Located 8km south of the main Hwy-4 Port Alberni junction, UCLUELET means “People of the Sheltered Bay”, from the aboriginal word ucluth – “wind blowing in from the bay”. It was named by the Nuu-chah-nulth, who lived here for centuries before the arrival of whites who came to exploit some of the world’s richest fishing grounds immediately offshore. Today the port is still the third largest in BC by volume of fish landed, a trade that gives the town a slightly dispersed appearance and an industrial fringe, and makes it less appealing than Tofino, if nonetheless a popular base for anglers, whale-watchers, watersports enthusiasts and visitors headed for Long Beach to the north.
The nearest trails are at Terrace Beach, east of the town off Peninsula Road before the lighthouse. A longer and more coherent hike, the Wild Pacific Trail, stretches 14km and links with Halfmoon Bay near Florencia Bay and Long Beach in the national park. The trail starts at the end of Coast Guard Drive, passing the nearby Amphitrite Point Lighthouse (which has great views of the sea and is perfect for storm-watching) and the He-Tin-Kis Park, where a boardwalk enables you to complete this first section as a loop.