This national park has some of Canada's most stunning coastal and rain-forest scenery, abundant wildlife, and a unique marine environment. It comprises three separate units—Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail—for a combined area of 123,431 acres, and stretches 130 km (81 miles) along Vancouver Island's west coast. Admission to the park is C$7.80, and visitors must display a permit, available from the visitor center, in their vehicle.
The more than 100 islands of the Broken Group Islands archipelago can be reached only by boat. The islands and their clear waters are alive with sea lions, seals, and whales, and because the inner waters are much calmer than the surrounding ocean, they are excellent for kayaking. Guided kayak and charter-boat tours are available from Ucluelet, Bamfield, and Port Alberni.
The third element of the park, the West Coast Trail, runs along the coast from Bamfield to Port Renfrew. It's an extremely rugged
75-km (47-mile) trail for experienced hikers. It takes an average of six days to complete, and is open from May 1 to September 30. A quota system helps the park manage the number of hikers, and reservations are highly recommended between mid-June and mid-September. Hiking requires a C$24.75 reservation fee and C$128.75 for a hiker's permit.
The Pacific Rim Visitor Centre is open daily mid-March through August, from 9 am to 7 pm, and until mid-October, 9 am to 5 pm.