Happy hour along the BC Ale Trail is an even more sacred time after an awesome day of outdoor adventures.

Make your way to the marine outpost of Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island and amplify your cheers factor tenfold. Here’s how to do it. A hiking mecca, Bamfield has been known for years as the start or finish of the West Coast Trail. This multi-day hike is like living on the set of the Discovery Channel, because there are so many things to uncover. But you don’t have to commit to multi-day to experience on this part of the coast, because there are a ton of epic one-day hikes. Check out this #ExplorePortAlberni ZenSeekers story to see why.

The community is like few you will find in the world. Split into two zones, East Bamfield and West Bamfield, it’s home to one of the planet’s most respected ocean sciences centres – the Bamfield Marine Science Centre, with a focus on researching whales, dolphins and everything else that lives in the sea. You can stand up on their viewing platform as a whale-watching location that has an information board to help you figure out what you are seeing.

Fall 2019 is the perfect time to see humpbacks and orcas as they start to migrate from Alaska and B.C. waters south to Hawaii.


Grab a few barley sandwiches for your backpack and hike the west coast. You’ll want those beers found along the BC Ale Trail for stops like Brady’s Beach where you can hike up to a bench that treats you to a 360 of wow. Set up camp at the Huu-ay-aht’s Pachena Bay Campground, so you can enjoy happy hour on the shore that goes for miles. You’ll have the exquisite experience of camping oceanside. Alternatively, you can easily make Port Alberni your basecamp and do a Bamfield day trip.

Twin City Brewing Company and the fall opening of Dog Mountain Brewing, both in Port Alberni, make for perfect happy hour locations, with craft beer on tap paired with some tasty menu options.

Here’s how to get there

Bamfield is a one-and-a-half to two-hour drive along a very well-marked logging road, leaving Port Alberni and heading west. Once in Bamfield, the hiking options are endless so the first stop you might like to make is into the Parks Canada Office, which operates the orientations and information for the West Coast Trail. But they are also knowledgeable on other options in and around Bamfield.

Park in town, walk to the government dock and hop the water taxi over to West Bamfield and runs year-round. Here you will find the Bamfield Mercantile and Marine. Go in and talk with Marnie and Keith, the store owners who also operate the Bamfield Chamber of Commerce. Load up on a few cold ones and a flatbread pizza, and fuel up on their deck before hiking the boardwalk and on to Brady’s Beach. Just the adventure of taking the water taxi and exploring West Bamfield will certainly justify that happy hour.

For more on the hiking options this fall in Bamfield, this ZenSeekers story gives you the 411 and more. https://www.zenseekers.com/story/hike-west-coast-hike-bamfield

For where to stay and to plan your getaway along the Vancouver Island portion of BC’s Ale Trail, our friends at Alberni Valley Tourism will get you sorted.

Eat Shop Stay


Creative and fun-loving people are moving to Port Alberni, with realistic real estate, a collection of breweries and boundless adventures out the back door. For more information check out the City of Port Alberni’s information here.

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