|Wya Point, Ucluelet at high tide|
Where Karen enjoys a magical sunrise on a private, secluded beach & the kids see sea stars and sea anemones for the first time.
I wake in the gray predawn light to the sound of waves lapping the shore. The ocean’s quiet voice tells me the tide is out, so I slip out of the tent, barefoot, to see what treasures have washed ashore in the night. Cool, damp sand squelches between my toes mere metres from my campsite.
|Sea anemones and sea star|
Rocks that were submerged at high tide beckon. I approach with bated breath and let out a silent cheer when I see bright splashes of colour on the dark stone. The whole, long drive (and ferry ride) from Calgary, my husband and I had promised the girls they would see sea stars and sea anemones. Now we could make good on that promise!
Minutes later, all four of us are racing to the beach to check out the sea critters. Breakfast can wait, but the tides will not. As the girls squeal with glee, counting sea stars and stroking their bumpy backs, my husband and I agree it was worth the drive.
For more information on camping/lodging at Wya Point Resort, please see my story: Our Favorite Vancouver Island Campgrounds.
The Wild Pacific Trail
Where we roam the rugged coastline and watch the roaring sea
Late morning finds us at The Wild Pacific Trail’s Lighthouse Loop, a short drive from Ucluelet. In contrast to the rugged coastline, the trail is easy, so we can watch the waves as we walk (plus, the sun has chased the slugs away). Surf smashing against the rocks remind us to stay on the trail.
|Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet|
Here, at the southern end of the peninsula, it is open sea in most directions, so we are treated to sweeping views of Barkley Sound and the Broken Islands Group. As we take in the turbulent seas and wave scoured rocks near Amphitrite Point Lighthouse, we wonder how it has stayed standing for over a century (built in 1906 after a shipwreck, then rebuilt in 1915).
|The Broken Islands Group|
|Amphitrite Point Lighthouse, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet|
|Big Beach, Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet|
|Interpretive Display at Big Beach Picnic Area|
Retracing our steps, we head north to the Artist Loops, gradually gaining elevation. We keep an eye out for “Painter’s Perches”; platforms perfectly situated at the most scenic viewpoints. I ask my family if we should return for sunset and my oldest daughter says, “Our beach is pretty nice, Mama.” It’s true, and we’ve hiked a lot already (almost 9 km!), so we plan to have an early dinner then return to camp.
|The Wanderer’s Tree, Ucluelet|
|Look for our shell!|
Fishfull Thinking Fish Market is your place for the freshest fish. We picked up a fresh sockeye salmon filet, mussels, smoked salmon, and candied salmon (the best thing ever) to cook a seafood feast at camp.
|The Canadian Princess is no longer at Ucluelet Harbour.|
|Sunset at Wya Point|
More Things to Do in Ukee
Based on a First Nations Longhouse, Kwisitis Visitor Centre is full of interesting displays on Kwisitis First Nations culture. The building and location are beautiful. Walk down to the beach if you have time. 15 km from Ucluelet.
The Ucluelet Aquarium is a fun stop on a rainy day as they have touch tanks where you can touch local sea life. Allow 30-60 minutes for your visit. 180 Main Street.
Learn about the salmon life cycle, see fish spawning, and if you’re lucky, see bears and birds catching fish at Thornton Fish Hatchery. 12 km from Ucluelet.
There are tons of beaches around Ucluelet! Read about some of our favorites in my story: Vancouver Island’s Best Seaside Campgrounds.
Surfing, kayaking, fishing, nature and wildlife tours, and whale watching are also popular in Ukee. Research tour operators before you go for the best experience.
Stay tuned for more Vancouver Island trip inspiration!