Posted on March 8, 2011
Island Profile: Ucluelet Blowhole
Weeks ago as I researched unique and interesting things to do in Ucluelet, I came across stories of a supposed blowhole on one of Ukee’s isolated stretches of shoreline.
Always looking for adventure, we zipped up our rain jackets, pulled on sturdy boots and set foot through the forest. Before long, we found ourselves on gritty sand and jagged rocks.
As we cut through the trees and could see ocean in the distance, a deep, eerie sound filled the air and shook from under the ground and through our feet. Not unlike the vibrating thuds Tyrannosaurus rex made in Jurrasic Park as he was nearing, we were suddenly excited at the sound, knowing that the blowhole was near. Nothing could have prepared us for what we saw!
Created by a vertical rock crevass that forms from sea caves, the Ucluelet blowhole is a phenomenal and rare sight in nature. When wind and water are sucked into the crevasse, the force of the pressure sends water and air thrusting upwards. [source]
Those lucky enough to visit the blowhole on a stormy day – and preferably when the tide is low – will experience something that is nothing short of the most incredible thing I have ever seen occur in nature. It’s difficult to put into words just how amazing a simple force of nature can be, but it’s well worth the trek and you’ll encounter more than just water sprays. Tidal pools are always fascinating to explore and we were even lucky enough to spot a mother eagle protecting her mammoth-sized nest.
Want to see the Ucluelet blowhole for yourself? Traveling south from the junction into Ucluelet, park at the side of the road a few metres south of Lee Street. The path entrance is marked by a concrete divider, opposite Hardy Road, though Hardy Road is unmarked. [map] The path is a bit more than a kilometre to the beach and when it forks, head to the right. Once you reach Fletcher’s Beach, veer left and look for a hard-to-find path cutting into the headland. The path entrance is illustrated below and once you’re on it, it’s marked with little orange flags. Listen for the blowhole and you’ll find it in no time. It’s about a 60-minute round trip.
Things To Remember: If you visit the blowhole, bear in mind that it’s on a fairly deserted beach and it’s important to let someone know your plans before heading out. There are no safety fences between you and the ocean and Mother Nature doesn’t discriminate, so consider leaving your pets and small kids at home. The Ukee blowhole is a protected favourite spot for locals, so please show the land respect – take any garbage with you and leave the beach exactly as you found it.