Kwisitis Visitor Centre, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Photo credit: Parks Canada.
Kwisitis Visitor Centre, observation deck. Photo credit: Parks Canada.
Kwisitis Visitor Centre, marine mammal activities. Photo credit: Parks Canada.
Killer Whale on Nuu-chah-nulth pole, Nuu-chah-nulth Trail. Photo credit: Parks Canada.
Kwisitis Visitor Centre
485 Wick Road
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0 Canada
7 days/week in peak season;
Fri/Sat/Sun in winter
Restrooms, Trails, Visitor Center, Wheelchair Accessible
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is nestled in the ḥaḥuułi (traditional territories) of the Nuu-chah-nulth people. The resources of the ocean and temperate rainforests have traditionally supported the social, cultural and economic well-being of the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples for generations upon generations. The sandy beaches and the lush rainforests of the Long Beach Unit are part of the traditional territories of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ.
The more recent maritime history tells the tales of early explorers, lightkeepers and settlers that evolved into the vibrant contemporary communities of Ucluelet and Tofino. Today Pacific Rim National Park Reserve greets over one million visitors each year.
While visiting the national park reserve, take a look at the natural and cultural heritage of this special place at the Kwisitis Visitor Centre, where Nuu-chah-nulth language and stories are plentiful. Make sure to step outside to the viewing deck and take a front row seat for your shore-based whale watching experience. A valid national park entry pass is required for all visitors.
The marine waters of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are important feeding areas for the Pacific Coast Feeding Group, a population of grey whales that show strong site fidelity to summer feeding grounds, including the nearshore waters along the Long Beach unit of the park reserve. Grey whales here forage on the sandy bottoms, filtering invertebrates through their baleen.
Large numbers of grey whales can also be seen from shore during their spring and fall migrations between Baja, Mexico and their feeding grounds as far north as the Bering and Chukchi Seas.
From the deck of the Kwisitis Visitor Centre, you might spot young Steller Sea Lions and California Sea Lions catching a wave or two out in the surf. Listen and you may hear them growling and barking on Long Beach Rocks off-shore from Green Point Campground.
Swiftsure Bank, offshore from Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, is identified as critical habitat for the Southern Resident Killer Whales, a species at risk in Canada. An Interim Sanctuary Zone, a space of refuge for Southern Resident Killer Whale, has been established in Swiftsure Bank. Click here for up to date information on the interim sanctuary zone.
Parks Canada is collaborating with Indigenous partners and other federal departments, to support the recovery of Southern Resident Killer Whales, through science, enforcement and education programs.
In March, don’t miss the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, a community celebration of the grey whale migration and of the creatures that share their environment. For more, please visit: pacificrimwhalefestival.com.
The sandy coastlines and rocky shores along Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are exposed to the open Pacific Ocean. This means that high tides, large waves and rolling logs can expose visitors and whale watchers to hazardous situations. Creeks and streams flowing into the Pacific Ocean will also be affected by these conditions. Being aware of shoreline risks and taking reasonable measures to mitigate them will minimize the risk of personal injury.
Visitors to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are advised to use caution when accessing any beach or rocky outcrop overlooking the water at any time. Plan your activities according to tides and observe beach conditions closely. Please obey guidelines and all temporary closures that may be necessary during any season. For more information on coastal safety visit CoastSmart.ca
Nuu-chah-nulth principles of Iisaak (respect) and Hishuk ish ts’awalk (everything is one) are integral to the management and operations of the national park reserve. Ensure your visit keeps these ideas in mind and please also follow “Leave No Trace” principles. Dogs must be on leash at all times within the national park reserve.