Ucluelet is a spectacular and rugged west coast Canadian town on Vancouver Island. It provides opportunities for adventuring along the rocky coast line, surfing some of Canada’s best waves, exploring the deep forests surrounding the area, and lots more.

With all of that on offer, it’s little surprise camping in Ucluelet is so popular.

Whether you’re looking to hike through the forests, go on a multi-day kayaking adventure, surf the waves crashing against the beaches, or just enjoy the numerous other activities, food, and cultural experiences available, camping in Ucluelet is a great way to do just that.

And if you’re thinking about camping in Ucluelet, you’re in the right place!

That’s because we will share with you our favorite Ucluelet campgrounds right here, and show you what makes them unique, and what’s close by to each.

We will also share with you information on when to visit, what great walks you can do and events there are in Ucluelet during the year, and the rules around backcountry camping in Ucluelet.

Then lastly we have a free camping game for kids (and fun adults!) that’s perfect for camping in this region. You can find that at the bottom of this article.

CONTENTS:

  1. The Best Campgrounds For Fun, Views & Adventure
  2. Backcountry Camping in Ucluelet
  3. The Best Time To Go Camping in Ucluelet
  4. Time Your Trip Right to Enjoy These Ucluelet Events
  5. Our Favorite Scenic Walks Around Ucluelet
  6. Free Scavenger Hunt Game

The Best Campgrounds in Ucluelet For Fun, Views & Adventure

1. Ucluelet Campground

Ucluelet Campground is situated right in the heart of the action by the harbor. It provides beautiful views across the Ucluelet Inlet and harbor, and even views up into the mountains.

This campground is also backed by a small forested area giving it an even more private location.

There are 125 sites for RVs or tents across 15 acres, so you won’t feel cramped.

You’ll have the option of being right on the water with nothing in front of you, or even tucked up by the forest area for a much more private camping experience.

Amenities and Facilities

Ucluelet Campground is fully open between March – September and provides a washroom facility, outdoor heated showers, water stations, and dishwashing sinks. Included with each site is an individual picnic table.

RV sites can accommodate 19 – 42 feet with full hookups available.

During the off-season, which is October – February, all the facilities are closed down, and self-contained camping is available only.

What’s Close By

Ucluelet Campground is on the edge of the Ucluelet Harbour where there’s a range of family-friendly restaurants, serving up fresh seafood, burgers, specialty pizzas. There’s even Seom Restaurant, a local Korean favorite serving Korean comfort food.

Because you’re right on the Ucluelet Harbour, you’ve got easy access to a range of harbor adventures, including kayaking through Hello Nature Adventure Tours, which provide short or multi-day kayaking tours.

If you want to see whales, sea lions, and sea birds feeding on herring, then a 2-day kayaking adventure to see the herring spawn and then be fed on can be arranged through Hello Nature. It’s quite a special experience.

The Important Info

Rates: $35 – $72 per night

Address: 260 Seaplane Base Rd, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0

Ucluelet Camping

Ucluelet Campgrounds

2. Surf Junction Campground

Surf Junction Campground is beachside by the entrance to the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The campground is tucked into a forested area and just a 5-minute drive to the Wickaninnish beach, which provides great waves for surf enthusiasts. In fact because of this, it often attracts a younger crowd.

The campground has 75 campsites spread across 72 acres with a front lot and a back lot, and sites can be used for tents or RVs. You’ll never feel cramped, and you’ll be surrounded by the forest rather than city noise.

There are a number of full hookup RV sites with power and water.

The front lot is more public and has the majority of the campsite features and facilities, while the back lot is a more quiet and secluded, perfect for people that just want peace in the evenings.

Amenities and Facilities

Surf Junction is just outside of Ucluelet on the highway to Tofino, but on-site is a general store that provides drinks, snacks, firewood, food that you can cook yourself, and all of the other essentials you’ll need without having to go into town.

You’ll have access to drinking water, hot showers, flush toilets, picnic tables, fire pits, and dishwashing stations.

On-site there is even a hot tub and sauna, covered picnic area, kids playground, and a rec room that includes a communal kitchen and bathrooms!

