We descended to Nissen Bight by 1314 h and enjoyed watching whales off the beach. Shuttle service to the parking lot can also be arranged in Port Hardy. All designated sites have food lockers and outhouses. He piloted the taxi right into the mouth of the Nahwitti River at high tide to drop us on the beach. We send our ongoing appreciation to BC Parks, Cape Scott Park & the North Coast Trail, and the North Coast Trail Shuttle & Cape Scott Water Taxi. He graded the mud puddles as a “level 0.5 out of a possible 10”. The challenge ramped up from there as our team climbed up a steep embankment with the aid of a rope. Shuttleworth Bight was so lovely that we decided to spend a sunny rest day here. There are four tent platforms, a food cache, and a pit toilet at this location. The terrain changed from beach to forest to grassy meadow near Hansen Lagoon. Description. Access to the western portion of the trail is from the San Josef parking lot at the Cape Scott trailhead. Hikers accessing the North Coast Trail from the Cape Scott Trailhead may opt to stay here if they get a late start to the day. North Coast Mountain Bike, E-Bike, Hike, Trail Running, Horse, Dirtbike, ATV/ORV/OHV, Snowshoe, Backcountry Ski, Nordic Ski trails, California. BC Parks charges each person $10 per night to hike the North Coast Trail. The Cape Scott Water Taxi and North Coast Trail Shuttle also closed reservations down those weeks. Distance: 49 kmDuration: 7 daysPeak: 123 mGain: 964 mMap: CalTopo. There is no food cache at this location. We saw lots of wolf tracks and bear sign (ripped up skunk cabbage roots and leaves). Beach sections alternate between, sand, gravel and cobble while passing by innumerable tidal pools and rock shelves exposed at low tide. Tidal sea water mixed with the river at the mouth, so we hiked upstream for fresh water. The rugged trail passes through old and second growth Sitka spruce, hemlock and cedar forests, upland bogs, riparian areas, across sand, gravel and cobble beaches, and past sea stacks, rocky headlands, and tidal pools. The crowds got thicker as we closed in on popular San Josef Bay. You can prepay your $10/night/hiker to North Coast Trail Shuttle, as well. Most people start the North Coast Trail by taking a water taxi from Port Hardy to Shushartie Bay, a scenic ride with whale watching and other great photo opportunities. The park is home to bald eagles, black bears, cougars, wolves, river and sea otters, mink, and an array of marine mammals. Our tired legs and feet were relieved to finally arrive at the expansive Laura Creek Camp (25 km). Mountain to Sea trail 9. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/hawaii/kauai/na-pali-coast-kalalau-trail It is the easiest section of the North Coast trail and also the most maintained. You will disembark from the bow of the bobbing Sea Legend 1 onto slippery rocks or drop onto a pebble beach while the motor is still running. She became our expert spotter for the rest of the trip. The silver colour of the water blended with the sky, eliminating the horizon. There is a good water source located immediately east of the rocky promontory. Obtaining drinking water was a small adventure. Leadem T. Hiking the West Coast of Vancouver Island: An updated and comprehensive guide to all major trails. Mike passed two day hikers, 19 backpackers, and six kayak campers during his week in Cape Scott Provincial Park. The overland bog and rainforest zones obscured frogs from sight, but we heard their croaking sounds. OTHER RECOMMENDED BOOKS: Accommodations in town are limited and book up quickly in the high season. Sitting there for a while, I really started to feel this special place and completely relax into the wilderness. North Coast Trail Shuttle rents VHF marine radios too ($50+tax). The main challenges to avoid this week included heat exhaustion and dehydration, especially when hiking the long beach sections. Irony Creek is an excellent water source. Our group made lots of noise on the way back! Keep your eyes open for floats and buoys hanging near inland trail access points. The City of Fort Bragg's newly constructed Coastal Trail was opened to the public on Saturday, January 31, 2015. Look for trail markers to identify the path. An extension to the Cape Scott Lighthouse is highly recommended if you have the time. Eventually, we descended to glittering Nissen Bight (32 km)…another beautiful sandy long beach. A pretty salt marsh and smooth trail section with pocket beaches followed. There is a ranger yurt located at Cape Sutil that is staffed with Park Facility Operators (PFOs) from June 15th to Labour Day weekend. On trip we check the weather daily with our satellite messenger. After arriving at the Cape Scott Trailhead, the