Stage 5 - Bamfield to Port Alberni
Distance: 89 km
Riding Time: 2.5 hrs
The road connecting Bamfield to Port Alberni is a necessary evil, and "highway to hell" is a more appropriate name for this stage. It's pockmarked with large rocks, potholes and road ripples everywhere. Once you're in Port Alberni, you can continue onto Stage 6, or take a highly recommended side trip out to Tofino if your schedule allows.
Recommend lowering tire pressure by 10 lbs to accommodate the very rough road.
The trailhead for the West Coast Trail makes a good meeting point prior to setting out on this stage.
Food and Coffee
In Port Alberni, the Steampunk Cafe is popular for grabbing a coffee and the Clam Bucket makes a great lunch and dinner.
There are a limited number of scenic viewpoints along this stage offering views of large hills and mountains off in the distance, but nothing truly memorable. Most of your view will revolve around looking for potholes in the road, and trying to see if a large truck is coming around the bend ahead.
The traffic you will encounter on this stage tend to fall into two categories: oblivious tourists in large trucks pulling campers very slowly and taking up the entire road, or large gravel/logging trucks barrelling down the road at excessive speeds. Take care.
The stage itself offers a few interesting hill climbs and bridge crossings, but the true difficulty comes in avoiding the potholes.
Road Conditions: 1/5
The worst road of the VIGL. Large rocks jutting out from the road, potholes large enough to damage your rims, road ripples that will shake loose any bolts that are not torqued to excess. And long dusty sections that you will hope stay dusty because the addition of rain would not be fun.
Photos & Videos
Along Stage 5
Impact damage from large stones