Tofino Warnings and Dangers

  • Warnings and Dangers
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by CatherineReichardt

Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Tofino

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    Be careful of rip currents off Long Beach

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Nov 23, 2012

    (work in progress)
    Long Beach is perhaps the best known of Tofino's surf beaches, and is a magnet for amateur and professional surfers who are keen to sample the unique cold water charm of Canada's surfing capital.

    However, the cold water isn't the only hazard off this beach, which is characterised by strong rip currents. Rip currents occur when two currents come together from opposing directions and converge to create a powerful force which 'rips' swimmers out to sea, and even powerful swimmers have been drowned as they have exhausted themselves trying to swim against the rip.

    Although it seems counterintuitive, the best way to deal with the rip current is to swim parallel to the coast until you escape from the 'rip', after which you can swim towards the shore.

    For fear of stating the obvious, this beach is no place for poor swimmers, and adults should keep a particularly close eye on children in their care, who could easily be swept out to sea.

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    Floating logs are a hazard for kayakers and boats

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Nov 23, 2012

    (work in progress)
    Somehow most aspects of nature seem to be bigger on Vancouver Island, and whereas driftwood on beaches elsewhere in the world may consist of twigs, branches and the occasional root, in this neck of the woods, it comprises whole tree trunks!

    The outsize nature of the driftwood bears testament to the powerful nature of local tides and currents along this section of coastline, which allow the sea to transport these huge pieces of wood. Some of the tree trunks result from trees falling into the water as a result of storms or erosion, but the sawn ends of many of the trunks suggest that the majority originate from the logging industry (which is one of the major industries on the island).

    From a tourist's point of view, the driftwood along Long Beach makes for interesting photographic opportunities, and also presents the would-be architect with an opportunity to create beach shelters on an unprecedented scale. However, if you're intrepid enough to be attempting one of the many water sports that Tofino has to offer - such as surfing, kayaking or windsurfing - a collision with partly submerged log could do you a nasty mischief, so keep a wary eye out for these floating hazards.

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    Limited mobility and the Rainforest Walk don't mix

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Nov 9, 2012

    (work in progress)
    Having had considerable experience of pushing both a pushchair (stroller) and a wheelchair on holiday, access for those with limited mobility is something that I tend to focus on when I'm visiting a new place.

    The Rainforest Walk near Tofino is certainly not negotiable if you're pushing anything with wheels and would also be difficult for those for whom steps are a challenge. After an initially flat section close to the car park, the circular route drops down into a stream bed, and there are several sections where fairly steep steps have been constructed to accommodate the gradient. The surface of the boardwalk can also be slippy, particularly during or after rain - which, in this part of the world, tends the rule rather than the exception (it is, after all, a rain forest)!

    It would be a crime to visit this glorious part of the world and not have the chance to appreciate its amazing ecosystems, so f you have limited mobility, rather concentrate on Cathedral Grove, where the boardwalk is more even, or visit the excellent 'bog walk' which is only a few minutes drive from the Rainforest Walk and is absolutely flat.

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    Beware of the cougars!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Nov 8, 2012

    (work in progress)
    Before you younger men get too excited, this warning refers to furry animals with long, curvy tails rather than predatory women of a certain age with a taste for toy boys!

    We saw a couple of these notices in the Tofino region, warning that a cougar was active in the area. The homemade nature of the posters - rather than the presence of a permanent warning sign - suggested that the problem was either very recent or that these animals tend to roam, and so just pass through for a limited period of time.

    The guidance offered is that you refrain from walking alone. Whether there's a cougar at large or not, this is sound advice in a challenging environment where there are bears and many other physical risks to your person. Hiking alone not only means that you're less able to defend yourself against aggressive animals, but also makes it more likely that you won't be able to raise the alarm - especially if you are rendered unconscious - so you'd be wise to heed the advice.

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    Fruit flavoured ciders are delicious but lethal!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Nov 8, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    (work in progress)
    When I travel, I try to favour local products rather than sticking with familiar (inter)national brands.

    One of the most pleasant discoveries on our recent fleeting visit to British Columbia was that B.C. produced ciders were readily available. These clearly originated with the conventional apple ciders, but the manufacturers have spotted the gap to diversify into a broader range of flavours. The Growers range for example, offers about a dozen variations on a theme, including peach (which I can highly recommend) as well as more esoteric offerings, such as Saskatoon Berry and the distinctly dodgy sounding Strawberry and Rhubarb variant.

