Late September and early October are great times to look for bears at the Thornton Creek Fish Hatchery, just outside Ucluelet, BC.
Being a guy, I don’t like to ask for directions, but I have also missed the road to the fish hatchery a few times, so here are Tony’s Sure Fire Directions to the Thornton Creek Fish Hatchery…
Directions from Ucluelet, BC
Head out of Ucluelet on Peninsula Rd (which becomes Pacific Rim Highway).
Turn RIGHT on to Port Albion Road (it’s about 6.5 km from downtown Ucluelet).
Follow Port Albion Road for approximately 4km – until you reach a dirt road on the RIGHT.
(Note: Before you reach the dirt road, you will cross over a single-lane bridge – keep going – the bridge is about 1.4 km before the gravel road… Keep an eye on the left-hand side of the road and you will see a gravel road on the left and a “Mussel Beach” campground sign. DON’T TURN THERE! Stay on the PAVED road… just a little further along there will be a gravel road on your RIGHT. There should be a sign for the Thornton Creek fish hatchery. That’s the road you want!)
Follow the gravel road for approx 1.5km until you reach the Fish Hatchery building.
Watch for bears!
If the tide is low the bears are often around the bridge by the parking area. If the tide is high they may be further up the creek by the little waterfall and pool.
If you follow the boardwalk along the side of the creek to the pool, be aware of your surroundings. A bear may come down the boardwalk behind you and there is only one way in and out!