North Coast Trial Shuttle drives hikers back to Port Hardy. The trail got steeper as we hiked up to our main objective: the Cape Scott Lighthouse. He ran off into the woods when he noticed we were on his beach! North Coast Trail Hiking route in Shushartie , Regional District of Mount Waddington , British Columbia , Canada Leave a Review We disembarked the Sea Legend I and began our hike. On the peaceful trip back, we saw a lone gray whale close to shore, rubbing herself on the bottom rocks. That dream didn’t happen, but last week I immersed myself in a rich coastal environment that felt like home. We enjoyed our final descent through the forest, watching the trees for breaks and views of the beach. Guise Bay was a jewel, with blue-green water that beckoned a swim. Distance: 83.6 kmDuration: 7 daysPeak: 245 mGain: 1289 mMap: CalTopo. Be prepared for all kinds of weather! I saw a strange deep pool filled with a miniature kelp forest and hundreds of pale jellyfish. The last few hundred metres were flat and gravelly. The Huron County portion of the North Coast Inland Trail continues to grow, with a 10.3-mile completed segment now stretching from the eastside of Bellevue to Norwalk. Today’s forest sections were less boggy but offered more mud. Hold tightly to ropes as they may be muddy. Excellent weather set the stage for a wonderful trip that also included dry trail conditions, perfect tides, and numerous animals! Soon we saw the blue and fog appear through the trees. The big tree that fell years ago across the trail was still there…a project low on the BC Parks maintenance list! Reference: John Baldwin’s North Coast Trail Map 1:50,000. I felt alive, safe, young, strong, confident, humbled, lucky, awestruck. Shuttleworth Bight is a massive beach that beckons hikers to stay an extra day. Access gates will be OPEN … Distance: 7.7 kmDuration: 5 h 52 minPeak: 34 mGain: 120 m. Pocket beaches dominated our day, with shorter overland sections to navigate. The usual keepers were on holidays, so there was no pop for sale. Welcome to our North Coast Trail Guide! The last stretch was the most difficult with beach-walking on cobbles and pebbles. The skunk cabbage carpeted the swampy parts with impossibly massive wet green leaves. The trail becomes progressively easier in the east to west direction. The boulders, pebbles, and tide pools along this stretch were spectacular. We took an extra long snack break there to prepare for the long coastal section to Laura Creek Camp. This is the longest section of inland trail and is considered by most to be the most challenging portion of the entire route. It’s useful spot to wait if you can’t solve the Tripod tide problem until the tides are lower. The last stretch to the Cape Sutil campsite is characterized by steep, rugged headlands with extensive rope work. John Baldwin’s map is so accurate that we saw whales exactly where he indicated! The experience felt challenging, rugged, free, spontaneous, and wild…remote, but not lonely. A special marine mammal sighting from aboard the Cape Scott Water Taxi was two sea otters. Representing Spain and Germany, the ladies loved the frequent whale sightings best of all. Others took naps on the beach or in the forest. The wolf chased a deer into the woods, across Irony Creek, and back out onto the beach. Increased prices for the 2020 season. Nissen Bight to Cape Scott Trailhead: 15.4km – 5 to 7 hours. Sunset and mist made an incredible double rainbow that spanned the forest and the bight…a perfect end to our last evening on the North Coast Trail. We met John at the San Josef Trailhead (47 km), charismatic Port Hardy Councillor, driver of the North Coast Trail Shuttle, and passionate north islander. Skinner Creek Camp was busy in the core zone, but our group set up camp east of the creek. New birds observed that day included: Anna’s hummingbirds, cedar waxwings, chickadees, and loons. Nahwitti Beach was pebbly and rough, with lots of wood thrown up from winter storms. Our group spent most of the day in the forest, bumping up and down over logs, single-track, and muddy roots. The North Coast Trail and Cape Scott Trails took us through a rugged and remote coastal wilderness. The minimum recommended one way hiking time is 5 days; although, it is more commonly completed in 6 to 8 days. Take lots of breaks. The wildlife viewing started right away! Complete your walk with a refreshing swim at Garie Beach or North Era Beach. More rope work and steep sections can be expected along this stretch. 