We went on a salmon fishing trip through Viking Charters out of Ucluelet. The guide was a very nice older guy.. His boat was a commercial troller which also did sport charters. We talked to him after he came in from fishing one evening, and he gave us a salmon for our trouble. The next morning we went out fishing with him. My husband used to commercial fish, so he gave us the option of either sport fishing with poles, or running the commercial gear. We ran the gear all day, 10 hours, and had lots of fun! We caught lots of fish and the price was very reasonable. I don't know if he is still around, but if so we would definitely go fishing with him again. Weather gear, sunscreen, snacks
Hotsprings the natural westcoast way
I have been to 'natural' hot mineral springs before visiting the Pacific Rim, but was unprepared for what we found when we visited Hot Springs Cove.
It can be reached by a one-and-a-half hour boat trip from Tofino (a number of outfits offer the tour). The boat drops you off on a boardwalk and you then have a half-hour walk beside the ocean through ancient rainforest. The walk itself is quite breathtaking. When you reach the cove you find a completely natural rocky area with the springs pouring out of the side of the rock face. No built swimming pool, no kiosk, no temperature control or developed enhancement of any kind, except for an outhouse and a single change shed. It was fabulous! You had to carefully climb over the rocks and bolders and sit in one of the cascading pools, complete with algae and barnacles. The uppermost pool was way to hot to sit in but the ones nearer the tidal pools were great.
Unfortunately, because I needed both hands to climb down to the springs I didn't take my camera in so didn't get a great shot. However, I have included the website for the tour operators, Ocean Outfitters, who have a terrific shot of the hot springs on their site.
I must say, I was a little concerned for some of the elderly folk that came along, probably not expecting the springs to be quite so rugged. One lady slipped on the rocks and needed assistance, so if you go be very careful! However, it is a unique experience and I would highly recommend it.
Walk the Rainforest Trail
This has to be the top of anybody's "to do" list when they go to Tofino. To miss the rainforest trail in Pacific Rim National Park would be a huge travesty (in my opinion) considering how easily-accessible and sublimely awe-inspiring it is.
There are actually two rainforest trails labeled simply, Rainforest Trail A and Rainforest Trail B. They're located immediately off of Hwy 4 and each have their own parking lots at the head of each trail.
As you enter the trail, it becomes an intricate boardwalk of stairs, bridges, and walkways elevated above the forest floor. You can access and experience the sights, smells, and spiritual atmosphere of this rare, undisturbed, old growth temperate rainforest in ways that are generally impossible to experience from the side of the road. The vegetation is lush and vibrant. The enormous cedars and douglas firs have been living here since before Europeans colonized the continent. The tree trunks are coated in carpets of moss, and the forest floor is a dense mixture of salal and sword ferns. Keep your eyes open for wild mushrooms and flowers. In the background is the constant sound of a babbling stream.
Contrary to what you may expect, the rainforest trail walk makes for a perfect rainy day activity. The canopy of the forest offers shelter, and the rain adds a certain lushness and intimacy to the experience. The smells of the forest are more pronounced in the rain, and sounds of the rain and the rivers are almost primal. While I'm not a religious person, a walk through the rainforest trail in the rain is one of the most spiritual experiences you can get.
Each trail is relatively short - you can probably walk one loop in 20-30 minutes, however, if you want to take your time, take some photos, and truly soak up the atmosphere, you could easily spend one hour at each loop. Both trail loops are located on either side of the highway from eachother, so you can park your car at one location and cross the highway to walk the other.
We spent hours one day climbing over the rocks in more deserted southerly part of Long Beach looking at all the marine life captured in the tidal pools left when the tide retreated. There were all sorts of crabs, anenomes, starfish and of course little fish of all kinds.
Go to a Party
If you can manage it, try and go to a local party. Keep your ears open and ask around - people are pretty friendly. Parties in Tofino are usually saturated with alcohol and pot, so if you're in to that, perfect. Otherwise, they can still be a blast!