Ideal Canoeing and Kayaking in Tofino at the Edge of Clayoquot Sound

Outdoor Adventures Parks & Gardens

Tofino, BC on the west coast of Vancouver Island, at the edge of the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound, is an ideal location for canoeing and kayaking. Tofino is world famous for surfing and whale watching but the maze of nearby islands of Clayoquot Sound are perfect for kayaking and canoeing.

Tofino with its temperate climate has much to offer visitors from rare, old-growth rainforests, to miles of sandy beaches and abundant wildlife both on land and in the Pacific ocean.

Clayoquot Sound Tofino BC

Clayoquot Sound is an immense and wild area with many interesting animals and sea life. You can also explore the islands with their white sand beaches and hiking trails.
Clayoquot Sound was designated as the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation) Biosphere Reserve making it a development laboratory devoted to sustainability and education.
A good part of the west coast of Vancouver Island falls within the traditional lands of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations people.

Three kayaks on a beach in Meares Island near Tofino, Vancouver Island,

Kayaks on Meares Island near Tofino

Paddling Destinations

There are trips suitable for beginners, experts as well as escorted adventures.

Day trip locations close to the dock in Tofino:
• Meares Island – a large horseshoe shaped Island to the west of Tofino. Also called Wah-nah-juss/Hilth-hoo-iss by the Tla-O-Qui-Aht and Ahousaht First Nations
• Stubbs Island – has a great sandy beach
• Vargas Island – a 5km (3mile) paddle – north west of Tofino. The west side is a Provincial Park.
• Wickaninnish Island  – a small island to the west of Tofino

Longer Trips:

  • Flores Island – it is 20km (12 miles) north of Tofino. There are remote white-sand beaches on the island’s west and south sides.

Wildlife Viewing in Tofino

While you are paddling you can watch for the plentiful wildlife and sea life in the area:

  • Porpoises
  • Sea Lions
  • Grey Whales
  • Orcas
  • Black bears
  • Harbor seals
  • River otters
  • Bald eagles
  • Great Blue Herons
  • King Fishers
  • Wolves
  • Cougars
  • Osprey
  • Marbled Murrelets
  • Pacific Loons
  • Roosevelt Elk
  • Martens
  • Raccoons

Ocean Going Canoes

You can experience the costal shorelines with local First Nations guides in an ocean going canoes. These are the same canoes that once hunted humpback whales miles offshore.  Their trips run from May to September deepening on weather.
You will get to experience both the rich First Nations history together with wildlife that can be seen from a calmly moving canoe.

Contact info:
TLA-OOK Cultural Adventures
Box 899, Tofino, BC VOR 2Z0 Canada
Local phone: 250-725-2656  Toll-free: 1-877-94-CANOE email:

Ocean Kayaking Operators

Majestic Ocean Kayaking
Box 287 Ucluelet, BC Canada V0R 3A0
Phone: 1-800-889-7644 toll-free or 250-726-2868 FAX: 250-726-2860

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.

Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.

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