Pachena Bay & the Bamfield Area
Pachena Bay Campground provides opportunities for unforgettable experiences in and around Bamfield, BC with world-class attractions on the Pacific Rim of Vancouver Island.
The campground is part of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation‘s commitment to sustainable and responsible economic development and furthering their vision of working together for a healthy, prosperous, and self-sustaining community.
Pachena Bay, approximately 3 km long and 1 km wide, faces the open Pacific Ocean to the southwest. At the head of the bay, directly in front of the campground, is a magnificent, natural sand beach approximately 1200 meters long. At low tide, the beach is nearly 200 meters wide, ideal for beach combing, relaxing, jogging, other sports activities, and for observing abundant wildlife. Please be advised that ATV’s/ quads and motorbikes are not permitted on the beach.
If you’re looking to explore the area, there’s plenty to see and do. Here are just a few:
Village of Bamfield
Located three kilometers by a gravel and paved road from the campground, Bamfield is a historic coastal fishing community that evokes times past with old-style boardwalk along the water’s edge that was originally built in the 1940’s. The main “street” is an inlet of the ocean! East Bamfield is accessible by car, while West Bamfield is only accessed by boat, kayak, or via water taxi. That is correct there is no road to the West Side of Bamfield, but there are roads and vehicles on the west side that have been barged over. Amenities of Bamfield include general stores, craft galleries, motel and pub, liquor store, restaurant, boat and car fuel, propane, boat moorage, fishing charters, diving and kayak rentals, Eco-tours, day sailing and more.
West Coast Trail
The West Coast Trail, in Pacific Rim National Park, is world renowned and stretches 77 km across the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. Campers at Pachena Bay are welcome to take day-hikes along the trail; Pachena Light Station is a destination (please register with Parks Canada first).
The West Coast Trail is open for hiking from May 1 to September 30. Trail Information Centres are open daily, from 9 am to 5 pm during this period. Travel during the off-season is hazardous and not recommended.
Whether you are starting are ending your hike in Bamfield, the campsites at Pachena Bay are a great place to stay with your group.
In addition to day hikes along the West Coast Trail, you can also enjoy shorter, spectacular hikes to Cape Beale Headlands, Keeha Beach, Kicha Lake Tapoltos Beach, Brady’s Beach, Bamfield Boardwalk and to Bamfield. All hikes are through the rain forest and provide you with the chance to visit centuries-old trees in a magnificent and undisturbed ecosystem. The hikes to Cape Beale and Keeha Beach bring you to stunning, outer coast shorelines, directly exposed to the full power of the open Pacific Ocean.
Are you looking for a Guided hiking tour filled with Indigenous history? Check out the local tour of Kiixn Village, a National Historic Site of Canada. Each cultural tour last approximately 3.5 hours, guided by local Huu-ay-aht knowledge keepers. This tour is a moderate level hike and cannot accommodate those with mobility challenges or children under 7. For more information and booking related questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Sports fishing in the local area around the campground has been famous throughout the world for many of years. Anglers fishing Barkley Sound and offshore areas catch Halibut, Sockeye, Chinook, Chum and Pink Salmon. The prime fishing season is May to September. The Bamfield are offer a variety of Fishing Charter’s that can be found in a simple google search. Often Charter packages may include options such as a boat, guide, gear, tackle and weather gear depending on charter company booked. If you are wanting to bring your boat there is a boat ramp and moorage options available in Bamfield.
Looking to enjoy a day cruise along the scenic Alberni Canal and into magnificent Barkley Sound aboard a historic and picturesque coastal steamer. The gravel road discouraging you from exploring our beautiful area? We suggest you check out The M.V. Frances Barkley which runs year-round between Port Alberni and Bamfield. En route, be prepared to smell fresh ocean air with mother natures spectacular show of west coast wildlife: Bald Eagles, Black Bears, Sea Lions, Seals, Otters, Porpoises, Grey Whales, and Orca’s (killer whales).
Pachena Bay Campground office offer’s Paddle Board rentals for the entire family, feel free to explore Pachena Bay, or the Pachena River. Please see our 2020 Rates & Reservations for Prices.
Local Kayak rental options give those interested the ability to explore from the campground, the Pachena River, Pachena Bay, Seabird Islands, Clutus Point, Keeha Bay, Pachena Point and Cape Beale. You may witness Soaring Eagles, Frolicking Sea Lions, Majestic Whales, Prowling orcas (killer whales), or Black Bears foraging along the shore. Kayaks can be rented in Bamfield.
The MV Lady Rose provides service between Bamfield, Barkley Sound and Port Alberni, and will drop kayaker’s off in the Broken Group Islands of Pacific Rim National Park.
The marine ecology in the ocean waters around the Pachena Bay Campground offers some of the best diving in the world. A group of Canadian universities operates a research facility at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, and a group of American universities operates the School for Field Studies, also located in Bamfield, near the campground. Divers to the region can explore a wonderful underwater world, or examine sunken wrecks in the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” Scuba air is available nearby in Bamfield.
Some of the best opportunities for Eco-tours are available around Pachena Bay. Whale-watching is popular, as whales migrate past Pachena Bay and Barkley Sound; some even enter inshore waters. Occasionally, whales can be seen from the campground, feeding along the shore near Clutus Point. There are Eco-tour, sightseeing, whale watching, and day-sailing operators in Bamfield. You can also find local tours of Bamfield History, Wildlife, Giant Trees, and The Pirate Tour guided by local Bamfield Paul. For more information or booking in regarding a touring package check out Paul’s website here.