Things to Do
West Coast Trail
Hiking the West Coast Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park is a trip of a lifetime. It is 75km of beautiful and challenging hiking. For those not trekking the full distance, day hikes are available and the trail is open for hiking from May 1 to September 30. Trail Information Centres are also open every day during the season, from 9am to 5pm. Hiking during the off-season can be dangerous and is not recommended. The Pachena Bay Campground also campsite available for people starting or ending their hike in Bamfield.
Anglers from around the globe are attracted to the fishing in Barkley Sound and offshore areas. Catch fresh pink salmon, sockeye, chum, chinook and halibut. Prime fishing season is typically between May and September. A variety of charter packages out of Bamfield offer boats, guides, gear, tackle and weather accessories. Boat ramp and moorage is also available in Bamfield, with moorage available at the Inn Name for $.80 / ft a night.
Take in the sights and sounds of west coast wildlife from bald eagles to black bears, sea otters and even orcas along the picturesque Alberni Canal during a slow cruise on The M.V. Frances Barkley. This historic coastal steamer runs throughout the year, touring the canal and into the stunning Barkley Sound, between Port Alberni and Bamfield.
The best spot for eco-tours in the Bamfield area are available around Pachena Bay, about 5 kms from the village. Whale-watching here is popular, as whales migrate past the bay and into Barkley Sound; sometimes even entering close to inshore waters. Tours start from Bamfield with day-sailing options.
Nature & Wildlife
Bamfield is a quaint seaside village with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Rim National Park
This is West Coast British Columbia at its finest! With unspoiled natural habitats and old-growth rainforests, come the sights and sounds of land, water and air-based wildlife inherent to this epic geography.
Walk the boardwalk around the village, take day hikes or eco-tours on the water and soak up all this majestic landscape has to offer.
Local wildlife you might spot along the way
Expect to see a wide variety of wildlife such as:
- Pacific Grey Whales, Humpbacks and Orcas
- Sea Lions & otters
- Black Bears
- Black-Tailed Deer
- Bald Eagles
- Gray Wolves
A Brief History of Bamfield
For centuries, Bamfield was a thriving Huu-ay-aht village. Anacula Village was established by the Tyee-Hawaiih, Art Peters, and opened in 1969 to become the Huu-ay-aht Nation.
Residing in the area to date is over 700 Nation members.
Between 1859 and 1862, William Eddy Bamfield was employed as the Government’s first white settler, Indian Agent, trader, explorer, writer and entrepreneur in Barkley Sound.
William bought Rance Island from the Huu-ay-aht Nation and set up a trading operation, remaining unmarried with no heirs, he mysteriously died off Aguilar Point, in his canoe.
In 1872, with the help of the Huu-ay-aht people, the first lighthouse on the West Coast of Vancouver Island was constructed at Cape Beale.
Between 1907 and 1910, the West Coast Trail was reconstructed from the old telegraph and lifesaving trail (Pacific Rim National Park).
In 1902, the Bamfield Cable Station became the terminus for a 4000-mile underwater communication system linking commonwealth countries.
In 1969, five Western Canadian universities bought the cable station and built the Marine Biological Station.
Today, about 300 people live in Bamfield year-round.
During the summer months, more than 10,000 tourists visit the area!
Your Resource for Info on Bamfield
Bamfield is a small, charming village settled into a protected inlet on the southern shore of Barkley Sound. The Huu-ay-aht First Nation lands are located in this Barclay Sound region on the west coast of Vancouver Island at the entrance to the Port Alberni inlet. This is a welcoming community that features spectacular views of Vancouver Island’s pristine west coast.