Outer Shores Lodge

At the edge of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

West Coast Vancouver Island, Canada | Credit: James Thompson Photography

Season(s)
Spring, Summer, Fall
Duration
3-night, 4-night, and 7-night stays available
Pricing
Starting from $495 per person / per night
Location
Bamfield
Overview

Outer Shores Lodge welcomes guests for more Outer Shores-led explorations and experiences. Join us at this remarkable lodge for all-inclusive experiences that feature the Outer Shores Expeditions approach to balancing escape, relaxation, education, conservation, inspiration, and connection throughout your stay with us.

Our all-inclusive experience includes daily excursions with expert guides and specialists, as guests explore coastal rainforests, rocky shores, and sandy beaches, encountering whales, sea lions, and sea otters, watching bears forage on the shore, and eagles soaring overhead. Guests explore the region both on foot and in our zodiac boat.

Our professional chefs serve three incredible meals daily, featuring locally-sourced ingredients, with wine, spirits, and beer served with dinner.  The lodge itself, with its five rooms and two cabins, has been newly refurbished to reflect our Pacific Coast setting and provides our guests with plenty of space to rest, relax, and find connection in their surroundings. 

Outer Shores Lodge is also available for events such as multi-family gatherings, reunions, retreats, weddings, and workshops of all kinds. Please contact us for more information.

Accommodation

The lodge is situated on what was formerly one of many Huu-ay-aht villages called ʔuc̓uuʔa (pronounced “ootsuu-a”).

The village stood for many centuries at the current site of Outer Shores Lodge. This location is revered for its sweeping views out to the ocean, which was most important for Huu-ay-aht whalers.

Today, this remarkable five-acre oceanfront lodge consists of the main lodge with five unique spacious bedrooms, four with private ensuite bathrooms, and features a luxurious great room with massive stone fireplace, spacious dining room, a spectacular kitchen with secondary dining area, library, and workshop space.

The site also features two private cabins, a single-story cabin with one-bedroom and a two-story cabin with two-bedrooms and loft, each fully self-contained and situated on the adjacent bluff that offers wonderful panoramic views of Barkley Sound, including west coast sunsets and winter storm viewing!

Other on-site amenities  include a beach-side fire pit, indoor steam shower, plus an abundance of private forests, gardens, and shorelines to find peace, solitude, and space for relaxation and contemplation.

Photo credit: James Thompson Photography (top); Owen Perry (bottom)

Getting Here

Outer Shores Lodge is located on the western shore of the remote wilderness village of Bamfield and the traditional territory of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation. Largely accessible by air and water only (except for a few logging roads), getting to Outer Shores Lodge is an immersive and compelling part of the overall lodge experience. Transfers to and from the lodge are not included in our all-inclusive packages, however, our team is here to help advise you with your travel arrangements as necessary. 

We have established 3-night, 4-night, and 7-night lodge stays to conveniently align with the passenger ferry schedule out of Port Alberni. The MV Frances Barkley passenger ferry operates three round trips weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The ferry, which features a small restaurant and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, is the ideal way to travel to Outer Shores Lodge, as it sails along the gorgeous Alberni Inlet to Bamfield. This approximately four-hour voyage gives our guests their first opportunity to spot wildlife like eagles, sea lions, and whales. The ferry then drops our guests off at the West Bamfield dock where our lodge team waits to welcome them to Bamfield and take them and their belongings the short distance to the lodge itself. 

Our lodge team can also assist with facilitating reservations on scheduled and chartered float plane services from Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo. 

Additionally, a variety of private non-scheduled water taxi services can be arranged from either Port Alberni or from Ucluelet.

And finally, the West Coast Trail Express shuttle services Bamfield daily from May 15 to September 30 leaving from Victoria and Nanaimo. The company also offers private transport in one of their 10 passenger vans throughout the year.

What You Need To Know

What does it cost to stay at Outer Shores Lodge?

Our all-inclusive rates for 2023 are as follows: 

From May 1st to June 14th our all-inclusive rates range from $495  to $695 per person / per night. From June 15th to September 15th our all-inclusive rates range from $595 to $795 per person / per night. And from September 16th to October 15th our all-inclusive rates range from $495 to $695 per person / per night. 

What’s included in my all-inclusive Outer Shores Lodge stay?

It’s probably easier to tell you what’s not included. Transfers to and from the lodge are not included, and any alcohol beyond the wine, spirits, and beer served with dinner is not included. Gratuities are also not included, but are strongly encouraged and greatly appreciated. 

Everything else, including all accommodations, meals, excursions, cultural site visits, wildlife viewing, lodge amenities, concierge & housekeeping services, and extra adventure gear is all included.  See below for the full list.

