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A Guide to the Tofino Plane Crash Hike

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Explore the Tofino plane crash hike: a poignant blend of nature and history. Trek through scenic landscapes while reflecting on the past.

Tofino's Airplane Crash Hike

Having been to Tofino many times over the years I know some of the best spots for hiking, but one that I had never done (but heard of many times) was the hike out to an abandoned airplane crash. Yes, you read that right.

It sounded like an adventure that we would absolutely love, so set out to discover the trail for ourselves. We were camping in Tofino and asked a few locals where we could find the trail head. If in doubt, always ask the locals.

The entrance to the trail is off the Pacific Rim Highway, about a kilometer south from the Radar hill parking lot. Sometimes you’ll see cars parked on the side of the road as you drive past.

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We decided to do it, late one afternoon and equipped with all our gear for filming, we headed out along the road and found the unmarked gravel path that took us off the road and into the forest.

The sky was cloudy, as it often can be in Tofino, and we were fairly covered up, hoping the rain clouds would hold.

We had heard that the hike could be very muddy, but none of us having brought proper hiking or rain boots of any kind, we had to improvise. Luckily, we had brought of surf booties because the rumours we had heard were true.

The first 10 minutes were easy: a wide gravel path with a slight incline. However, the wind in the trees, making them creak and rustle was a bit eerie I’ll admit.

The next thing we saw was what looked like the set of the Blair Witch Project; an old abandoned cement building, covered in graffiti and looking very creepy. We quickly made our way through the building (as we heard you had to) and were on our way down hill again.

So far: no mud.

Just then, a couple with a dog passed by us back to the road and we had a feeling we were in for some dirt; they were wearing tall gum boots, caked in mud and the happy lab that danced along with them looked like he had just come out of a mud bath.

And so it was: we next encountered what looked like an obstacle course mud pit. We changed into our booties and got ready to get dirty.

Making our way along logs, trying to keep to the sides and not sink too deep, we made our way like this for about an hour. Disclaimer: everything takes us longer because of gear, meaning Brian was carrying a steadicam and a heavy backpack the whole way and had to be extra careful.

The path is marked with various ropes to hold on to, coloured markers and tape, and some of the parks signs which have almost entirely sank into the mud.

Sweaty, muddy and wondering what we had gotten ourselves into, we prayed that the ominous grey clouds would hold and wouldn’t add to the muddy pot.

Luckily, the sky began to open up and beam sun on us and the ground went from sloshy goo, to hard and cracked.

Just after this we saw our first glance of something metal resting in the bushes; pieces still strewn from this plane, which has been sat there for over 70 years.

A sign found at the site let us know that the plane crashed February 9th, 1945 shortly after taking of at the near by Tofino Airport, and all 12 passengers on board had survived.

It was quite a strange site, just resting there in the trees, sharp pieces jutting out. Mangled and rusty, it has sort of become a part of the landscape. A large log that has fallen across it allows you to climb up to the top and look down on the whole thing.

The hike itself wasn’t very challenging, save for the mud and if your log hopping skills are high (or if you have proper footwear) you probably won’t have a problem with it.

It was definitely one of the more odd things I’ve seen in Tofino and a great way to spend a couple of hours off the beach. Check out our video on Tofino, where you can see the airplane hike here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzqecq8yv_E

About the Author

  • Brianna Wiens

    Brianna Wiens is an actor, director and photographer who has worked for a number of theatre companies over the years. She has also started a new drama programme in Bolivia as well as travelling all over the world.

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