Clayoquot OVERVIEWThe Clayoquot region extends from Estevan Point on Hesquiat Peninsula in the north to Pacific Rim National Park in the south. It encompasses many major watersheds, several large islands including Flores, Vargas and Meares, lush rain forests and magnificent beaches.
Clayoquot Sound is the largest area of ancient temperate rainforest left on British Columbia's Vancouver Island. First Nations peoples have depended on this rich well of biodiversity for survival for thousands of years. Marine species and wildlife thrive in this region of ancient forests, where trees can grow to over 15 feet in diameter and as old as 1,500 years. Clayoquot Sound is considered to be one of the most spectacular wilderness areas on the continent and has been declared a United Nations Biosphere Reserve. The village of Tofino, once a timber and fishing town, is the commercial and tourism centre of this area. It is the jumping off point for Clayoquot Sound and has become a major tourist destination. Recreational activities have become an important sector in the region's economy. Under the broad category of 'ecotourism', many businesses offer activities such as whale watching, kayaking, boating, wildlife viewing, diving, surfing, stormwatching and visiting hot springs at Hot Springs Cove and Ahousaht. Logging, commercial and recreational fishing, and aquaculture are also important to the local economy. Clayoquot Sound is home to the Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht and the Hesquiaht First Nations. The Ahousaht have 25 reserves on 592 hectares that are only accessible by float plane or boat. The Tla-o-qui-aht Band has 10 reserves on 220 hectares. Formerly called Clayoquot, the Nation's name means "people of other tribes". The Hesquiaht have 5 reserves on 320 hectares. The majority of members live at Hot Springs Cove which is only accessible by float plane or boat.