Nestled quietly in a protected inlet on the south shore of Barkley Sound, the community of Bamfield invites you to share in some of the most spectacular, rugged beauty that the west coast of Vancouver Island has to offer. Located within the traditonal territory of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, Bamfield offers many modern conveniences without compromising the pioneer spirit of this remote community. It is a quiet, unassuming village where the love of the land and sea prevails. Come spend time with us and experience life in the “Heart of the Pacific Rim.”
Originally settled by the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, Bamfield has managed to accept many modern conveniences without compromising the pioneer spirit of this remote community. It's a quiet, unassuming village where the love of the land and sea prevails. Come spend some time with us—experience life in the "Heart of the Pacific Rim."
Your West Coast Adventure Awaits!
Welcome to Bamfield, in the heart of the Pacific Rim National Park reserve; it’s a parkland like none other in the world. Whether you fish or hike, beachcomb or birdwatch, there’s an adventure waiting for you! Explore the rain forest, comb deserted beaches, visit uninhabited islands and rugged coastline, and experience world class diving. Bamfield is the the perfect setting for your adventure vacation. Here in the waters of Barkley Sound, large chinook wait to be caught. But salmon isn’t the only fish in the ocean - halibut and rockfish also promise thrilling catches. Whether you prefer a cruiser, canoe, kayak or sailboat, the sheltered coves and white sand beaches of the islands of Barkley Sound beckon to be explored.
The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre
The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre is a shared campus, owned by the Universities of Victoria, British Columbia, Alberta, Calgary, and Simon Fraser University. Perched on the outer west coast of Vancouver Island, BMSC provides access to a remarkable diversity of marine, terrestrial, freshwater and cultural sites of the North East Pacific basin. With 3000 sq m of modern laboratory space it can support research in almost any field of study. We provide world-class research infrastructure for marine and coastal scientists, offer senior undergraduate and graduate courses and programs in marine and coastal sciences, provide training for graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and technicians in practical aspects of marine and coastal research, and offer in-residence programs in marine biology and general science to schools, colleges, First Nations and other public groups. Tours of BMSC are available during July and August, check out our website for more information.
Bamfield Coastguard Station
Bamfield Lifeboat Station was built in 1908 and was equipped with a 36’ self bailing, self righting motor lifeboat. It was the first purpose built motorized lifeboat in North America. The Electric Launch Company built the vessel in New Jersey based upon a United States Life-Saving Service design.
In January of 1906, the Steam ship Valencia wrecked to the East of Cape Beale. 133 of the 171 persons aboard perished as the vessel foundered over several days. This incident led to inquiries and the construction of a lifesaving trail, lifeboat stations and additional aids to navigation. The lifeboat station was built in conjunction with the West Coast Lifesaving Trail which ran from Bamfield to Port Renfrew. Since that time, Bamfield Lifeboat station has been home to several different classes of lifeboat.
Of the literally thousands of incidents to which the stations crews have responded since 1908, one of the more notable involved the fishing vessel Bruce 1. Early morning Feb 29th 1976 during a storm the 50’ F/V Bruce 1 ran onto the rocks at Cape Beale. The lighthouse keeper was able to hear cries for help and notified the CG Station. The crew took the MLB behind the reefs in horrible conditions and were able to recover two severely hypothermic survivors. They then learned that there were still two men missing. The crew proceeded back behind the reefs and with the assistance of flare drops from an aircraft were able to locate another survivor high up the cliff side where a wave had deposited him. A USCG helicopter from Port Angeles was able to recover the person. The helicopter suffered a mechanical failure and crashed into the sea just as both it and the lifeboat were about to head back to base. The lifeboat crew again proceeded into the churning water behind the reefs and were able to recover all the crew from the helicopter and the survivor they had aboard. Due to the bravery and perseverance of the lifeboat crew all but one of the fishermen and all of the rescuers were recovered. The crew received Silver Medals of Bravery from both the governments of Canada and the United States. One of the crew of the Bruce 1 called the station every year on the anniversary of the incident to thank the crews for their service.
The national school for Rigid Hull Inflatable Operations Training has shared Bamfield Station facilities since about 1984. In 2010 a dedicated building was constructed to provide classroom and shop and change room facilities for the RHIOT school. In 2014 the rest of the Bamfield Station was completely renovated, preparing it for another hundred years of service.