With roaring waves and moody skies, storm watching is one of the most spectacular and unique winter activities to enjoy along British Columbia’s rugged coast. The phenomenon is due to there being no landmasses between Japan and Vancouver Island’s west coast, creating a perfect storm of high winds, clashing subtropical and arctic air, and dramatic waves. So, pack a warm sweater and a raincoat, and head out to the following spots to experience the soul-invigorating sight up close.
Located alongside the Tofino-Ucluelet Highway, Long Beach is well known as one of the most impressive beaches to storm watch. The longest and largest beach in the Pacific Rim National Park, the sweeping stretch of shoreline provides unobstructed views of big waves, with winds so powerful the trees bend towards the curling tides.
Arguably where storm watching on the island first began, Chesterman Beach has some of the biggest swells and some of the wildest storms displays on the west coast. Always keep safety in mind, though: don’t stand on the rocks, keep your distance from the waves, and be sure to check the tide chart before you go.
Sooke and surrounding areas like Jordan River are filled with large numbers of beautiful provincial and regional parks that offer great storm-watching opportunities. Follow the trails through French Beach, China Beach, Sombrio Beach, and Juan de Fuca to find sandy, driftwood-dotted shorelines being pounded by tall, crashing, sea-spraying waves.
With excellent on-site amenities including an indoor whirlpool hot tub—perfect for warming up after a chilly day out storm watching—Capilano River RV Park is a convenient home base for winter activities on the west coast like storm watching. Get in touch with us today to reserve your spot!