Past the mighty ancient old growth forests of Cameron Lake and over the hump of the Alberni summit you descend into the Alberni Valley. Here you will arrive along the deep saltwater Alberni Inlet located on the traditional lands of the Hupacasath First Nations. The perfect setting to experience the Port Alberni Day Hikes possible.

Two Port Alberni Day Hikes You Should Do

Bound by mountain peaks on all sides and the inlet these lands grew to be rich with natural beauty. Bountiful creeks, rivers and lakes surrounded by dense forests of cedar, hemlock, fir and maple comprise this region.

The Tseshaht and Hupacasath tribes of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation lived in the wide open valley area alongside the Alberni Inlet. The area was referred to as Ahahswinis meaning “cleared in the middle” and is now known as Port Alberni. The region abundant in natural wonders is home to countless hiking opportunities and discovery of it’s vibrant culture and rich history.

Recently I traveled to Port Alberni on a tourism assignment for BC Transit and had the pleasure of exploring two very unique trails. The Port Alberni day hikes I chose to check out were the Rogers Creek Nature Trail and the Alberni Inlet Trail Stage 1.

Rogers Creek Nature Trail

The Rogers Creek Trail System encompasses the forest on the northeast side of the city following the drainage of the Roger Creek. The trail system here is among of some of the most accessible Port Alberni Day Hikes in the region.

Our goal was to hike out to the Hole in the Wall via the Roger Creek Nature Trail. En route to the Hole in the Wall, be sure to take the lower trail bypass option to explore Stokes Canyon and Stini’s Bridge for a more scenic route. Eventually, the trail arrives at a final fork; we took the right fork to go roughly 100 feet to a lookout that peers way down to the backside of the Hole in the Wall.

Once done with this view, head back to the fork and head down the left option which takes you to water level at the creek, and all unique spot where visitors stack rocks into Inukshuks. When water levels are low enough you can cross here (typically in summer) to walk the last distance to see the front side of the Hole in the Wall.

Hole In The Wall via Rogers Creek Nature Trail

The Hole in the Wall is a popular piece of history and favourite spot for hikers and photographers. The attraction was created when, in the early history of the city, engineers blasted a hole through the steep shale wall of Roger Creek to allow a cedar water line pass through to supply the town’s water. Not in use for over 50 years, now it is a unique piece of history to visit with a waterfall sitting where the pipe once passed through.

If the Hole in the Wall wasn’t enough, the Roger Creek Nature Trail boasts a stunning forest bathing experience immersed in nature’s beauty. From giant Douglas Fir and Hemlock to towering Big Leaf Maple and Western Red Cedar; well-constructed trail, wooden bridges, green mosses and the flowing river all add to a wonderful experience.

Taking our time, the whole hike was roughly 3 hours, but one could easily spend 5 hours soaking up the sunshine in the summer months and even sneaking in some river swimming spots.

Chris Istace Vancouver Island Port Alberni Day Hikes

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This trail is perfect for beginners and all ages as it is well signed and moderate to easy terrain making it a perfect choice when looking at Port Alberni Day Hikes. That being said, always take a map and ensure you leave plenty of time for the trip before dark, remember your 10 Hiking Essentials.

Below is a link to Google Maps to get driving directions to the trailhead. As well you could use Google maps on your phone as this trail has cell coverage the entire route. I have also included my ViewRanger GPS track for those that prefer a more dedicated hiking app. The track is only one way from the lookout to the trailhead.

Alberni Inlet Trail Stage 1

For those wanting a challenge in their Port Alberni Day Hikes then look no further than the Alberni Inlet Trail. This trail requires good trail awareness, being prepared with proper hiking essentials in your pack and physical fitness for the moderate to difficult terrain and longer distance.

For our hike, we decided with the time available we would do the Stage 1 trail up to the Lone Tree Point.  Stage 1 works it’s way through second growth forest, a few clearcuts and logging spur roads. Eventually you reach the start of the trail along the inlet. The trail drops down to the inlet at a fork and has two options, one moderate and one difficult. When taking the difficult option which I recommend you can make the small detour to the lookout on Copper Mountain with incredible views of the Alberni Valley.

