The 1945 WW2 bomber crash hike is seriously cool, it takes you through abandoned buildings and boggy marshes making you feel like you’re in a scene from Jurassic Park.
The hike is not an official BC Hike so you won’t be able to get directions from information centres as it is considered dangerous and are not allowed to promote it.
The hike is about 5kms in total and will take about an hour each way. The hike is extremely muddy so you’ll be taking your time balancing on fallen trees and roots.
It is always best to come prepared, you are in bear country and bears have been seen on this trail. Hikers have become lost overnight on the trail either getting lost in the marsh or trying to continue past the crash site. Stay on the path and be aware of the next marker before continuing. Always let someone know you are on the hike and when you are expected to be back. Do not attempt this hike late in the afternoon.
To start the hike, park at the bottom Radar Hill parking lot (about 11kms before Tofino). From there walk back to the highway and head south (right). To find the beginning of the trail you will need to count the telegraph poles on the right-hand side of the road. The 15th pole is the start of the trail, a small plane has been carved into the pole at eye height. If you lose count of the telegraph poles another way to find the path is by paying attention to the ditch, look for a raised gravel section about the width of a car.
From here follow the gravel and dirt path up the slope to the abandoned building. Walk through the graffitied building and out the back door to the left. You’ll then proceed to follow a muddy track downhill.
This is where all the fun begins as you reach the marsh. The more it’s rained the more difficult it is to cross. You will be balancing on fallen trees, branches and roots. For the most part, they have been strategically placed with rope set up to help you balance and to stay on the correct path. Eventually, the rope will run out, from there look for coloured tape and ground markers set up about 20 meters apart. The correct path isn’t always obvious because it’s under mud and water so make sure you know where the next marker is before continuing.
Once you’ve crossed the marsh you’ll come into more of a boggy field instead of a thickly populated tree marsh. Towards the end of the “field” is big pond which is actually a crater where the army set off the plane’s bombs after the crash. The easiest way to cross is by sticking to the left. From here you will begin to see parts of the plane between the trees.
To get back simply follow the same path!