Tofino Beaches

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Tofino's Beaches

What's one of the most common question's visitors ask when on vacation in Tofino?

What's the best beach in Tofino?

The most common answer is a very good choice: Chesterman Beach. Chesterman is Tofino's go-to beach for residents and visitors alike.

Chesterman Beach Highlights:

  • Quick and easy access
  • Stunning views
  • Awe-inspiring sunsets
  • Ample parking

Chesterman Beach is an excellent choice for a beach walk. Dogs on leash are welcome and plenty, and at low tide you can access Frank Island and Rosie Bay - both iconic Tofino landmarks. Read more about Chesterman's here.


Best Beach for Beachcombing

For the best beach treasures in Tofino, you have to get up early before everything is picked over by birds and your fellow tourists.

Cox Bay is likely your best bet for sand dollars, and small intricate beach shells. These treasures can be fairly easy to find but make sure the living creatures inside have already vacated before you move them.

If you are turning over rocks to admire the small creatures underneath, please gently replace the rocks you have removed, in the same position and the same way up. This protects eggs and other small organisms on the underside of the rock.

After hours of beachcombing, look at your treasures and ask yourself if you really should take these things home. We strongly advise you to leave them on the beach.

Long Beach Watch for posted signs about beachcombing within the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (all beaches south of Cox Bay, including Long Beach). The removal of driftwood and shells is prohibited in the park, and in any location it is illegal to remove living creatures without a proper license (p. __ for information on shellfish licenses).

The most sought-after beach items are the elusive Japanese Glass Balls. These are old fish net floats, and they have been floating on the Pacific Ocean for decades. Finding them is a rare excitement. Glass ball beachcombing becomes easier the further from civilization you travel. Your best bet is after a winter storm on any remote stretch of sand between here and Cape Scott on the farthest northern point of Vancouver Island – best of luck getting there.

Can we build a campfire on the beach?

Before you build a campfire on a beach, check for restrictions on British Columbia’s Wildfire Management Branch website (www.bcwildfire.ca) or call their automated information service and follow the prompts: 888-336-7378.

Campfires on beaches are permitted on all beaches in Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve with the following exceptions:

  • No fires are permitted on Cox Bay
  • No fires are permitted between Green Point and Esowista village on Long Beach

The following restrictions are usually in place for campfires in Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve:

  • The campfire must be under 0.6 metres (2 feet) wide and under 0.6 metres high
  • Campfires should be under the obvious high tide line and at least 3 metres from vegetation or driftwood
  • Campfires must be completely extinguished after their use
  • No campfires are permitted between 11 pm and 6 am

It is illegal to burn driftwood or any other beach material. You can purchase firewood and kindling at all of the campground offices (p. __) and the two gas stations (p. __) in town.


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