Cox Bay Beach Lookout (Tofino, BC) Hike and Directions

Cox Bay Lookout Tofino BC
Amazing Sunsets at Cox Bay Lookout

If you get off the beaten track in Tofino, you might be able to find Cox Bay Lookout. This is a great hike that is located on the south end of Cox Bay beach. The walk up makes you feel like you are walking in the jungle, and the view at the top is stunning.  The Though not as hidden as it used to be this little hike is definitely worth your time. I think it has one the best views on the island for the amount of hiking required! Keep your eye our for Cox Bay Beach Resort, this place is amazing if it’s in your budget. If not stroll by on the beach for free and check it out.

Cox Bay Beach Lookout

Cox Bay Lookout Hike Stats

  • Distance: ~2 km
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Elevation gain: ~120 m

Cox Bay is well known for its surf and amazing sandy beach, and you will also find great resorts and hotels along its shorelines. I would definitely recommend staying at Long Beach Lodge and eating in its Great Room restaurant, which has spectacular views of the ocean and great food. Cox Bay Beach Resort is no slouch either and the hot tub on the edge of the beach is amazing! Let’s face it Tofino is not cheap. If you are going to drive all the way up there staying at one of these places is definitely worth it. Cox Bay Beach Resort is probably our favourite beachfront “nice” hotel for the value

Surfing Cox Bay Beach
The peak in the foreground is the lookout

Cox Bay Lookout Hiking Directions

There are no signs or super obvious trails for this hike, so it is kind of hard to find. The hike is located at the south end of the beach and you will take the most obvious trail up the bluff, which is close to the tideline. This is the peak on the left when you are looking at the water. There are a couple trails, but the most well kept and obvious one close to the water is what you want to take. It may be muddy at the beginning but push through and keep heading up, its worth it. I recommend good footwear even though it isn’t long it is steep and you will need sure footing. 

Where to start the Cox Bay Hike Tofino
Looking towards the south end of the beach and the lookout
Cox Bay Beach Lookout
The beginning of the hike
Cox Bay Beach Lookout
Start of the hike, looking towards the water

At the beginning of the trail you will walk into an alcove of rock, with a marshy area at the end. During the spring season when we went, there was a lot of mud and even skunk cabbage growing. The trail was very grown over and muddy, but there was only one way to go up, so you will not get lost. I would definitely recommend wearing waterproof hiking shoes or rubber boots.

Cox Bay Beach Lookout

Walking up the trail was a reminder that we live in one of the wettest areas on the west coast. There was a couple slippery falls, but the hike up was well worth the view. going down is a little bit harder to lose your footing, so I used the roots of trees and branches to help myself go down. We only saw a few people on our way and there is not much posted on line about this hike, so it was nice to get a view that not many have had the chance to get.

Cox Bay Beach Lookout
Near the top of the trail

Cox Bay Lookout Summit View

Cox Bay Beach  Lookout Tofino BC
Cox Bay Beach Lookout hike Tofino BC

When you get to the bottom of the hike there is a lot of cool tide pools and sea life visible along the rocky embankments.

Cox Bay Beach anemones

Pettinger Point Cox Bay

Alternatively, if you want to go on a shorter walk you can head over to the north end of the beach. Petting Point is amazing and totally worth a look. This is your quintessential Tofino wave watching spot. On this side of Cox Bay there are short trails along the rocky shore that bring you out to the tip of the cove. The waves can get huge out here, so this is a great spot for storm watching in the winter months. 

Petting Point Cox Bay Tofino

Pettinger Point Cox Bay Tofino

Driving Directions

There are 2 entrance areas to Cox Bay Beach and they both have free public parking. The first is located across the highway from the tourism information center, the second is at the end of Maltby Road just to the south. They are along the main road into Tofino. There are also awesome hotels and resorts in the area. My favourite is Long Bay Beach Resort and it is right on Cox Bay Beach!

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