Less of a challenge when you approach it using the PlaidCamper method – although we did double the distance and likely set a new record time…
This beautiful stretch of Pacific coastline is located midway between Ucluelet and Tofino, on the Pacific Rim Highway of Vancouver Island. It’s worth the trek to make the trek.
Worth the trek
From either the Long Beach parking lot, or the Kwisitis visitor centre near Florencia Bay, a willing hiker can walk almost 10km uninterrupted along the Pacific coast. The views up and down the shore are wonderful, and once you have gone further than 20 minutes, you are likely to have the beach almost entirely to yourself. For non human company, there’ll be bald eagles, gulls, ravens, and numerous other shorebirds.
Keeping an eye on those hikers
Wolves, cougars and black bears are a possibility, as well as potential sightings of whales out in the ocean. We saw the birds, but no mammals. Not too sorry to avoid those encounters, better for all concerned.
Shore birds! (Marbled Godwits? Not sure…)
On one side you have tussocks of grass and low sand dunes fronting the fringe of rainforest. Huge logs washed up and tossed far onto the shore by the powerful storms that pound the coast later in the year are scattered everywhere. The views change constantly as you walk; the perspective of each bay, in front or behind, the mists and fog drifting in changing the light, concealing then revealing, and then concealing again. In the two days we hiked, the weather was sunny, then misty, then rainy, then sunny again, and often all in the same hour.
Storm tossed logs
Misty long views
Underfoot, depending how close you want to walk to the waves crashing ashore, the sand is hard packed and easy to walk on. There are thousands of tiny shells, middling shells and larger shells, all colourful. Pretty rocks and pebbles, shiny and speckled, mottled or plain, and many like little stone eggs, are uncovered as the ocean retreats. Huge lengths of bull kelp glisten in the light, and the occasional jelly fish is strewn across the sand, causing one to jump over and around at the last second as you catch sight of them.
The Long Beach challenge is set up as a time trial for those who wish to try. If we were being timed, we definitely set some kind of record. The number of times we stopped to breathe in all that was surrounding us, the water breaks, the lunch stop perched on a log – yup, certainly a new time record! I can’t imagine wanting to complete the journey as quickly as possible, but that’s because I am OldPlaidCamper, not young PlaidCamper. As far as jogging goes, if you made me, I’d rather jog on Long Beach than do repeated circuits in a city park.
More shore birds (the most cute least sandpipers? Maybe…)
From our campground near the beach, we were situated about a third of the distance from the Long Beach starting point. So we set off one day heading north to do a there and back again section, and the following day we turned south to go there and back for that section. The Long Beach challenge twice in two days, including lunch picnic stops – not so much of a challenge, it was more like two really delightful days of easy hiking in a wonderful setting. That’s a challenge I’m always up for! (The real challenge was having to leave).
I’m ready for this…
Do you have a favourite hike – or favourite beach? Thanks for reading, please feel free to comment or share a story, and keep your guy ropes secure.
16 thoughts on “The Long Beach challenge!”
Nice post. Have you done Half Moon Bay along that same stretch of hi way ? We’ve always enjoyed that spot.
Don’t know it, but will check it out next time around!
Thanks for reading, and the recommendation – enjoy the weekend!
Would love the challenge of getting to visit Long Beach. A wonderful oceanic setting made even more inviting by your descriptions here. The photos of sandpipers, godwits, and eagle on the beach are fine. If I could pull up these tent stakes now, I’d be on my way. Thanks for sharing your visit to this inspirational and pacific locale!
Happy you enjoyed it! There was so much bird activity, I think you’d love a trip to this coastline – pack that tent!
Enjoy your weekend.
the Tofino tourism board should hire you!
Wouldn’t even seem like work! You do the pictures, I’ll scribble some words…
Enjoy the weekend!
Hello PlaidCamper – I love this post and the photos – especially the long view and the misty long view! When I read this post, I felt very calm and relaxed. I was transported to that beach!
It’s a beach worth transporting to! Very stormy after the summer – I’d love to visit then, would be a great contrast to how calm it is currently.
Have a great weekend!
Great post as always and the photography makes me want to be there even more!
It would be some ride on a motorcycle to get there, but worth it – it’s pretty much the end of the road heading west across Canada!
Glad you enjoyed the post, thanks for taking the time.
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Can’t get enough of those Long Beach views! Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome! It really is a great place with amazing views.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your evening.
WOW!!!! I wanna go there 🙂
You should! Miles and miles of beach, and so much to see…
Thanks for reading and commenting – enjoy your day!
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I really enjoyed the walks along Long Beach, here, pc. Your descriptions are vivid, and your photos are wonderful. That bald eagle especially is a stunner. Those kinds of days where you choose a path, bring your lunch, and spend the day hiking are so glorious; and then to have this gorgeous beach and its environs to explore…it’s heavenly. Thanks for taking us with you…. 🙂
Happy you enjoyed the walk! You are right about those days being among the best. Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate them.
Enjoy your evening!
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