During the winter season we get a lot of Trumpeters wintering over. They fly down from the Yukon. They only stay in very quiet bays. The bears tag team them. When the bears go to bed,the Trumpeters arrive.

In our area Grice Bay is HQ for Trumpeters. There are around 30 to 40 staying in Grice during the winter time. Grice bay is a perfect for them! Nobody ever goes down there…….or very few! In thirty years I have yet to see another person down there when I’m there! People stay away because at low tide the bay empties exposing the mud flats.

Many birds stay down at the end but the ones I’m interested in are the Trumpeters.

So to document the Trumpeters winter stay I have placed a trail camera down there to observe.

Each time I use one of these camera traps the set up is unique. In this set up I hammered a 2X4 into the earth and attached the housing. I need the cover for the camera because of the winters rains!

I think I’ll go back in two weeks time to swap the card and batteries. I never know exactly whats going to walk past?




With the tide being high,I went down to the end of Grice bay to check on the Trumpeters.Had to be over 40 of them with many hundreds of other birds as well.Because Grice bay is so shallow (it physically empties at low tide) nobody goes down there.The birds know this & love to congregate down at the end.

I think I’ll put my trail camera down here to capture them much closer!


Back when Tofino & Ucluelet were first settled,the only way to get from one place to the other was by boat. They found this route impossible during the stormy winter months,so a rudimentary  road was constructed between the two small towns.

It consisted basically of three portions,headland (corduroy rd),beaches & inland water way.

This is what someone coming from Ucluelet would had to of done to get to Tofino.

Get in their boat & row down the Ucluelet harbour (northward) to the end,walk across the headland (2 km) to Florencia bay (the wetter areas of this road were lined with Cedar logs making it into a Corduroy rd),walk northward along Florencia bay to the north end & climb the escarpment to another headland road connecting over to Wickaninnish/Longbeach beach. Walk northward to were the parking lot is for Longbeach. Turn east & go across the final land portion.

Basically the spot where the forest road starts is across the hwy from the parking lot.The spot to enter the forest off of the hwy is difficult to find. (about halfway between the airport road & the yellow gate) The original road is still there.It has ditches on either side & can still be walked upon.Lots of windfall of course. It ends at the Grice bay flats. There is a meandering drainage arm going into Grice bay from this point. They built a boat house here. I suspect a soul could also take refuge in this shed &  wait for high tide. At high tide,the narrow channel would fill & one could continue their journey by rowing out to Grice bay.With the tide heading out,they would row with the tide out of Grice & down Browning pass to Tofino.

I’ve seen pictures of Model T cars using the forest sections of this muddy road.Woman in their Sunday best standing in mud trying to push out a stuck vehicle! How they got the cars down to the beach would of been interesting as the escarpment is 150 feet high!

These shots show the very beginning of the water route from Grice bay to Tofino.The channel in spots is less than 6 feet wide.You wouldn’t want to be late rowing out as Grice is a very shallow bay & goes dry at low tide.



There also were homesteaders down in the Grice bay flats.They had cattle & kept them corralled with a cedar fence. You can still see the poles.


As you can see,the grasses inside this fenced off area would of been covered by the ocean. This salty grass couldn’t of made the meat taste appealing? The milk would of tasted off too I suspect?

People using this water road portion would of rowed right by this spot.Not sure when the settlers moved in or moved out?

So,in conclusion using this rough west coast road would of been only for the strong of heart!