Radar Hill

Radar Hill dates back to 1954 and the early days of the Cold War.

Radar Hill is situated just north of Pacific Rim National Park, between the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island. As the site of a historic radar station during World War II, this short, picturesque walk features the Kap’Yong Memorial – in honour of the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, which served during the Korean War.

On a clear day, the 0.2 kilometre-long Radar Hill Trail offers spectacular panoramic views that are unique to the national park. Walk this family-friendly trail to enjoy breathtaking vistas of the Pacific Ocean, Clayoquot Sound, Tofino Inlet and the majestic northern mountains.

The Radar Hill Trail is short, wide and wheelchair accessible. Start at the pathway from the parking lot to access this trail, then walk up the concrete route as it veers right until you arrive at a viewpoint and the Kap’Yong Memorial, which overlooks the ocean. From this point, continue on the trail as it wraps around to a high point, then walk a bit farther as it stretches to another scenic viewpoint looking southward.

Bomber Trail

Royal Canadian Air Force Canso 11007 that crashed

This hike provides an opportunity to visit the site of a Royal Canadian Air Force Canso 11007 that crashed shortly after takeoff on February 12, 1945. The plane still remains on the side of a hill and is surprisingly fairly intact despite the damage sustained from the crash. The trail to the site is located just south of Radar Hill and it passes through a bog that is extremely muddy, even during the late summer months. Besides this section, the trail is well marked and relatively easy but you should expect to spend a fair amount of time passing through the mud.

From the lower parking lot at Radar Hill, walk back along the road towards the Highway and turn right, walking alongside of the highway heading south. Begin counting the telephone poles as you make sure to stay off the road and away from the passing cars. The trail enters the forest at the 15th telephone pole south of the Radar Hill turnoff. When you are close, there is a very small drawing of a plane on the telephone pole.

Rain Forest Trail

Two 2km boardwalk style loop trails

The Rainforest Trail is broken up into two 2km boardwalk style loops each with its own story to tell. The loops are located on either side of the highway with parking on the west side of the highway facing the ocean Loop A not only has immense trees, but also explains the life cycles of the forest with interesting educational signage. Close to the trail head exists a massive tree that is twice as thick as the trees surrounding it. Loop B teaches visitors about many keystone species in the area including salmon as well as other life cycles found in the forest. The two boardwalk style loops take you by massive cedars, salmon spawning streams, ferns and other ancient looking plants with nursing logs all around to replenish this ancient forest.

The Wild Pacific Trail

Hailed as the most beautiful hikes

The Wild Pacific Trail is one of the most beautiful hikes in the world. Located in Ucluelet this easy 8 km hike (broken into different sections) offers a rocky coastline and is most commonly known for its stunning coastal views. The trail takes you through an old gnarled forest with moss hanging from tree branches creating a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. The trail then opens up presenting spectacular shoreline panoramas as it overlooks the Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands out across the Pacific Ocean. The newest section just opened in 2013 and presents more breathtaking scenery.

Mt Ozzard

Mt Ozzard is visible across the harbour from Ucluelet on a clear day.

It is easily recognized by the golf-ball shaped radar tower on its summit. The hike (more of a walk) up the gravel service road brings you right to the top, and provides a great view of the Broken Group Islands, Ucluelet, and Pacific Rim National Park all the way up to Tofino. In the summer there are lots of berries along the road, and there is probably a good chance of seeing bears. I have been told that spending several hours at the summit causes headaches from all the radiation, although I do not know of this happening to anyone. If you ever find yourself in Ucluelet or Tofino on a clear day when the surf is no good, I would highly recommend making the trip up.