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  • Writer's pictureShacks On The Road

The Long Beach Challenge - The Full Beach Experience In Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

The beaches of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the West coast of Vancouver Island between Ucluelet and Tofino is where we spend a large chunk of our summer. The beauty of this rugged coastline is second to none and the beaches that dot the coastline will not disappoint. However, to get the full beach experience, we suggest you try the Long Beach Challenge.


The Long Beach Challenge is a 9.5 km walk, bike or run, along the beaches of Pacific Rim National Park from Incinerator Rock to the Kwisitis Visitor Center on Wickaninnish Beach. We do this challenge almost every summer and our preferred method is to walk, but again, it is up to you as to how you choose to approach the challenge.


Most of all, remember to take it slow so you can fully take in all the sights and sounds as you move along these amazing beaches. It is definitely worth your time on a visit to the park and an experience you won't soon forget.


Beach along the rocks at Green Point

Some Tips:


  • We take two cars when we do the challenge. We have always started the challenge at Incinerator Rock and ended at Wickaninnish Beach and the visitor center. We drop off one vehicle at the visitor center parking lot and then drive to Incinerator Rock in the other vehicle and start our challenge from there. If you start early and are so inclined, you definitely could do the 19 kilometre return trip from either starting point.


  • Bring water and food to keep you fueled.

  • Do check the tide charts and choose a day without extremely high tides. There are areas where tide can affect the hike, specifically in the Green Point area along the rocks as well as at Combers Beach where there is a river / creek that you need to cross. If you catch high tide at Green Point, you will still be able to go behind the rocks to continue on, however, you will miss out on exploring many of the tide pools.


  • You will want to hit the rocks at Green Point during low tide so you can explore the tide pools. You can easily spend quite a bit of time exploring the rocks here and it is definitely worth taking the time to do so. Green Point is 3.2 kilometres from Incinerator Rock, so plan your start time from Incinerator Rock accordingly.

Tide pools at Green Point
  • Our favorite driftwood beach is Combers Beach. We often slow down here as the kids want to run around and play on the big weathered logs that have washed up on the shore. You should also look for sea lions on the aptly named Sea Lion Rocks which are just offshore. If they are there, there's a good chance you will hear them.


  • If you are in search of beach glass, then Wickaninnish Beach is the place to go. We usually find more on the rockier sections of the beach closer to Combers Beach.


  • We take our dog with us when we do the challenge, but always remember to keep your dog on a leash if you take them. Dogs are required to be on a leash at all times while in the park. Not only does this keep them from chasing shore birds, deer and other wildlife that may be encountered on the beaches and trails, it also keeps them from getting eaten by wolves which call the park home as well.


  • Finally, bring binoculars on your trip. Binoculars will help you see the sea lions better if they are out on the rocks and you can also scan the offshore waters to look for whales.


Sign near Green Point showing map of the Long Beach Challenge


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