Descending down to the water you arrive at an old boy scouts’ camp and a wide open beach shoreline area to take a nice break. From here the trail travels along the inlet and takes you away from the spur roads and logged sections to the undulating single track section of trail.

Lone Tree Point via Stage 1 Alberni Inlet Trail

The forest is more dense with endless rocky outcroppings and seasonal small waterfalls as the trail crosses drainage gullies. At the earlier decided turnaround spot you arrive at Lone Tree Point. Terrific views are possible down the inlet from a large rocky outcropping where a marine tower is located. With good luck one might see marine wildlife or even the MV Francis Barkley sail by like we did.

To head back we retraced our steps until we reached the old Boy Scouts camp and here decided to take the Coulson Diversion back to the trailhead. We did this to avoid some of the clearcut sections that now exist in the first part of the Stage1 trail portion. This is a 14km round-trip modified portion of the trail took us roughly 5hrs to complete. It had loads of elevation gain as my hiking app stated around 700m.

Chris Istace Vancouver Island Port Alberni Day Hikes

Chris Istace Vancouver Island Port Alberni Day Hikes

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Great further reading to see if you are up to the challenge of this route can be found on the Regional Districts Brochure and the VI Spine Trail website. The Trail has two more stages as well for a real test of endurance.

Below is a link to Google Maps to get driving directions to the trailhead. As well you could use Google maps on your phone as this trail has cell coverage the entire route. I have also included my ViewRanger GPS track for those that prefer a more dedicated hiking app. The track is only one way from the lookout to the trailhead.

Port Alberni Day Hikes Review

I thoroughly enjoyed both of these hikes and will return when I can dedicate more time to them. Both have so many options to explore and best part is they each have something for everyone out there in the hiking community. The only downsides I could think of would be that the Rogers Creek Nature Trail might be too busy for some. The clearcut logged sections near the start of the Inlet Trail might be a turn-off to others.

Regardless I wouldn’t let those stand in your way as they are must do Port Alberni Day Hikes. Both trailheads are located right in the city limits which I liked the most. This means easy access to great food and drinks which for me start and end a perfect day hike.

Among places to stop by I would recommend a pre-hike coffee and snack at Steampunk Cafe’ & Coffe House . After your hike if you are after something quick the fish tacos post hike at All Mex’d Up Taco Shop are a must do.

Another great food & post hike pint option is Twin City Brewing. I really liked the quote they share “A reminder that you have to know where you’ve been to know where you are going.” A nice quote to ponder after a day hiking.

Port Alberni Day Hikes by Bus

I would like to thank BC Transit who made it possible for me to experience both of these trails when I recently created content for them. It was fun putting together a blog post for the #ExploreBCbyBus campaign and contest. If you could swing by the BC Transit website to check out the story I would be very grateful. Supporting those that support me allows me to continue creating content here at Mindful Explorer.

Explorebcbybus.com – Adventures in Port Alberni

Other Port Alberni Day Hikes Worth Checking Out

Once you have checked out these great Port Alberni Day hikes consider looking into other road trip ideas and activities possible nearby. You can also keep driving past Port Alberni to extend your trip and get great ideas in my post, The Top Tofino Road Trip Must Do Stops .

Otherwise check out these two alpine endeavours for those with strong backcountry skills and scrambling experience I wrote about in the area.

Minna Ridge – A Vancouver Island Day Hike

Climbing Mount Arrowsmith via UnJudges Route

Let me know what other Port Alberni Day Hikes I should do next and what your favourite is in the comments below.

Disclaimer

The information is recalled from trips to the best of my knowledge. Readers use this information at their own discretion and risk. Have fun and be safe.

 

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Both these hikes look fantastic! We make fairly regular visits out to Port Alberni because my bf has family out there but I’ve never done much hiking. Will have to make a point to add one of these in the next time.

    • Chris Istace says:

      Definitely make a point Sarah as they are beautiful trails, I suggest getting the family out for a nice afternoon group stroll down the Rogers Creek Trail. Oh ya, and don’t miss out on the tacos at Mxed Up or Pizza at Twin City 🙂

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