    So why have I included this under the 'Warnings and Dangers' category? Well, these ciders may taste fruitily benign, but they have a staggeringly high alcohol content of 7% and are best regarded in the same category as vodka-based alcopops!

    Please save my blushes and refrain from asking how I found this out!

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  • bella pacifica campground sucks!

    by ecochic Updated Apr 4, 2011

    if you want a good night sleep, privacy, hot shower this isnt the place for you.

    first off campers next to us were very noisy, no privacy between campsites, no hot water in showers which cost $2.00 for 5 minutes. late night partiers and car alarms going off all night. we paid $80.00 for two nights and ended up staying only one and got in a quiet hotel in tofino the second night.

    i should mention the arrogant and loud french family that decided to eat their dinner at our picnic table while went down to the beach to drink a bottle of wine and watch the sunset.

    call me picky if you must but i guess i am just used to camping the juan de fuca trail were if peace and quiet is what you came for, it's what you get.

    Related to:
    • Camping

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  • Ancient Cedars Spa Swindle

    by bobcatbob Written Jul 20, 2009

    When booking your treatments at the Ancient Cedars Spa at The Wickaninnish Inn be aware that once your treatment is over you will have to deal with an onslaught of sales of spa products. It will feel like you are in Future Shop! That's because, just like Future Shop, the massage therapists and estheticians lose pay if they don't sell a certain percentage of retail to their clients. There is an air of desperation in the spa that never used to exist. The massage therapists and estheticians are so busy trying to figure out what products they can sell to you that they do not give fantastic treatments anymore. The Wickaninnish Inn has created a nightmare! This retail program began a year ago and since it's inception the quality of service has gone done dramatically. The employees are miserable and it shows. The Wickaninnish Inn does not seem to care, as long as they are achieving the budgeted sales goals each month. Product must move off the shelves and if a client doesn't buy then the employee loses pay but the Wickaninnish Inn wins! What a terrible way to run a spa, the bottom line is money not service. So be wary when you book because you are paying a lot of money for your service. A one hour massage will cost you $130.00 plus tax and gratuity. And when you are all relaxed and groggy, your therapist will try desperately to sell you on the merits of all the products that you NEED to buy.

    Related to:
    • Spa and Resort

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    Tin Wis Corner

    by opiumpoppy Updated Oct 8, 2008
    Nasty Crash for Yours Truly

    The roads in Tofino are sketchy - first off, be warned that drunk driving is very common here, so be wary when driving in the evening. (This part of my tip seemed to bother someone, so I will mention that it's not necessarily locals that do this, but it DOES happen a lot, whether it be locals or not).

    The most notorious corner is by the Tin Wis Hotel (Best Western) - the corner looks okay, but it's not, and has been known to cause accidents, and death. I know personally - that's my car you see! And that was only going a few km over the limit in the rain.

    Just take it easy when you're driving on the roads around here - they twist and turn a lot. Better safe than sorry.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • bella pacifica campground sucks!

    by ecochic Written Aug 16, 2007

    if you want a good night sleep, privacy, hot shower this isnt the place for you.

    first off campers next to us were very noisy, no privacy between campsites, no hot water in showers which cost $2.00 for 5 minutes. late night partiers. we paid $80.00 for two nights and ended up staying only one and got in a quiet hotel in tofino the second night.

    i should mention the arrogant and loud french family that decided to eat their dinner at our picnic table while went down to the beach to drink a bottle of wine and watch the sunset.

    call me picky if you must but i guess i am just used to camping the juan de fuca trail were if peace and quiet is what you came for, it's what you get.

