Cox Bay in Tofino
Tofino’s Surf Beach.
Cox Bay is nearly 1.5 kilometers long and faces wide open to the west. At the south end it extends in the Pacific Rim National Park and at the north it stops at Rosie Bay. It is the home to Pacific Sands Resort, Cox Bay Beach Resort and the Long Beach Lodge. Originally names False Bay, it was renamed Cox Bay in 1934 in honour of the British merchant John Henry Cox. Cox was a fur trader and organized the earliest expeditions to the pacific northwest.
Cox Bay is likely the most popular surf destination in Canada. Its westerly exposure and shape catches and amplifies most directions of swell to make it the most consistent beach break in this area. Cox Bay has been the location of surf competitions for years including the Rip Curl Stew and the O’Neill Cold Water Classic. Cox works best with a western swell, a southeasterly wind and a mid incoming tide. It can get very big in the winter and very rippy so it is important be safe and stay within your skill level.
Families have enjoyed Cox Bay as a summer destination for decades. The Pacific Sands was originally built in 1973 by the Pettinger family and has been a family holiday destination ever since. With its sand dollar dotted white sand expanse, Cox Bay offers a summer playground for everyone. During the spring it is a stopping ground for the shorebird migration and many a gray whale has been spotted just off the beach. At the north end at low tide there are intertidal zones that are full of mussels, barnacles and sea stars.
Cox Bay can be accessed through either of the 2 public parking lots. The first is located across the highway from the tourism information center, the second is at the end of Maltby Road just to the south. There are restrooms located at both accesses as well as the info center.
There are no fires allowed on the beach and dogs are required to be leashed.
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