Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
Yes
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Ahous Bay is a windy stretch of Vargas Island that faces directly into the strong winds and ocean swell coming off the ocean. Coupled with little to no protection and a gentle slope, it is an ideal spot for backcountry surfing. The swell isn't as impressive as Long Beach or other spots near Tofino, but the limited access means that outside of summer it's very quiet. It is an ideal place for storm watching or hanging out on a very beautiful beach, watching seals, otters, eagles, and whales go by. You may even see a rare coastal wolf.

The bay itself is about 4 kilometers wide with a wide stream near the middle that is easily crossed. At low tide, the beach is massive, ebbing out to about 200 meters of distance. The high tide will come right up the tree line. Like all beaches of this type, the swells are largest at the center of the beach. If you are landing, then its best to come in on the sides and be cautious.

The area is popular with commercial groups, and there are two set-up, built-up posts for kitchens at the north and south ends of the bay, where it is safest to land. While generally amenable to others, these groups like their space, so feel free to camp farther down the beach. There is campsite infrastructure on the beach.

Getting to Ahous Bay is possible by paddling 7 nautical miles from Tofino either south of Vargas through the class 3 La Croix group or north through less wild waters. The whole west side of Vargas is considered class 3 waters, and rapid advection fogs are common, so experience is required to get here. You can also hire a water taxi to drop you off. There is a drop-off point and trail that runs from the east end of the island to the beach that makes this an affordable option.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Spring

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Beautiful location. Great storm watching. Swell.

Cons

Many large commercial groups in the summer. Challenging landings in surf. Sand everywhere.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Features

Vault toilet
Backcountry camping
Native artifacts
Big vistas
Tide pools
Bird watching
Big Game Watching
Whale watching
Snorkeling / SCUBA
Surfing

Location

Field Guide

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