How to Get Here

BMSC is located in the village of Bamfield, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

By Boat

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. Passenger service only.

Phone: 250-723-8313

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.

By Car

Click below for GPS track files (.gpx format), which can be opened in Google Earth and GPS devices.

Bamfield via Port Alberni road

Bamfield via Cowichan Road

Click here for the (occasionally updated) Bamfield Road Facebook page.

From Victoria: There are two options for driving to Bamfield:

Recommended route – Via Nanaimo: From Departure Bay, turn right on the #1 Island Highway travelling 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 powerlines 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.
Click here for GPS track file for this route which can be viewed with Google Earth.

Via Duncan: Travel north on the #1 Island Highway to Duncan (1 hour). Just north of Duncan turn left on Hwy. 18, travelling west to Lake Cowichan. Passing through Lake Cowichan, you will enter a network of gravel logging roads. Follow the signs for Bamfield. The logging route approximately 120kms. Total travel time is ~ 4 hours depending on road conditions. This road is very rough and NOT well maintained.
Click here for GPS track file for this route which can be viewed with Google Earth.

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 usally well maintained and well travelled, however, it is important for you to know the following:

SLOW DOWN when driving onto and off bridges (all one lane). There are often large potholes on either end of bridges and hitting them at speed can pop your tires. Also, your vehicle will tend to slide as you mount the bridge surface if you are going too fast.

As a general rule, if you are in doubt about which way to go, follow the power lines and they will lead you to Bamfield. There is one important exception, and the directional sign is often down or bent at this location making it easy to go the wrong way. This occurs 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 kilometer signs change from red to blue, if the kilometer 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.

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. It is recommended that you drive with your headlights on 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 7 days per week. They have the right of way, so please be considerate and yield to them. The truck drivers will generally 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 and snacks with you.
  • Ensure that your fluids are topped up and the spare tire is in good working order.

By Shuttle Bus

Summer and Fall student reservations: BMSC has contracted with KenXions charter services to run a shuttle service from Nanaimo to Bamfield and return.

Reservations: Students are encouraged to reserve their seat upon acceptance to summer courses. Reservations will be on a first come – first served basis, although preference for seats will be given to students taking summer courses or arriving for the Fall Program. No-shows will be charged full price.

Cost: $60 each way.

Seats may be reserved by contacting the University Programs Office, 250-728-3301 ext. 216.

Schedule for Summer & Fall 2018:

To BMSC: April 29 (SUN), May 21 (MON), June 10 (SUN), July 2 (MON), July 22 (SUN), Aug 12 (SUN), Sept 3 (MON)

AirportDuke PointDeparture BayBMSC
12:15 pm12:30 pm1:00 pm4:00 pm

Leaving BMSC: June 9 (SAT), June 30 (SAT), July 21 (SAT), Aug 11 (SAT), Aug 25 (SAT), Sept 1 (SAT), Dec 15 (SAT)

BMSCDeparture BayDuke PointAirport
8:00 am12:00 pm12:30 pm1:00 pm

(From BMSC, will be arriving at Port Alberni Bus Depot about 10:15 am, allowing students to connect with the 10:30 Tofino Express service to Nanaimo, Vancouver and Victoria)

Due to travel distance, road and traffic conditions, BMSC and Kenxions Charters cannot guarantee that riders will arrive on schedule. If there is any delay, priority will be given to the airport rather than ferry terminals. The bus departs BMSC at the scheduled time, and will NOT wait for unprepared passengers.

By Public Bus

The West Coast Trail Express leaves Victoria and stops in Honeymoon Bay (by pre-paid reservation only), daily en-route to Bamfield (May-September). This service no longer stops in Port Alberni, and service from Nanaimo is available June – August only. 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

By Air

A number of companies offer float plane charter service to Bamfield including:

Westcoast Wild Adventures: Phone: (250) 726-7715 or E-mail

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.

Tofino Air: Toll free 1-866-486-3247. E-mail: Tofino Air

KD Air: Toll Free 1-800-665-4244

Pacific Seaplanes Inc: 250-616-5858, E-mail: Pacific Seaplanes Inc.

NorthStar Air Tours: (250) 800-1381, (888) 604-7272,  E-mail: NorthStar Air Tours