1. The sun came out at last so we could dry our bodies and gear. Skinner Creek Campsite to Nahwitti River Campsite: 2.9km – 1 to 1.5 hours. When the tide came in, we jumped into the cold ocean again, refreshing our bodies in the waves. The wind made the sea green and choppy, but once the boat was up the river a little, everything was calm. The warm summer weather meant that we took special care to avoid dehydration and heat exhaustion. Our team bypassed the sketchy rope obstacle between Tripod Beach and Cape Sutil. After a celebratory rest at Nissen Bight, we pressed onward to Nels Bight for the night. On the way back, we passed a hiker who saw a bear at Nels Bight. They would be the only other humans we would see for three days! The guide is not waterproof, so keep it in a Ziplock bag! It has a water source about 50 m from the base of the access staircase, but no outhouse or food locker. Cape Sutil Campsite to Irony Creek Campsite (Shuttleworth Bight): 7.8km – 4 to 6 hours. Our team observed whales daily, including a humpback whale that swam around Shushartie Bay for nearly an hour. UPDATE: 11/25/20 - The Kalalau Trail is OPEN.. 9/10/20 - The Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park including the Kalalau Trail is OPEN Subject to Covid-19 restrictions and social distancing protocols. The Coast track is an epic multi-day walking experience. Eagles were always present along the way, with some ducks paddling in the pocket beaches. Even though Shushartie is a designated campsite, it is not ideal due to being small, steep, rocky, and no easy access to water. Access to the reserve is restricted, so please refrain from visiting the Cape. The sand and pebble beach is an excellent campsite with a great water source. Warm temperatures created the usual marine fog, which usually burned off in the afternoon. Avoid this zone! Our group watched constant spouts that afternoon, with a few whales coming right into the bight on high tide…rolling happily around in the waves. San Josef Camp is very popular due to trailhead proximity. I packed along Maria I. Bremner’s excellent new guidebook: Cape Scott and the North Coast Trail: Hiking Vancouver Island’s Wildest Coast. After setting up, Mike and I hiked the kilometre back to the water source near the eastern camp, collecting eight litres for our group. The only organism that broke up the grey was the dark brown bulbs of bull kelp. North Coast Trail. Greystone Books. There are tent pads available in the sheltered forest or you may camp on the sand. The weather started out foggy and cool, but transformed into sunny and warm. Today was a big day on challenging beach terrain, so we got an early start. November 11, 2019 Filed Under: Coastal, Trail Guides, Trip Reports Tagged With: Backpacking, British Columbia, Canada, Cape Scott Provincial Park, Vancouver Island. Our team enjoyed dinner at Laura Creek and retired to our tents. Mike used a Garmin inReach Mini device to upload his track in real time and communicate with Lara via texts at predetermined intervals. There is a food locker here as well. We use three guidebooks to plan hiking trips on the North Coast Trail. It meant that harder hiking was behind us and we could enjoy more open and scenic sections. We carry Maria Bremner’s guidebook in our pack. The extensive boardwalks of Laughing Loon Lake made a perfect spot for a long lunch. Wolf tracks were everywhere, letting us know that we were not alone as we slept through the night. 2015. There is a BC Parks Facility Officer cabin (yurt) at this location. Unlike the West Coast Trail, the North Coast Trail is open to hikers without a reservation. I felt happy like our cetacean friends. We opted for warm and cozy recovery activities instead. Our first welcome sight was John Tidbury and the famous North Coast Trail Shuttle. Water was trickier to obtain that day; many of the creeks had dried up or had very low flow. The mix of sand, pebbles, cobbles, and sloped angles drained our energy. Officially opened in May of 2008, the North Coast Trail is a 46 kilometre wilderness adventure composed of a Class 3 trail and several environmentally-sensitive BC Parks campgrounds. We heard tons of birds in the forest that morning: ravens, eagles, pacific wrens, hermit thrushes, and robins. The pavment has set and the paint stripes are dry the North Coast Inland Trail is OPEN for riders from Clyde to Elmore Ohio. I defer to this book for descriptive trail details. Beach camping is possible at Cape Sutil (there are no tent platforms at this site). This day of hiking was the most joyful because of the varied terrain. We had a full group for our second Cape Scott Trails and North Coast Trail trip of the season. The rainforest sections have their own challenges: steep overland sections, blowdowns to crawl over or under, knee-deep mud, and slippery roots. The biggest obstacle of the day was a steep hill near Cape Sutil. It was a real joy to show our two guests the wildest coast