Will we get to sail aboard Passing Cloud while we stay at Outer Shores Lodge?

Passing Cloud will be part of the Outer Shores Lodge experience from March to May of 2023, before she sails hundreds of kilometres away for the rest of the summer for her annual 8- and 9-night expeditions of the Great Bear Rainforest and the Haida Gwaii Archipelago. You can learn more about those distinct voyages here. 

What’s a typical day like at Outer Shores Lodge?

If you’re an early riser, you might start your day with some pre-breakfast bird watching or photography around the lodge. Our day officially begins with a delicious breakfast served in the dining area, followed by a morning excursion. Daily excursions are determined based on the weather, wildlife, and season, but they typically involve either a beach /intertidal zone walk, a hike through the rainforest, or a trip out on the zodiac.

That’s followed by lunch at the lodge, then another afternoon excursion to experience the nature and wildlife around Bamfield and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. We always try to balance the intensity of the excursions each day, keeping one lighter and making the other a little more challenging. On days that we travel to the ancient Huu-ay-aht Nation village and fortress site of Kiix?in, we’ll have lunch at the cultural site itself. 

In the evening, there’s always a little time to relax before dinner is served. Dinner is then followed by more downtime in which you can watch the sunset from the lookout bluff, enjoy a campfire, do some stargazing, read a book in the great room, or simply retire to your room at your leisure. At specific times of the year there might be an evening educational presentation from an expert in a particular scientific field. Of course, you are free to take your leisure time as suits you throughout your lodge stay, participation is never mandatory. We encourage you to simply enjoy the overall experience at the pace that suits you best. After all, it’s your vacation and we want you to enjoy it.

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What's Included

Daily interpretive walks and hikes with expert guides and specialists, including old-growth rainforests, bogs, estuaries, sandy beaches, and rocky intertidal habitats.

Water-based excursions, explorations, and wildlife viewing using rigid hull inflatable skiffs, complete with expert guides and specialists, and topics including oceanography, kelp forest ecology, and eelgrass meadow habitats.

Cultural site visits, including guided tours of the ancient Huu-ay-aht village and fortress site of Kiix?in

Tours of the Bamfield Marine Sciences Center

Guided and self-guided wildlife viewing and photography, including whale and bear viewing, and bird watching.

Daily “expedition briefs”, including weather, tides, sea state, and specifics of activities.

Evening educational presentations.

Science and discovery-based interactions and activities.

Outdoor gear suitable for activity and season (e.g., waterproof footwear, appropriate rain wear).

Spectacular panoramic views, sun rises and sunset from the lookout bluff, with coffee or sundowner beverage in hand.

Wildlife viewing from the lookout bluff, including eagles, seals, sea lions, sea birds, and whales.

Indoor and outdoor games and activities

Dark Sky stargazing and astronomy.

Chef-prepared, plated and served, breakfast, lunch, aprės, and dinner (wine with dinner), all featuring local and sustainable foods.

Enjoyment of all lodge facilities and amenities, including outdoor sauna, steam shower, library, games room, surrounding gardens, forests, firepits, fireplaces and beaches.

Concierge and housekeeping services.

Or call us at 1-855-714-7233 (Toll free)

Sample Itineraries

Duration
4-nights
Starts / Ends
Bamfield
Distance
Up to 25 nautical miles (46 km)/day
Physical REquirements
Moderate

Summary

Our 3, 4, and 7-night “Salmon, Bears, and Rainforests” lodge stays focus on one of the most remarkable ecological interactions found anywhere – the Salmon Forests of the Pacific Northwest. Each summer and autumn, millions of wild Pacific salmon return to the rivers where they were born and spawn before dying. In doing so, they move millions of kilograms of nutrients from the ocean into coastal rivers and forests, often aided by the actions of bears and other predators and scavengers, like wolves, eagles, river otters, and mink. The dramatic and wide-reaching ecological payoff will amaze you! You’ll explore nearby shorelines, rivers, creeks, and rainforests, observing bears and salmon, and learning more about this incredible story of nature and ecology.

Day 1
Arrival / Lodge Orientations / West Bamfield Walking Tour

Once you arrive at Outer Shores Lodge, you will start your stay with a chef-prepared lunch, followed by lodge orientations, settling into accommodations, and preparing you with proper outdoor and boating gear for our first boat excursion tomorrow. Afterward, we’ll enjoy a walking tour of West Bamfield, including its historic boardwalk and Brady’s Beach, locally famous for its sandy beaches, sea stacks, and tidepools filled with colourful marine life. Back at the lodge this afternoon you’ll have time to relax in our ocean-front great room, explore the surrounding gardens, forests, beaches, and take in the panoramic views from the lookout bluff. You’ll keep an eye on the shoreline and waters around the lodge on the lookout for bears and whales. 