What’s Close By

One of the specialty features of Surf Junction is that it not only provides a convenient, quiet, and friendly campground but also runs a full surf school for anybody that’s looking to try out the west coast Canada surf.

Included with the surf school are full school schedules to learn to surf, private surf lessons, and if needed you can rent all the equipment you need to go surfing in the year-round 10-celsius water.

If you’re a surfer, this is going to be a great Ucluelet camping option.

The Important Info

Rates: $35 – $55 per night for tents and $38 – $72 for RVs

Address:  2650 Tofino Ucluelet Hwy, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0

Ucluelet Camping

Ucluelet Campgrounds

3. Surf Grove Campground

Surf Grove Campground is a 30-minute drive up the scenic west coast from Ucluelet’s town center but it provides one of the only campgrounds that is right on the beach in Cox Bay! That means you will have easy access for surfing at all times of the day.

The campground has 135 full hookup RV sites, 64 tent sites, and if needed you can rent an RV that stays onsite so that you can experience living next to the beach.

Some of the campsites are situated further back into the forested area, while others are almost right on the beach, so when booking, pick your preferred site and location based on what you plan to do on your trip.

Amenities and Facilities

Surf Grove is a family and pet-friendly campsite. Kids of all ages and all types of pets are welcome. There is a range of kids activities, including board games and scavenger hunts, and there are also pet feet washing stations available. So no muddy paws coming into your tent!

Washroom and shower facilities are available in a modern new facility, and private saunas are also available.

There’s an on-site general store for the basics such as firewood, ice, and a range of camping food essentials like marshmallows. For anybody that can’t disconnect, there is free Wifi throughout the campground too.

Located at the beach entrance is the Surf Shack, which rents out surfing and paddleboarding equipment, as well as provides lessons for both.

What’s Close By

Cox Bay beach, which is a tree-lined surf beach, is right at Surf Grove Campgrounds’ rear. It provides easy access for surfing enthusiasts to enjoy cold west coast surfing, temperatures range from 8 – 13 degrees Celsius year-round, so it’s a great location no matter when you go.

Nearby is a popular hiking trail that takes you into the rugged west coast wilderness. The trail is called Cox Cone, and campground staff can direct you to the entrance.

Up the road is the seaside town of Tofino, which provides more upscale tourist dining than Ucluelet, with a local craft brewery and distillery to enjoy in the evening.

The Important Info

Rates: $71 – $122 per night

Address: 1451 Pacific Rim Hwy #1109, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0

Ucluelet Camping

Ucluelet Campgrounds

4. Wya Point Resort

Wya Point Resort is just outside Ucluelet on Ucluelet First Nations territory. It provides a large private beach to enjoy with 600 acres of pristine rainforest behind the resort to keep your stay private and relaxed.

You can choose to stay in one of the luxury lodges, a yurt (large tent), bring your RV, or camp right by the beach or in the forest using your own tent.

The private beach is a secluded sandy cove that’s perfect for walking along, and if you’ve got a dog, they’re welcome as well – including for a walk on the beach!

If you prefer some more seclusion, you can tuck yourself into one of the forested campsites, some of which even look out over the beach. It’s the best of both worlds.

Amenities and Facilities

All sites are secluded and private, though some more than others. There are fire pits, picnic tables, washrooms and showers, dishwashing stations, and if needed, you can purchase firewood.

What’s Close By

You’re just a short 5-minute drive into Ucluelet if you want to have dinner out one evening or pick up supplies for your campsite.

Outside of visiting Ucluelet, you’re surrounded by nature. You can visit Long Beach for surfing and even get surf lessons from Wya Point Surf Shop.

Otherwise, you can visit the Pacific Rim National Park, which is a 5-minute drive away, and enjoy any of the park activities, including Nuu-Chah-Nulth cultural activities like interpretive walks and storytelling by First Nation people that have lived in the area for generations.

The Important Info

Rates: $45+ per night

Address: 2460 Willowbrae Rd, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0

Ucluelet Camping

Ucluelet Campgrounds

5. Island West Resort

Island West Resort is ideally suited for RV travelers, although you’re welcome to pitch a tent in one of the spaces that overlook the Ucluelet Inlet and local marina. You’ll also have fantastic views of the rugged mountains in the background.

