.


World’s smallest visitor center?


Creative bridge building along trail to Tonquin Beach.




Love how the forests come right down to the sand here.



Long Beach – foggy but still beautiful with several surfers enjoying small, but perfectly formed waves. (Don’t look for them in this photo, they were too far out to include.)



  1. Million dollar homes – did not realize there were so many people living up there. It is a beautiful area – pretty lakes and especially ocean beaches..
    Love the Visitor Center – are they hiring?

    • I had no idea there were so many people living on Vancouver island either. It is VERY different than expected, but we’re having a good time.

  2. about the padlocks ….

    • Thanks, Sharon. I had no idea it was an international phenomena.

  3. gorgeous! TWikipedia says this about locks on fences “A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love. ” xo

  4. more on the Love Locks from Wikipedia: “A love lock or love padlock is a padlock which sweethearts lock to a bridge, fence, gate, or similar public fixture to symbolize their love.Typically the sweethearts’ names or initials are inscribed on the padlock, and its key is thrown away to symbolize unbreakable love. Since the 2000s, love locks have proliferated at an increasing number of locations worldwide. They are often treated by municipal authorities as litter or vandalism, and there is some cost to their removal.”

  5. You sure did a fantastic job of capturing the beauty of the Island’s west coast! Just terrific photos!

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