We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary

Wheaton, Illinois
Level Contributor
558 posts
70 reviews
35 helpful votes
Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

We're two active adults in our thirties heading up to Vancouver at the end of the month. Is this plan nuts?

Thurs: Arrive at YYC at 6pm, take train to Residence Inn Downtown.

Friday: Kitsilano, Granville Island, Gastown

Saturday: Stanley Park in the morning. Afternoon: Pick up rental car, take 3:10pm Horseshoe Bay ferry to Nanaimo, drive 2.5hrs to Ucluelet, arriving around 8pm.

Sunday: Day in Pacific Rim NP (hike, 1/2 day kayak)

Monday: Day in Pacific Rim, leave for Nanaimo by 5:30pm. Take 9:30pm ferry back to Horseshoe Bay.

Tuesday: Depart YYC on 11:40am flight.

I know we could spend 4 full days in Vancouver alone, or in Pacific Rim alone, but we have limited time and probably won't be able to return to area any time soon. Am I asking for too much? Thanks for your help!

North Vancouver...
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
12,015 posts
201 reviews
423 helpful votes
1. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

Airport is YVR not YYC (Calgary). Your hotel is steps from the foot ferries to and from Granville Island, Kits and Yaletown. Gastown is a half hour walk in the opposite direction. You should allow more time to and from Pac Rim Nat Park and a bigger cushion if you're planning for the last ferry. What's drawing you to Kits? Consider Stanley Park and GI on the Friday with Gastown for dinner that night. That frees Saturday for a no rush drive to PRNP.

Penticton, Canada
Level Contributor
28,614 posts
27 reviews
11 helpful votes
2. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

hi

with your late arrival to the west side of Vancouver Island I would suggest that you look for a place in Ucluelet if you can find one. It is closer when you drive in and faster when you want to leave. Black Rock Inn is a suggestion if your budget allows.

Get a park pass on the Sunday which is good until 4:00 pm on the Monday. There are ticket machines at the entrance and at each parking lot. Pass is not required if you just drive along the highway (only) to get to Tofino.

The park between Ucluelet and Tofino is mostly linear so if you stay in Ucluelet you could drive to Tofino first thing in the morning and work you way back as far as energy holds. then the next day you have less driving to do.

The one thing that you should consider is the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet. you could do a 10-15 min hike on each side of the Amphitrite lighthouse. and/or the trail between Big Beach and the Black Rock Inn. 30-60 min. It is as good and better than some areas inside the park. http://www.uclueletwildpacific.com/vslideshowwildpacifictrailucluelet.html

Wheaton, Illinois
Level Contributor
558 posts
70 reviews
35 helpful votes
3. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

Alegre, yeah, oops on the airport code! Thanks for the suggestions. Kits I was thinking mainly for some food/coffee/shopping, so probably something we can skip.

Okay, so:

Friday: Stanley Park and GI, Gastown for dinner.

Saturday: Pick up car. Head to PRNP on either the 10:40am or the 12:50pm ferry.

Monday: Would you suggest aiming for the 7:30pm ferry back to Horseshoe Bay, in case of any problems? And would leaving Ucluelet by say, 3pm, be enough of a cushion? That would give us 4 hours to get to the ferry in time to check in for our reservation.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
78,232 posts
58 reviews
98 helpful votes
4. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

IMO, post 3 is better, including taking the 7h30 pm ferry. You would then have to leave Ukee or Tofino about 4 pm with a straight drive. So 3 pm departure from Ukee would allow you some flex on the way to the ferry terminal. Aiming for the 7h30 gives you a contingency plan, i.e. the 9h30, if something should go wrong: flat tire, ferry problem. And a Monday ferry at the end of this month is better than cramming on to a Sunday ferry.

Wheaton, Illinois
Level Contributor
558 posts
70 reviews
35 helpful votes
5. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

CBaarch, I was thinking the same thing in terms of staying in Ucluelet, and also thought that Black Rock Inn looked really nice, with a decent discount on the booking sites which makes it a great option! Your suggestions for how to spend the day sounds great--thank you so much.

Wheaton, Illinois
Level Contributor
558 posts
70 reviews
35 helpful votes
6. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

Mufti, thanks for weighing in. It's starting to make sense how this can work.

And thanks, everyone, for not telling me I'm crazy. :)

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
39,530 posts
60 reviews
46 helpful votes
7. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

Its rushed, but doable. The drive is lovely, so hopefully you can avoid it in the dark. I assume this is over the Memorial Day weekend (May 26th). Not sure if the US holiday weekend also makes for heavy ferry traffic, but I know it can be really bad on the Canadian holiday weekend, so allowing a cushion for traffic volume is wise.

On arrival back in Horseshoe Bay, perhaps just get a hotel near the ferry. Your flight isn't until 11:30, so you have time to get across town to the airport in the morning.

Wheaton, Illinois
Level Contributor
558 posts
70 reviews
35 helpful votes
8. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

Okay, we're booked at Black Rock for two nights. We'll probably get in by 5:30 or 6 on Saturday evening. We'll leave the area around 3pm on Monday.

I found out that Majestic Ocean Kayaking does a day trip to the Broken Group.

http://www.oceankayaking.com/trips/broken-group-islands-kayaking-and-whale-watching-day-trip

It's expensive but sounds like a pretty cool experience.

But with our limited time, do you think we'd be better off doing a half day trip instead?

And if so, would you recommend Barkley Sound, or Meares Island?

I posed this question on the Tofino forum but I think it's a pretty quiet forum compared to Vancouver. Thanks for your help.

North Vancouver...
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
12,015 posts
201 reviews
423 helpful votes
9. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

Looks to me that you have a good program set up. I'd go with it.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
39,530 posts
60 reviews
46 helpful votes
10. Re: Vancouver and Pacific Rim Nat Park Itinerary
Save

I think that either the area around Meares Island or the Broken Islands would be beautiful. Hard to choose between them really, but the Broken Islands are further off shore so you would spend more time getting to the area. With a limited schedule, I would be inclined to choose the Meares/Vargas area for a paddle out from Tofino.

© 2021 TripAdvisor LLC All rights reserved.

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in Hong Kong. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.