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Forest_Bather
HikingMama



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HikingMama
PostThu Aug 22, 2019 12:07 am 
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We are a family of 6 and are planning a trip next week to thru-hike a trail on a First Nation island near Tofino.  The trouble is, we are coming from Skagit County and have never explored Vancouver Island.  I've been looking for weeks and can't find any available camping on the route to Tofino.  I think it will be about a 7+ hour journey, plus a ferry.  I need a place for us to crash the night before we catch the water taxi to the trail and I don't want to be stranded and we can't all sleep in our car.  wink.gif

Does anyone know of camping options along the route to Tofino?  Many places are private, but look to be booked up and have been for quite some time and I don't know if any government parks have first-come availability (and I don't like depending on that option, either).

Thanks for any advice!

Amy

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Anne Elk
BrontosaurusTheorist



Joined: 07 Sep 2018
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PostThu Aug 22, 2019 1:06 pm 
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If your water taxi is scheduled for early morning you're going to have difficulty, as you probably won't want to be too long a drive from Tofino.  You may have to stay in a motel in Port Alberni and leave early from there; roughly a 2 hr drive. These folks seem to have a handle on some camping possibilities you may not find listed elsewhere.

Hope you have the ferry situation sorted - reservations may be needed. Good luck.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Forest_Bather
HikingMama



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HikingMama
PostThu Aug 22, 2019 3:26 pm 
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Hi Anne,

Thank you so much!  Your intel is much appreciated.

Amy

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Schroder
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PostThu Aug 22, 2019 3:37 pm 
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It's also about half the cost to take the Anacortes-Sydney Ferry as leaving from Tsawassen now.
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Forest_Bather
HikingMama



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HikingMama
PostThu Aug 22, 2019 4:02 pm 
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Thank you for that, Schroder!  Any tips much appreciated.

Amy

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Anne Elk
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BrontosaurusTheorist
PostThu Aug 22, 2019 4:17 pm 
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Schroder's suggestion sounds good - as long as you don't miss the sailing - only 2 per day from Anacortes.  Then roughly 2 hrs from Sydney to Nanaimo.  No intel on which customs clearance is faster.  I've not had any trouble at the Blaine crossing heading north; coming back has often been a nightmare, waited 2 hrs once, and not on a weekend.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Waterman
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PostThu Aug 22, 2019 5:11 pm 
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There are plenty of beaches just south of Tofino,  or you could stay in Uculte to the south.

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.
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Schroder
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PostThu Aug 22, 2019 5:14 pm 
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Customs in Anacortes is pretty easy - usually well staffed and they only have one boat at a time to process.  My sister-in-law lives up by Qualicum Beach and that's the only way they travel now.  It's a good highway from Victoria to Nanaimo.  Reservations are required both ways.
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Aug 22, 2019 7:24 pm 
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Check out the iOverlander app
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Navy salad
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PostFri Aug 23, 2019 9:39 pm 
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I used to sea kayak this area, paddling up to Hot Springs Cove, nearly every summer, but haven't been there for probably 8 years, so this info could be outdated and completely useless!

Our old rule-of-thumb was that the fastest way there was to catch the Tsawassen ferry to Nanaimo. We allowed 2 hours driving time from Woodinville to the ferry terminal; 2 hours for the ferry; and 2 hours for the drive from Nanaimo to Tofino. But given Shroder's comment, this may not be the most economical option (even though at one time it was).

There at least used to be free camping at the old golf course in Tofino, but searching the web, I could only find reference to the campground on Long Beach. We did stay at the Long Beach campground once -- a nice regular car campground.

There are quite a few campgrounds on the way to Tofino, but my memory is they were almost always completely full. However, you may want to see if you can reserve a spot via this link.

Another option is to just stay in one of the many resorts in this area. Tofino is a fun town to explore and if it were me, I might allow an extra day just to spend in Tofino.
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