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Flores Island Provincial Park
About This Park
This area was identified for protection in the Clayoquot Sound Land-Use Decision.
Flores Island is one of the most popular destinations in Clayoquot Sound. Here, visitors can enjoy hiking, whale watching, fishing, kayaking, beach camping and more. This vast, untamed wilderness area protects undisturbed watersheds with old-growth forest stands of Sitka spruce, as well as representative coastal and marine ecosystems, including excellent spawning conditions for coho salmon, exposed rocky coasts, sandstone reefs, beaches, sheltered channels and bays, fast narrows, mudflats and shallow banks.
One of the main attractions of Flores Island is the “Walk the Wild Side Trail,” a route that extends 10 km from the village of Ahousat to Cow Bay. First Nation peoples have used this route for centuries to reach the wild beaches on the west side of the island, and this vital circuit can now be explored by park visitors. Most of the route follows sandy beaches, and trails cut across headlands to join with the next beach. Muddy and slippery sections are present on this route, at this time.
The park offers excellent opportunities to see Gray whales, who pass by the Island in their annual migration from Baja California to Alaska. Seasonally resident Gray whales also use the bays for feeding during the summer. Visitors come from around the world to see the whales and kayak the waters in Clayoquot Sound, and a trip to the area would not be complete without discovering all that beautiful Flores Island has to offer.
Established Date: July 12, 1995
Park Size: 7,113 hectares (4,144 ha upland, 2,969 ha foreshore)
Know Before You Go
- Wolf advisory for Flores Island and Gibson Marine Provincial Park
It is imperative that park visitors going to Flores Island:
- Be extremely mindful about how they store their food as wolves have learned how to get into kayak hatches;
- Have equipment available to hang food in the event food caches are full.
- Due to high frequency of wolves coming into campsites during the night, BC Parks is advising against campers sleeping outside their tents.
- Park visitors are advised to not bring pets to Flores Island. Dogs are a high level attractant to wolves and other large carnivores. Protect your pet – keep them at home.
- Please do your part when recreating in wolf country and help to keep wolves wild. Please avoid wolf encounters and practice proper backcountry etiquette.
- If you encounter an aggressive wild animal, report it by calling the Conservation Officer Service 24-hour hotline toll free at 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the Telus Mobility Network.
- Hiking to Mt. Flores is not recommended – the old route to Mt. Flores is not marked, very rough, and is difficult to locate.
- The trail is best accessed from the village of Ahousaht. Water taxis to Ahousaht generally depart numerous times a day, from the 1st Street dock in Tofino.
- There are currently no BC Parks fees to camp within Flores Island Provincial Park. For more information or to purchase permits to hike the Walk the Wildside Trail, please contact the administration office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1 250 670-6803.
Guiding in Parks
- In Provincial Parks, any person acting as a guide or offering guiding services, including vessel drop-offs, must hold a valid Park Use Permit (Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation, Section 4). Please ensure the company you hire is legally operating in the park.
- Tsunamis are a series of unusually big waves caused by a large-scale disturbance of a body of water. If you are on the beach and feel strong shaking from an earthquake or if the water suddenly recedes, move immediately to higher ground (greater than 15 metres or 45 feet above the tide line). There is no way to be certain how high a tsunami is going to be. The first wave to arrive at the coast is often not the largest, and each wave may be separated by up to an hour or more. Waves may continue for up to twelve hours, so you must stay on high ground until advised otherwise. Do not go to the beach to watch.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
- Cultural Heritage: The park lies in the traditional territory of the Ahoushat First Nations. Flores Island Park contains many Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations heritage sites, including middens and Culturally Modified Trees (CMTs).
- Conservation: The park protects undisturbed watersheds with old-growth forest stands of Sitka spruce as well as representative coastal and marine ecosystems, including excellent spawning conditions for coho salmon, exposed rocky coasts, sandstone reefs, beaches, sheltered channels and bays, fast narrows, mudflats and shallow banks. Gray whales migrate through the off-shore waters and seasonally resident Gray whales use the bays for feeding during the summer.
Activities Available at this Park
This park has a trail called the “Walk the Wild Side” trail. This route extends 10 km from Ahousat to Cow Bay; most of the route follows sandy beaches. Trails cut across headlands to join with the next beach. At this time, muddy and slippery sections are present on this route. The trail is best accessed from the village of Ahousaht. Water taxis to Ahousaht generally depart from the 1st Street dock in Tofino. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
Please note: Hiking to Mt. Flores is not recommended – the old route to Mt. Flores is not marked, very rough, and difficult to locate.
Pets on Leash
Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with wolves, bears and cougars.
There have been incidents involving wolves killing dogs in this park. BC Parks is strongly advising park visitors to not bring their dogs to the park.
Gray whales can be encountered at any time during the summer, particularly in Cow Bay. This park also offers opportunities to view seals, sea lions, Bald eagles and a variety of seabirds.
Note: Please abide to current Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Marine Viewing Guidelines when viewing marine wildlife in BC Parks.