Driving Sidney to Tofino

Old May 6th, 2007, 02:33 PM
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Driving Sidney to Tofino

I know one should never "assume," but I did. Previously the ferry to Sidney made a morning stop at Friday Harbor, but for this summer, it was changed to afternoon.

We have reservations in Tofino the day we arrive by ferry at 5 PM. Am I correct that the driving time is about 4 hours from Sidney to Tofino? Is there a busy rush hour out of Victoria that we'll encounter at that time and add to the driving time?

We'll be arriving in Sidney on a Thursday in August. Does it seem likely that we'll be driving the hairiest part of the road in the dark? Don't think we can change reservations, plus we want as much time in Tofino as possible.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Hmmm...a friend who lives in Victoria says it takes five hours to drive from there to Tofino.

In August it will be getting dark by 9 p.m. Yes, you will be driving the hairiest part of the road in dusk and possibly darkness. My husband, a professional truck driver, attempted the same trip in the dark and ended up stopping overnight in Port Alberni: he just didn't feel confident driving the Port Alberni to Tofino segment in the dark. (Though it has to be said that that was on a rainy winter night.)

I'll be interested to hear what other say about this. Maybe we're being over-cautious.
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Old May 7th, 2007, 07:28 PM
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Mapquest returns 5 hours 1 minute (man thats precise?) from Sidney to Tofino. Unfortunately you may have to add an hour due to rush hour. Duncan on south are now bedroom comunities of Victoria and the traffic has become a problem.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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If it is any consolation, we are in the exact same situation. On the spring schedule, there was a ferry that left Friday Harbor at 9am -- I assumed that they would add more ferries in the summer, not cut out the morning one! I think we are going to go ahead and drive so we don't lose another day in Tofino as we only had three to begin with.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 04:32 PM
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I'm just back from Tofino - you'll be driving the worst bit at dusk/dark and it won't be fun, but if you're careful and drive relatively slowly you should be okay.
The main problem with the road between Port Alberni isn't necessarily the twists (although it is twisty), it's the random bumps, lumps and potholes. Even on a sunny day it's not a great drive.
Given that you can't change the reservation, and that you want as much time in Tofino as possible, I'd say go for it.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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You will be driving thru rush hour from Sidney to Duncan. Without the extra rush hour traffic the time is 5 hours from Sidney-Tofino and you will be doing the twisty bit in the dusk/dark. It's not a problem as long as you take it slow and adhere to the speed limits posted.

I wouldn't worry about it that much. We've done it even in terrible weather and Tofino is well worth it!
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Old May 17th, 2007, 03:16 AM
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I'm not clear on whether you're taking the ferry from Anacortes or from Friday Harbor. I wouldn't count on the ferry being exactly on time especially if you're taking it from Anacortes. We did it the opposite way last summer and not only was the ferry late but it took a long time to get through customs, and that put us a couple of hours behind. With any luck though you'll be late enough to miss the traffic in the "Colwood crawl."
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