Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a park located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is 511 km square kilometers (197 sq mi), and is comprised of three regions, which include Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail. The park spans from the city of Tofino to the city of Ucluelet.
With a unique climate, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve represents the Pacific Coast Mountains landscape and includes rocky coasts and temperate rainforests. Tourists come to this park to partake in a number of outdoor activities and to enjoy the natural landscapes, marine and terrestrial wildlife, and more.
Are e-bikes allowed in Pacific Rim National Park?
Yes, e-bikes are allowed in the park! However, cyclists are only allowed to ride within the Long Beach Unit, which we will provide more detail about in the next section of the article.
According to Parks Canada, only Class 1 (pedal assist) e-bikes are permitted on designated trails and beaches. Class 1 is defined as an e-bike with power assistance that is only provided when the e-bike is being pedaled; when the pedaling stops, the power assistance must also stop. Additionally, the e-bike motor must not generate more than 500W power output, and power assistance must not exceed 32 km/h (20 mph). E-bikes with accelerators or throttles are prohibited.
How is Pacific Rim National Park organized, is it ready for cycling?
As mentioned earlier, the Long Beach Unit is the only unit of the park on which bicycles are allowed. Riders should also be aware that most hiking trails in this unit are designed for pedestrians only, and most of them include stairs and boardwalks which are not suitable for cycling. Currently, cycling is only permitted on the beaches, where there are no designated bike trails and road cycling is not recommended.
However, starting in 2022, the new ʔapsčiik t̓ašii (pronounced ups-cheek ta-shee) multi-use pathway will be available for e-bike riders to use. The trail is 25 km long and traverses the Long Beach Unit and is designed to enhance the regional path network.
The new trail will provide room for both cyclists and pedestrians, a forest experience for travelers, access to both new and existing viewpoints and facilities, family-friendly terrain which will avoid steep landscape and minimize highway crossing, and signage to help visitors discover wildlife and the area’s Indigenous heritage. Read more about the upcoming ʔapsčiik t̓ašii multi-use pathway here!
Where to stay during the trip?
For hotel options near Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (between 1 – 4 km away), top options include: Pacific Sands Beach Resort, Cox Bay Beach Resort, Long Beach Lodge Resort, and Seafarers Bed & Breakfast. Visit Booking.com for more recommendations.
Visitors can also camp within the park’s grounds. In the Long Beach Unit, Green Point Campground is the region’s front country option. Broken Group Islands include backcountry camping on seven islands, which are only accessible by boat. West Coast Trail includes on-route campgrounds for multi-day hikers. Be aware that campsites must be booked in advance. Visit the Parks Canada webpage for more campground information.
Where can I eat? Or should I take my food with me?
Since Pacific Rim National Park is primarily comprised of natural landscapes, riders should pack their food and water with them when going on their cycling adventures. Parks Canada recommends bringing a supply of high-energy foods.
However, there is a range of restaurants in the surrounding area which range anywhere from 1 – 12 km away from the park. Top options include Caddy Shacked, Tacofino Cantina, RedCan Gourmet, Wildside Grill, The Great Room, The Pointe Restaurant at Wickaninnish Inn, and Shelter Restaurant.
What gear should I take on the trip?
For your e-bike trip through the park, be sure to bring your essential gear which includes: a helmet, safety gear, rain gear, extra clothing in waterproof containers, a first aid kit, route maps, a hat, gloves, an e-bike charger, a backpack, food, water, sunscreen, sunglasses, front and rear lights, and side reflectors.
If you are planning to camp, be sure to bring camping equipment like your tent, sleeping bag, cutlery, dishware, a valid ID, your booking/reservation information, and your wallet. Riders should also carry bear spray and avoid close encounters with birds and other wildlife while cycling on the beach.
Cyclists should also seek trail and weather descriptions and conditions from a Parks Canada Information Centre, and read about water hazards before embarking on their trip. Lastly, be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you are expected back, and avoid traveling alone.
Where can I charge my e-bike?
Though there are currently no official lists of e-bike specific charging stations, there are a few charging locations for electric vehicles in and around Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Some spots include Wickaninnish Inn, Long Beach Lodge Resort, Pacific Sands Resort, Pacific Rim Visitor Centre (Ucluelet), Taylor Arm Rest Area (on HWY 4), and District of Tofino municipal offices. Riders may also be able to charge their e-bike at some restaurants, cafes, or campgrounds.
What kind of e-bike do I need to ride in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve?
Due to the varying landscapes in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, your e-bike choice may depend on the routes you are planning to take. For example, a fat tire bike, beach cruiser, or hybrid e-bike may be the best choices for cycling along the Long Beach Unit, as some beaches are flat and sandy while others are rocky and uneven.
However, a regular cruiser would be suitable for the ʔapsčiik t̓ašii trail.
Where can I rent an e-bike in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, or should I take one with me?
Yes, you can rent an e-bike while in this region, but options are limited. You can also bring your e-bike with you, but be sure that your e-bike is a Class 1 and abides by the province’s official speed and motor limits.
What else I can do while on an e-bike trip in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve?
There are many things to do and see while at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, including sightseeing and various outdoor activities.
For example, go surfing or windsurfing on Long Beach, Wickaninnish Beach, or the South Beach Trail. Take in the ocean view and watch storms brew at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre or Florencia Bay Lookout. Paddle through on a kayak or book a boat tour on the Broken Group Islands.
Walk through the Nuu-chah-nulth Trail to experience breathtaking views or hike and camp at the Cape Beale Headlands. Visit the huge red cedar and hemlock trees that dominate the Rainforest Trail. Lastly, take a multi-day hike through the West Coast Trail, but be aware that this temperate rainforest includes rain, fog, floodwaters, and rocky shorelines and requires overnight backpacking skills.
What is the best time of the year to visit Pacific Rim National Park on an e-bike?
Since Pacific Rim National Park is located between the sea and mountains, the weather embodies both marine and temperate rainforest climates, including easily changeable weather and heavy annual rainfall. Riders should be prepared for varying weather conditions and pack their gear accordingly. To avoid encountering very stormy and rainy weather (which is mostly prevalent in the winter), cyclists should visit in the spring or summer months, where the average temperature ranges between 10 – 14 degrees Celsius.
Resources to help plan your trip
For more information about Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, visit the official Parks Canada website here and its cycling-specific webpage here. For even further information to help plan your visit, check out the “Pacific Rim National Park Reserve” section on Tofino Tourism’s website here.
For riders who would like to rent an e-bike, Tofino Electric Bikes offers rental options for 4, 8, 24, and 48-hour increments.
And lastly, for even more ideas on activities and sights to see while in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, visit To Do Canada’s “Top 10” list!
Read also: Check out Canada’s best travel destinations by electric bike in this overview article.
Do not miss trip highlights on the way to Tofino: