Thunderbird’s Nest (T’iitsk’in Paawats) Protected Area is located on the western shore of Henderson Lake near the mouth of Uchucklesaht Inlet on the Alberni Inlet approximately 38 kilometers southwest of the Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.
Access to this remote Thunderbird’s Nest/T’iitsk’in Paawats Protected Area is currently by several options which includes by road, water, foot, or bicycle.
- By road from Port Alberni to Elbow Creek: from Port Alberni follow approximately 60 kilometres of forest service road to the east shore of Henderson Lake and Elbow Creek. There is a rustic boat launch at Elbow Creek. From Elbow Creek, there is a two kilometre boat trip across Henderson Lake to (T’iitskakis)Thunderbird Beach on Uchucklesaht Tribe land. The protected area can be accessed following a very rough trail following (T’iit’iiskakis) Thunder Creek.
- By road from Port Alberni to the Uchucklesaht Village of Ehlhateese: from Port Alberni follow approximately 60 kilometers of forest service road to Ehlhateese. From Ehlhateese, there is a two kilometer boat trip across the Uchucklesaht Inlet to Silverside. The protected area can be accessed by following Silverside Road for approximately 15 kilometres hiking, mountain biking or by ATV.
- By boat from Port Alberni to Silverside: from Port Alberni by boat down the Alberni Inlet to Silverside. The protected area can be accessed by following Silverside Road for 15 kilometres hiking, mountain biking or by ATV.
The access road to Henderson Lake is an active logging road and is maintained by Western Forest Products. For current information on active logging in the area, contact them at westernforest.com. Be advised that Henderson Lake is a large dangerous lake where weather and the lake conditions can change quickly at any time.