Creating a Future As Rich as Our Past.

Come Home to Pachena Bay Campground

Come Home to Pachena Bay Campground

Although everyone knows the saying, “there’s no place like home,” Trevor Cootes is living the reality. After more than fourteen years working in tourism-related jobs from Tofino to Port Alberni to Ucluelet, the Huu-ay-aht citizen is back home in Anacla managing the Pachena Bay campground. And his return has coincided with some positive changes.

Recently the campground added two new portable washroom units, tripling the flush toilets available for campers. Campground management also has plans to extend the water line, increasing the availability of fresh drinking water for guests.

Add these to the other recent additions, such as the custom-designed wash house whose architecture reflects the traditional design of a Huu-ay-aht bighouse, and you’ve got a winning combination. (The wash house is also wheelchair accessible.)

Cootes is pleased with these changes, just as he’s pleased to be back enjoying all that the area has to offer. Located inside Pacific Rim National Park, the little-known campground is next door to world class recreation and hiking opportunities like the West Coast Trail. It also looks out onto a spectacular natural setting perfect for fishing and birding enthusiasts. “I’ve spent a lot of time in other places, but in one morning here and you can pick out about twenty different bird sounds pretty quickly,” Cootes says. “That doesn’t happen everywhere.”

Cootes also likes the campground’s proximity to Bamfield, which has just the right amount of amenities. “Here you can hike, walk, kayak, or fish, but you get to do that in a natural setting rather than being surrounded by a dozen other kayaks or a hundred other boats,” Cootes says, comparing Pachena Bay to some of the busier locales on the west coast. “You can also experience the wilderness while meeting your basic needs, because Bamfield has all the necessities without taking anything away from the natural setting.”

Affordability is also a plus, since camping at Pachena Bay is priced right: $40 per night for serviced RV sites and $26 per night for tents. That price includes some of the most breathtaking views on Vancouver Island, along with virgin rain forests and pristine shorelines right outside your door (or tent flap, depending on your preference). One only has to lay eyes on the expansive sandy beaches to understand why the Huu-ay-aht people cherish and safeguard the Pachena River and its majestic bay, a gateway to traditional territories which include four other rivers.

“I’ve seen a lot, but Pachena Bay has everything that I like about the outdoors,” says Cootes. “It’s a great place to go to with all the amenities you need. I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.”

The Pachena Bay campground is open from May 1 to September 30 annually. For more information about the campground or to make a reservation, contact or call (250) 728-1287.



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