    Related to:
    • Camping

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  • Bella Pacifica is the worse campground to stay.

    by Uglyduckling3 Written Aug 14, 2007

    Bella Pacifica is the worse campground to stay if you plan to have a smooth and decent vacation. It has bad services where the bunch of teenagers who run the place don't give much attention to your needs. Their washrooms and bathrooms have signs of broken down for a week or more, and doesn't seem to do anything about it. They are dirty. They claim that cold shower is free where some of their washrooms doesn't even have any water coming out of the shower head. It also claims that C$2 for 5 minutes of shower but sometimes, you only got 2 minutes.
    The teenagers who check you in are a joke. They checked us in the wrong camp site despite that I told this girl Jill that I was booked in tent #118. She argued with me and just asked me to pay. She didn't give me any map or any instruction of how to get to my site. NOTHING! We waster the afternoon setting up our tent at the site she gave me. Why? A couple came and told us that we were in their site. So, we spent the late afternoon after the long drive and ferry trip to argue about this at the office. Then, they asked me whether did I go to the wrong campground even after I gave them the confirmation #. I was shock because I emailed them twice to provide them with written information just in case it wasn't clean enough over the phone. And, I even called a week before departure to reconfirm. At the end, they told me that we were suppose to be in #118 which I told Jill earlier on where she refused to "entertain" me. So, here we were, taking down the tent and haul everything over to the #118 site. We wasted the rest of the afternoon and evening to set-up the tent. Our children were tired and disappointed for we couldn't fly kite and play on the beach with them as we had told them we would just because of one person's mistake. Beware of Bella Pacifica if you really have to stay there. Makesure they get everything right for you the first time. And makesure you bring lots of wipes for you will need it everytime you go the washroom or shower. There's no handsoap.

    Related to:
    • Camping
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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    Bears in Pacific Rim NP

    by toonsarah Updated May 5, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Black Bear, Vancouver Island

    This is a copy of a warning on my Vancouver Island page, but as it's so important to watch out for bears I'm repeating it here.

    We’d seen bear warning signs on the mainland of British Columbia, but no bears. On the island thought it was a different matter, and we saw two bears on the same day! Our first sighting was of this one, just strolling beside Highway 4, the main road that crosses the island from east to west. I was lucky to have my camera on the back seat of the car at the time, rather than the boot (trunk) so managed to grab a couple of shots. Later that afternoon we were in the Pacific Rim National Park and stopped at one of the parking lots to visit the beach. Some hikers told us they seen a bear earlier in the day, and sure enough when we returned to our car and started to drive out of the lot, there he was, although too much hidden by bushes to get a good photo this time.

    A leaflet I picked up while in BC sets out the “Bear Basics”:
    ~ Keep your distance, and never approach a bear
    ~Avoid eye contact
    ~ Face forward – never turn your back on a bear
    ~ Talk to the bear if he’s noticed you (the leaflet adds “in a soothing voice” but I’m not sure I’d be able to manage that as soothed is the last thing I’d feel in that situation!)
    ~ Be quiet, if the bear hasn’t noticed you
    ~ Make yourself look big, e.g. by waving your arms around

    We also read some “helpful” advice about playing dead – apparently this is a good tactic if the bear has just eaten, but a very bad one if he’s hungry. Nowhere did I see any advice on how to tell a hungry bear from a full one!

    Related to:
    • National/State Park

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    Storms and Waves Come Quickly

    by canuck68 Written Apr 29, 2007

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Large waves have been a danger on particularly stormy days. It is wise to be aware of weather changes. If you have children, make sure you watch them carefully.

    It is a good thing to have a windbreaker handy also.

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    Bring a good rain jacket!

    by WesHK Written May 22, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Like most of the Pacific Northwest, Tofino is subject to quickly changing weather and quite a bit of rain. On the day I arrived it was pouring and I was not well prepared, so I had to purchase a good rain jacket at a local shop. As luck would have it, after the first day it did not rain for the rest of my time in Tofino.. but I guess I can't complain about that!

    If you are going to do any amount of walking or hiking, don't even bother with an umbrella.. get a quality rain coat with a hood.

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

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    Mind the Weather!

    by lazyman_1 Written Apr 1, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I found that the weather in Tofino could change in the blink of an eye. the day began as overcast but within the time it took us to walk along the beach, these forbidding looking storm clouds rolled in off the ocean and it began to get much darker. Tofino is well know for its storms and people visit Tofino justto watchthe storms so keep this in mind.

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    Sun Burn!

    by opiumpoppy Written Jul 15, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I forgot sunscreen - owwww.

    Just because you're in Canada, doesn't mean the sun doesn't burn! Slather on the sunscreen - a wetsuit is obviously enough protection, but slap some on your face! This means winter, too! The reflection from the water makes the sun do double duty. Be careful.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Adventure Travel

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Tofino Warnings and Dangers

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