Evening presentation: Salmon forests: The ecology of salmon, bears, and coastal temperate rainforests.

Day 2
Intertidal Bears / Salmon Creek Visit / Beach Explorations

If you’re an early riser, you might start your day with a fresh coffee and wanted into the great room or up onto the bluff for some pre-breakfast birdwatching or photography. 

Our boat-based excursion today will be either in the morning or afternoon, to be  timed around the tidal cycle to increase the likelihood of observing and photographing bears. We will look for bears foraging along the intertidal shorelines of the bays and inlets near the lodge. We will spend time at the mouth of a small stream where salmon are returning to spawn with hopes of seeing bears in pursuit of salmon. Depending on the time of year, we also expect to see a diversity of coastal birds, including kingfishers, mergansers, harlequin ducks, bufflehead, goldeneye, oystercatchers, cormorants, grebes, loons, turnstones, and bald eagles.

For our second excursion of the day, either after breakfast or lunch, we’ll enjoy a guided interpretive walk along Brady’s Beach. On warm days, this is an amazing place to kick off your shoes and stroll barefooted on this beautiful sandy beach and wave-swept shore interspersed with rocky headlands. You’ll enjoy learning about the fascinating lives of intertidal marine invertebrates, and why the intertidal zone is home to such an amazing diversity of marine life.

This afternoon, you might choose to go sea kayaking or go for a short tour of the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, or simply enjoy relaxing at the lodge with a book from our resource library.

Evening presentation: Introduction to Coastal Temperate Rainforests 

Day 3
Coastal Rainforest Walk / Picnic Lunch / Bear Viewing Excursion

Start this morning off by enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee while chatting with our culinary team or head up to the lookout bluff and enjoy panoramic ocean views and sounds as the morning unfolds around you. You can’t help but be moved by this incredible setting!

After breakfast today we’re off for a full day of forest walks and bear viewing. We’ll start our morning with a casual interpretive walk through the Bamfield/Huu-ay-aht Community Forest. We’ll see the towering cedar, spruce, and hemlock trees that form this globally rare forest ecosystem and learn about the incredible ecological relationships that make these forests among the most productive on the planet, including the fascinating relationships between salmon, bears, rivers, and trees.

After this walk we will drive for about 30 minutes to access a few locations where bears are often found foraging for salmon along the Sarita River. We will have a picnic lunch perched in a location where bears can often be observed walking the streambanks or in the river fishing for salmon. We will visit a few locations along the river in search of bears. On our return home, if we still have energy, we’ll stop for a quick walk on Pachena Beach, the beginning of the world-renowned West Coast Trail.  

Back at the lodge later this afternoon, enjoy the warmth, comfort, and ocean views of the ocean-front big room with a cup of tea or glass of wine.

Evening presentation: Introduction to the Human History of Barkley Sound

Day 4
Ancient Village and Fortress of Kiix?in

Our expedition today brings together the ecological-human connection with an inspiring and insightful guided tour of the ancient Huu-ay-aht Nation village and fortress site of Kiix?in, located just a short distance from Outer Shores Lodge. Our Huu-ay-aht guide and cultural interpreter will lead us on a cultural journey through the history of this remarkable site, situated on a beautiful beach fronted by sea stacks, and surrounded by old-growth coastal temperate rainforest. The moss-laden remains of 12 longhouses, including standing house posts and beams, outline this village that once housed more than 500 people. We’ll learn about the lifeways of the people who lived here and how they constructed and used the adjacent fortress to protect themselves when needed. This is an approximately six-hour tour that includes a short boat ride, strolling along a boardwalk through coastal rainforest, a short beach walk, and a chef-prepared picnic lunch.

After returning to the lodge this afternoon, enjoy the mesmerizing panoramic views from the bluff while watching for eagles, otters, sea lions, whales, and other coastal wildlife.

Day 5
Post-Breakfast Farewells

This morning after breakfast we’ll formally bring our expedition to a close as we say our farewells and depart Bamfield and the Outer Shores Lodge having explored and connected with this remarkable part of the world, feeling rested, insightful, and inspired.

Resources

Preparing to go to West Vancouver Island?

Barkley Sound is an ecologically and culturally remarkable region on the west coast of Vancouver Island and home to the Broken Group Islands and Cape Beale Headlands/West Coast Trail Units of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Below is a list of websites that will help you prepare for traveling to and experiencing this amazing place.

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