As well as the campground, there is an on-site pub and full-service motel available that is pet friendly and even provides a kitchenette to make your own dinner.

Amenities and Facilities

Public washrooms are available 24 hours a day, and shower facilities are available.

One of the biggest features is the onsite Eagle’s Nest Pub, which provides standard pub-style food in a spacious environment overlooking the harbor. Inside the pub are pool tables, foosball tables, darts, and big-screen TVs.

What’s Close By

Right from Island West Resort you can find opportunities for fishing charters, sightseeing cruises, and whale watching tours.

On the dock, as you get off, is a handy fish cleaning station so that you can clean and cook your day’s catch.

You’re also only a short distance to the rest of Ucluelet, so you can go shopping for food or any other supplies you may need from the main town.

The Important Info

Rates: $27 – $55 per night

Address: 1990 Bay St, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0

Ucluelet Camping

Ucluelet Campgrounds

6. Wild Pacific Camp

Wild Pacific Camp offers RV-only sites right on the Wild Pacific Trail, which is an 8.8 km trail that snakes along the Pacific West Coast. If you do decide to walk all or part of the trail, it’s considered easy and accessible for most people.

Tent camping is not an option at this campground this year, but that can change year to year, so check back if you want to set up a tent here.

The campground is situated in a forested area with the beach only steps away which provides easy access for beach activities or hiking through the forest and surrounding areas.

Amenities and Facilities

Wild Pacific Camp provides year-round RV camping on sites that aren’t directly next to or looking into each other for maximum privacy.

Full service hookups are available for your RV or camper, some sites have a maximum length of 26-33 feet, while others have no reasonable limit.

There is water, firewood, firepits, and garbage bins available. Otherwise, it’s recommended that RVs are fully self-contained. There are no washrooms or showers at Wild Pacific Camp.

What’s Close By

Wild Pacific Camp is not far from the main Ucluelet town center. However, the best local attraction is the access to multiple hiking trails, including the Wild Pacific Trail and the Ucluelet Lighthouse Loop trail, which takes you out to the Amphitrite Point Lighthouse for spectacular views.

The Important Info

Rates: $70 – $75 per night

Address: 1002 Peninsula Rd, Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0

Ucluelet Camping

Ucluelet Campgrounds

Backcountry Camping in Ucluelet and in Canada

Backcountry camping, also known as wild camping, is generally tolerated in Canada. Although there are certain areas you are prohibited from camping in. These include:

  • National Parks
  • Cities
  • Provincial Parks

It’s worth mentioning that rangers and conservation officers do patrol regularly and will hand out hefty fines to people backcountry camping in these prohibited areas. As that’s the case, it’s better to just find a campground in the park you wish to camp in – not only will there be a few facilities but it will also be cheap to camp.

Sometimes it is possible to purchase a ‘backcountry’ camping permit too. That would then allow you to camp in a park outside of a campground. Not all parks offer them – and they’re not widely advertised. If there’s somewhere you wish to camp, then get in contact with local authorities to see if these are available.

Ucluelet Camping

Ucluelet Campgrounds

In British Columbia, there is also the possibility to camp at ‘Recreation Sites’. While you would still be limited to camping in a specific spot, it is free to camp on these sites.

As for where you are allowed to camp, Canadian residents can camp for free on Crown Land – which is publicly owned land. Thankfully 89% of land in Canada is classed as ‘Crown Land’. However much of that is still off limits – National Parks, for example, are also Crown Land.

In general: If land is publicly owned, it’s not one of the prohibited areas that we listed above, and you are far from settlements – you’re likely to be on Crown Land that can be camped on for free. However, keep an eye on local maps for confirmation, and obey any signs that say camping is prohibited

There are rules for backcountry camping on Crown Land, however:

  • You may camp in the same place for 21 days only in one calendar year.
  • After 21 days you must move to a place at least 100m away if you wish to continue camping.
  • While free for citizens and Canadian residents, non-residents must obtain a permit to wild camp on Crown Land.

Best Time To Camp In Ucluelet

Peak tourist season and the hottest months of the year for Ucluelet are July and August, with June and September still having good weather for visiting the area. Temperatures during these months will range from 10 – 20 degrees Celsius.

