BMSC is located in the village of Bamfield, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
**The BMSC buildings, docks and foreshore area are closed to the public.**
Summer and Fall students:
The West Coast Trail Express, which has a long history of safe and reliable transportation to the West Coast Trail will be providing bus transportation to BMSC for our summer and fall students.
The WCT express will pick up in downtown Victoria, Nanaimo Airport, Duke Point Ferry Terminal and Departure Bay Ferry Terminal,
Summer Program students:
To book your inbound and outbound trip, please call the WCT Express office.
WCT Office: 250-477-8700
Toll free: 1-888-999-2288
*Please confirm drop off and pickup times with the WCT Express.
Click below for GPS track files (.gpx format), which can be opened in Google Earth and GPS devices.
Click here for the Western Forest Products FaceBook page, Twitter, and website. (Local logging company with occasional road condition updates)
Click on the image below for a pdf version.
From Victoria: There are two options for driving to Bamfield:
Recommended route – Via Nanaimo: From Departure Bay, turn right on the #1 Island Highway traveling north. Follow the directions to Port Alberni.
Once you arrive in Port Alberni, follow the signs for Bamfield. You will enter a gravel logging road that is approximately 76 kms. Follow the signs, or alternatively, follow the power lines to Bamfield. The Bamfield road is marked with red and white kilometer signs numbered from 1 to 76.Total travel time between Nanaimo and Port Alberni is ~ 1.5 hours, and from Port Alberni to Bamfield is ~ 1.5 – 2 hours depending on road conditions, at an (average speed 50 km/hr). This road is usually well maintained.
Via Duncan: Travel north on the #1 Island Highway to Duncan (1 hour). Just north of Duncan turn left on Hwy. 18, traveling west to Youbou. Passing through Youbou, you will enter a network of gravel logging roads. This route is not well signed to Bamfield, though there are a couple of signs at key junctions. The logging route approximately 120kms. Total travel time from Youbou is ~ 2.5 hours depending on road conditions. This road can be very rough, and maintenance is occasional.
IMPORTANT TIPS: Regardless of your start point, you will eventually be driving on a semi-public, logging road. The road between Port Alberni and Bamfield is usually well maintained and well travelled, however, it is important for you to know the following:
- There are no lights on the Bamfield Road and the weather (rain, fog, snow) can create hazardous conditions that should be expected (e.g., flooding, ice). In addition, construction related to road upgrades from 2021-2024 will result in frequent detours. Driving after sundown is therefore strongly discouraged.
- Having a check-in and communication plan for your travel is strongly encouraged.
- SLOW DOWN when driving onto and off the one-lane bridges. There are often large potholes on either end of bridges and hitting them at speed can pop your tires.
- Check your spare tire before you leave and make sure you know how to change a tire before driving this road.
- The road is narrow and winding which reduces visibility. Drive with your headlights on at all times, and reduce speeds accordingly. Pull over whenever possible to let others pass you.
- You will likely encounter logging trucks on the road as current logging activity is ongoing 5 days per week. They have the right of way, so please be PULL OVER AND STOP. The truck drivers may pull over to let you pass once they are in an area where it is safe to do so.
- There are no gas stations en route so ensure that your gas tank is filled before you embark on the logging road. It is always a good idea to carry some bottled water, snacks, and a blanket with you.
- Ensure that your fluids are topped up and the spare tire is in good working order.
If you are in doubt about which way to go, follow the power lines to Bamfield. There is one important exception between KM 34 and KM 35. When you get to the intersection, DO NOT turn left. Go straight, up a slight hill, onto a smaller road that does not have power lines. The power lines rejoin this road in a very short distance.
You have gone the wrong way if the kilometre signs change from red to blue, if the kilometre numbers go out of sequence, if you loose the power lines, or if you hit pavement before reaching the Pacific Rim National Park (~km 75). If any of these things happen, turn back and try again.
There is cell phone reception in Port Alberni and in Bamfield, but there is no cell phone reception in between.
Passenger ferry from Port Alberni to Bamfield:
The M/V Francis Barkley provides ferry and freight service to Bamfield three times weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Additional sailings during the summer months.
Due to the current Covid 19 restrictions, transportation available for residents of Bamfield, Haggards Cove and Kildonan only. No day trip or tourist passengers at this time.
Ferries to Vancouver Island:
From Vancouver to Victoria: BC Ferry service from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. Crossing time is 1 hour and 35 minutes.
From Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) to Nanaimo: BC Ferry service from Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) to Departure Bay. Crossing time is 1 hour and 35 minutes.
From Vancouver (Tsawassen) to Nanaimo: BC Ferry service from Tsawwassen to Duke Point. Crossing time is 2 hours.
From Washington, USA: Washington State Ferry service from Anacortes to Sidney (Victoria). Crossing time is 3 hours.
From Port Angeles, USA: Black Ball Transport (M/V Coho) ferry service from Port Angeles to Victoria.
A number of companies offer float plane charter service to Bamfield including:
Harbour Air: Departure from Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo. Toll free 1-800-665-0212.
Seair: Departure from Vancouver. Toll free 1-800-447-3247.
West Coast Air: Departure from Vancouver Downtown and Airport, Victoria and Nanaimo. Toll free 1-800-347-2222.
KD Air: Toll Free 1-800-665-4244
By Public Bus
The West Coast Trail Express leaves Victoria and stops in Honeymoon Bay or Nanaimo (by pre-paid reservation only), daily en-route to Bamfield (May 15 -September 30). This service no longer stops in Port Alberni. Contact them for reservations and travel details. This company also has charter services. Toll free 1-888-999-2288.
The Pachena Bay Express operates between Port Alberni, Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays from May to October. Call (250) 728-1290.
The Alberni Island Shuttle charter service. Call 250-735-1466, or toll free 1-800-474-3303
If you have further questions please call us at 250-728-3301 during business hours (8:30-4:30 Mon-Fri).