With colder weather moving in, storm season is well underway in British Columbia, and there is no shortage of prime storm-watching locations along the province’s West Coast. This is the season for spectacular dramatic skies, wild rain, and big surf. Indigenous properties offer a front-row storm-watching experience, from hotels near the well-known surf town of Tofino to remote lodges along the rugged coastline of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Tin Wis Resort, Tofino BC
Tin Wis Resort is located on preserved Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation land along the south side of Tofino, nestled in the protected cove of MacKenzie Beach. The resort is renowned for providing the perfect vantage point for storm-watching. Guests can stroll the beach and enjoy the exhilarating winds of the wild West Coast or choose to sip on a hot beverage from the comfort of the cozy suites while the winter surf unfolds.
Haida House, Haida Gwaii BC
Located along the banks of the serene Tlell River, Haida House is surrounded by lush ancient forest and open sky. The Haida House Lodge and oceanside cabins offer the ideal setting for those seeking a unique storm-watching experience. Guest cabins are just steps away from Graham Island’s dramatic east coast, where winds regularly hit more than 40 kilometres per hour from November through January. Perfect storm-watching conditions!
Wya Point Resort, Ucluelet BC
Wya Point Resort rests on pristine, private beaches just outside Ucluelet, surrounded by 600 acres of old-growth forest on Ucluelet First Nation’s traditional territory. The seaside resort offers luxurious lodges and ocean-side yurts where guests can truly unplug and experience the thrilling storm-watching of this spectacular remote location in BC’s Pacific Rim.
10 Tips for Storm Watching in BC
- Timing: The storm watching season typically runs from November through February, with the most intense storms often occurring in December and January.
- Location: The west coast of Vancouver Island, particularly the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, is a hotspot for storm watchers. The towns of Tofino and Ucluelet are popular bases for visitors.
- The Experience: Observers can witness the power of the Pacific Ocean as massive waves crash against the shoreline and cliffs. The sight of these powerful natural displays is both humbling and exhilarating.
- Safety: Safety is paramount. Observers are advised to watch from safe locations, as the powerful waves and storm surges can be dangerous.
- Accommodations: Many local hotels and resorts offer special storm watching packages, often including cozy accommodations with great views of the ocean, allowing guests to experience the storms in comfort.
- Wildlife: The storms also bring an opportunity to observe wildlife, as various birds and marine life are more active and visible during these times.
- Photography: It’s a popular time for photographers looking to capture the dramatic interplay of ocean, sky, and land.
- Clothing: Adequate clothing is essential, as the weather can be wet, windy, and cold. Waterproof and windproof gear is recommended.
- Cultural and Educational Aspects: Some local Indigenous communities offer cultural tours and stories that deepen the understanding of the region’s natural phenomena.
- Environmental Awareness: Visitors are often encouraged to learn about the local ecology and the impact of climate change on these coastal areas.
This unique natural spectacle draws visitors from around the world, offering a mix of awe-inspiring natural beauty and the cozy, introspective ambiance that stormy weather can bring.