The water in Ucluelet typically stays around 10 degrees Celsius year round, but it can range between 8 – 13 degrees Celsius so it’s never especially warm, and any surf enthusiasts should be packing a wet suit to stay warm.

Some of the Ucluelet campgrounds will be shut or provide minimal services during the colder months from October – May, so these months would not be ideal for camping in a tent due to lack of service and temperature.

Time Your Ucluelet Camping Trip Right and Enjoy These Events!

1. Tofino Shorebird Festival

If you do visit during some of the colder months, specifically April – May, you’ll be able to attend the Tofino Shorebird Festival, which provides a range of activities, including guest speakers, birdwatching trips, and even boat trips to see the spring migration of birds through the area.

If you’re curious about learning how to birdwatch rather than just watching birds, there are workshops available from experts showing you how to ID local birds, what birds are local to the area and to watch out for, and a range of other skills to make your birdwatching more informative.

2. Pacific Rim Whale Festival

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival happens towards the end of March each year and provides an opportunity to experience the local environment around Ucluelet and welcome back the Grey migrations as part of their spring migration.

There are a range of activities and events that will have you hunting for returning whales, collecting specimens with the local aquarium staff, learning about local First Nations culture in the area, and all kinds of fun and adventurous activities all around Ucluelet over nine days.

Our Favorite Scenic Walks Around Ucluelet

Ucluelet has several easy to medium hiking trails that are accessible from downtown Ucluelet and make up the longer Wild Pacific Trail.

You also have the Pacific Rim National Park that is only a 10-minute drive away and has a huge range of trails and hikes throughout the park.

But here’s a few of our favourite hikes, first in Downtown Ucluelet, and second in Pacific Rim!

Downtown Ucluelet Hiking

There are three main hiking trails in downtown Ucluelet which provide easy walking with fantastic views of the ocean and local points of interest. You can walk all three as part of the larger Wild Pacific Trail.

  • Ancient Cedars Loop Trail is located on the north end of Ucluelet, and you’ll be walking through some old-growth forests, with two trees estimated to be over 800 years old and one even measuring 12 meters around the base!

  • Ucluelet Lighthouse Loop is located on the southernmost point of Ucluelet and takes you through the rainforest and drops you out at the coastline, where you’ll walk along and be able to visit a number of the beaches.

  • Brown’s Beach Trail will start you off from Brown’s Beach but take you up along the edge of the cliffs, where you have fantastic views and walk through the twisted krummholz tunnel of trees.

Pacific Rim National Park Hiking

Take a short 10-minute drive to Pacific Rim National Park and experience the huge range of hiking trails available in this 500 square kilometer protected area. There you can explore the rainforest and rugged coastline.

Most trails are between 100 meters to 3 kilometers with gravel keeping you on the right track, the trails are on the medium difficulty side, and you may need to walk up hills or stairs to complete the hike.

Visit the visitor center to pick up a booklet on the trails and pay for your entry.

  • Radar Hill is the shortest “hike” at just 100 meters, but it connects you from the parking lot up to the top of Rader Hill, which was used as a communication station during WWII; it’s got incredible views out across the water.

  • Long Beach is a 16-kilometer stretch of some of the best surfing year-round in Ucluelet. It’s not easy surfing, so it shouldn‘t be tried by beginners, but it’s fantastic place to walk and watch the surfers or watch the ocean during a storm. There are surf schools in the area if you really want to give it a go.

  • Most people agree that the South Beach Trail is the most scenic and beautiful hiking trail in the park. You’ll hike through dense forest and emerge 1.6 km later at South Beach, where you can explore and watch out over the ocean.

  • If you’re looking for a real adventure, then the West Coast Trail starts in the park and takes you on a 75-kilometer hike that takes roughly 5-7 days to complete, and you must be an experienced backpacker to attempt this hike.

Camping in Ucluelet: Scavenger Hunt Game!

If you’re looking to keep kids amused while camping in Ucluelet – or you fancy having some fun for yourself – then we’ve created a printable scavenger hunt game!

Download it (right click on the image and save) and print it out, then tick off what you find and achieve during your camping holiday.

The game encourages players to get out and discover wildlife and nature, as well as make new friends and do fun camping activities. Enjoy!