Hike Rating 9Vargas Island Provincial Park is a popular hiking, camping and kayaking destination due to its great location close to Tofino.  It has wonderful, wilderness camping for free and a beautiful feeling of remoteness from the world.  And if you are lucky you might see whales pass in the distance from Ahous Bay.  The flat and very overgrown old trail from the Tofino side of Vargas Island to Ahous Bay is just 3.6 kilometres long.  Making this an easy dayhike from Tofino, at just over 7 kilometres roundtrip, trailhead to trailhead.

  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ProFar quieter than mainland beaches
  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ProBeach faces the open Pacific
  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ProCampfire under the stars is wonderful
  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ProNice & huge beach backed by forest
  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ProBoat access is via taxi is fun
  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ProDeep forest trail across the island
  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ProMany campsite options along the beach
  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ProMain beach extends to more beaches
  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ProFeels like a perfect west coast beach
  • Clayoquot Hiking Trails ConFresh water is very hard to find

Clayoquot Hiking Trails

  Easy Hiking TrailThe Big Tree Trail  Easy Hiking TrailHot Springs Cove  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailLone Cone  Easy Hiking TrailNuu Chah Nulth  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailRadar Beach  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailRadar Hill  Easy Hiking TrailVargas Island  Virgin Falls  Easy Hiking TrailWild Pacific Trail

Victoria Hiking Trails

  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailAvatar Grove  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailBear Hill  Easy Hiking TrailEast Sooke Park  Victoria Hiking TrailElk/Beaver Lake  Victoria Hiking TrailEsquimalt Lagoon  Easy Pay Hiking Trail VictoriaFort Rodd Hill  Easy Hiking TrailFrancis/King  Victoria Hiking TrailGalloping Goose  Easy Hiking TrailGoldstream Park  Easy Hiking TrailGowlland Tod  Easy Hiking TrailGrass Lake  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailJohn Dean Park  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailJuan de Fuca Trail  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailLone Tree Hill  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailMill Hill  Steep, Dog Friendly TrailMount Douglas  Easy Hiking TrailMount Tolmie  Easy Hiking TrailSooke Potholes  Victoria Hiking TrailSpectacle Lake  Easy Hiking TrailThetis Lake  Victoria Hiking TrailWitty's Lagoon

Vargas Island's, Ahous Bay has many characteristics that make it incredible.  First, its location.  Separated from the mainland, Vargas Island is visited by a tiny fraction of the hordes of visitors that descend on Pacific Rim National Park.  If you visit Ahous Bay on a typical sunny day in June, you may have the entire beach to yourself.  During busier days of summer, you will still only encounter a couple dozen visitors.. and these are spread out over several kilometres and multiple beaches.  Another wonderful feature of Vargas Island's, Ahous Bay is its perfect west-facing beach.  Facing straight out at the Pacific Ocean, with nothing but the blue ocean facing you.  North America at your back and Pacific Ocean laid out in front of you, gives you a wonderful sense of perspective.  When the sun goes down, you are entirely free of humanity and artificial lights of any kind.  The lack of usage fee of Vargas Island Provincial Park is yet another great feature of the park.  No park usage fees or hefty "trail upkeep" fees like you encounter at Flores Island and the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island.  These lack of fees translate into a lack of amenities and upkeep in the park which you will notice immediately along the crumbling trail.  The ancient boardwalk is disintegrating and the campsite area at Ahous Bay hosts only one pit toilet.  This lack of amenities is arguably a good thing.  The beach is free of artificial constructions that detract from the natural beauty.  No giant signs, just a couple small park signs at the trailhead and campsite at Ahous Bay.

Vargas Island Hiking Trail Map

The Telegraph Trail Across Vargas Island

The old trail takes on a real, authentic historical feel with its lack of modern additions and upkeep.  This makes the trail tricky to navigate at times as you will fall on your face at least once as you dance across loose and slippery wooden sections of the trail.  Most of the western and most beautiful side of Vargas Island is within the Vargas Island Provincial Park.  The massive and beautiful Ahous Bay is the camping destination for most on Vargas.  You can camp anywhere on the beautiful beaches in the park for free, and there is one little pit toilet hidden in the forest at the south end of the bay.

The Vargas Island Trail Beach Drop Off

Vargas Island Trailhead Drop Off

The Start of the Telegraph Trail

Vargas Island Ahous Trailhead

The Other End of the Trail at Ahous Bay

Ahous Bay Side Trailhead

Spectacular and Desolate Ahous Bay

Vargas Island Ahous Bay

Vargas Island Ahous Bay

Vargas Island Ahous Bay

Sunset Tent View on Vargas Island

Vargas Island Ahous Bay Tent

Vargas Island Ahous Bay

Directions to Vargas Island Provincial Park

Water Taxi to Vargas IslandThough it is a popular kayaking destination, Vargas Island is so close to Tofino that many simply canoe across to it.  You never lose sight of land and are in sheltered water the entire way.  You can stash your canoe in the vicinity of the Vargas Island Inn and you will see the Telegraph Trail to Ahous Bay next to the Inn.  Remember to ask permission at the Inn to keep your canoe on their property before doing so.  The Telegraph Trail is an easy and well used 3 kilometre trail that has little elevation gain though an amazingly varied plant life.  Remember to bring lots of water as Ahous Bay has very little convenient drinkable water.  Taking a boat taxi from Tofino is an excellent option as it is convenient, quick and cheap to the Telegraph Trail trailhead.  Tofino Taxi will take you there and back for about $40 and you can phone them to arrange pickup anytime.  They can even drop you at Ahous Bay, though it is a bit more expensive.

Vargas Island Directions Map

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