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Launch for Broken Group - Getting to Secret Beach Campground - question about driving alternate route instead of Highway 4

May 27, 2019
Are there any Tofino or Ucluelet residents who can give me information on using the "alternate route" instead of Highway 4 to
drive to Secret Beach Campground from Nanaimo. The day I am planning to drive from Nanaimo to Secret Beach campground, August 17,
Highway 4 Cameron Lake Bluffs area will be closed all day from 8:30am to 9:00pm. I called Secret Beach campground to ask about
driving the alternative route and they nicely offered to refund my camping reservation for August 17, but also said, the alternative route is fine to drive, just dusty.

We are camping at Secret Beach the night of August 17, launching for Broken Group the next day on Friday.

I am wondering will the alternative route will be so crowded with traffic on Thursday that we should find a place to camp near Nanaimo for the night
and do our drive to Secret Beach for our launch to Broken Group on Friday?

Any advice from locals would be appreciated.

Not sure what the status of the alternate route is, but my neighbour drove to Tofino a few weeks ago and said the Hwy 4 route was a gong show, with huge delays at Cameron Lake - hours-long waits, no porta potties or anything....so be forewarned.

The alternate route through Lake Cowichan is supposedly 4 hours, plus you'd need to drive from the Nanaimo to Duncan, so prepare for a long day...I'm sure the road itself is fine (for a winding, dusty gravel logging road); the problem is usually too many cars driving too fast for the road conditions.

You can find current road conditions are here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/...utm_medium=referral&utm_source=times colonist
The Youbou to Alberni route is a logging road suitable for logging trucks. For passenger cars and trucks it is a route to drive slowly and cautiously. Mud when wet, dust when dry 30-60 kph. The gravel portion from Cowichan to Alberni is potholed with large embedded rocks, sections of broken, buckled pavement and bumps that will make you airborne at speeds over 40. A vehicle eating adventure. Figure about 4.5 hours from the ferry to Alberni.

Traffic will be heavy on 17th. Best to use Highway 4 on the evening/night of 16th.
Drove the alternate route this past Sunday and the road was good. No huge pot holes. Strap kayaks down but allow for some minor movements and you should be good.
Now on Vancouver Island after 5 nights in the Broken Groups. We drove highway 4 the evening of the 16th.
We met a kayaker on the Broken Groups who had driven the alternate route. He said best to avoid. He witnesses multiple cars with broken axels or flat tires.