Meares Island, Tofino, BC

If you’re up for a steep challenge, then Lone Cone Trail may be the hike for you.

Lone Cone, situated on Meares Island, looms over Tofino as a prominent landmark.  At 730 metres elevation, the ascent over a relatively short 1.5 kilometres of trail is quick and grueling.  On a clear day, the views from the top of Tofino, Clayoquot Sound and the Pacific Ocean are unequalled.

You’ll want to plan for this hike.  The first step is to budget approximately five to six hours for the round trip. Be sure to wear sturdy footwear, appropriate gear and to pack water and food.

This trip starts with a fifteen-minute water taxi to Meares Island, over the mudflats and past the Tla-o-qui-aht community of Opitsaht.  The trail starts with a flat section and you will see markers. Prepare to be going over muddy sections and slippery tree roots. The ascent starts gradually for a little over one kilometre.  Once the trail gets steep, it’s a rapid climb to the top with few switchbacks. Once you’re at the summit, enjoy that view – and accomplishment.

Note that there will be a fee for your water taxi, and a $10 access fee for the trail itself.  Book your water taxi with several outfitters in Tofino.

Contrary to some lore, Lone Cone is not a volcano.  It’s one of the Catface Intrusions, masses of quartz diorite that intruded the Westcoast Crystalline complex about 41 million years ago.  In other words, the rock that formed Lone Cone solidified deep underground but is not volcanic.

Photo: @amber604