of Vancouver Island. Nels makes a great basecamp if you want to add the Cape Scott Lighthouse to your North Coast Trail adventure. It can be traversed east to west from Shushartie Bay to the eastern end of Nissen Bight or in reverse from west to east. We were lucky with excellent marine wildlife sightings earlier in the day. Sun protection in the form of sunscreen and hats, as well as breaks in the shade, helped keep heat problems at bay. It is the former site of the First Nations village of “Nahwitti” and is rich in cultural heritage. They offer great views down the river banks from the middle of the span. Carry full water bottles (there is no drinking water until Skinner Creek). Distance: 64 kmDuration: 5 daysPeak: 86 mGain: 1043 mMap: CalTopo. By Jun 11, the wind switched to the northwest and the rain stopped. This was a special moment for our Spanish guest who had never seen whales before. Mike viewed black bears at the following locations: Fishermans Bay, the small pocket beaches west of the Stranby River, and the low tide zone of the Shushartie Bay estuary. Sighting and encounters are common in the park, so visitors should use precaution.Cape Scott Provincial Park is rich with First Nations history. One water taxi service runs from Port Hardy during the summer season. Our favourite paper map for navigation is John Baldwin’s North Coast Trail 1:50,000. The shuttle took us all back to Port Hardy where warm showers and more food awaited. Otherwise we heard our coastal bird friends: Pacific wrens, hermit thrushes, ravens, and eagles. As always, birds were daily companions, including Swainson’s thrushes, varied thrushes, hermit thrushes, eagles, ravens, hummingbirds, crows, Steller’s jays, robins (a type of thrush), Pacific wrens, and hunting ospreys. Excited to start the North Coast Trail, we boarded the Cape Scott Water Taxi at 0634 h at the Port Hardy marina and motored to Cape Sutil. We took our first cable car of the trip across the Nahwitti River…the water level so low we could have forded it. Very convenient. Nels Bight is similar to Nissen Bight, but is larger, sandier, and better situated for sunset viewing. Follow the gravel road for close to 63km to the trailhead. This section provides sensitive habitats for amphibians, fish and invertebrates so please stay on the trail to avoid increased erosion and damage. Hikers usually only camp here if they have hiked eastbound and are getting picked up by the Cape Scott Water Taxi in the morning. There were showers overnight, but the drips stopped before we exited the tents. We were lucky to experience abundant marine mammal sightings. From the Nahwitti River camp the trail heads south on an easy trail to the first cable car crossing. The minimum recommended one way hiking time is 5 days; although, it is more commonly completed in 6 to 8 days. No one felt like going in the water that night. 1st ed. The North Coast Trail is a 43.1 km wilderness hiking trail in Cape Scott Provincial Park on northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Excellent weather, an awesome team, lots of physical challenges, and beautiful scenery. The cable car will be in sight. We tried to hunt down an old grave site but were not successful. The West Coast Trail is open to hikers from May 1 to September 30 each year. broccoli trees) and Nahwitti Cone above the ocean below. Please respect all cultural sites and leave them in an undisturbed state. We all enjoyed the wildlife, challenging terrain, fresh air, rope obstacles, mud puddles, pebble beaches, campsites, and tasty food. A black bear foraged in the estuary at Shushartie Bay on our first day. The boat trip was excellent, with blue skies and epic views of Vancouver Island’s northern coastline. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a marine biologist. The beach camping is excellent. Eric Lake Camp is a reasonably large forest site with 11 tent pads and boardwalk connections. There happened to be ten campers the night we arrived, a number that strained this site. The Cape Scott Trail systems and North Coast Trails are remote and require solid trip planning. It is very slippery and unsafe. More music than any other day on the trail. The most challenging obstacle was the roller coaster overland section near Cape Sutil. Artifacts near Fisherman Bay included the remains of an old wharf where the Danes tried (and failed) to ship supplies. Our group was a team of horses back to the barn…excited for pub food at the Scarlet Ibis and hot showers back in Port Hardy. The air was warm and humid and we ditched jackets. Old fence posts sagged under their own decay. The two camping areas at San Josef Bay have outhouses and food lockers. We see a lot of wolf tracks here in the mornings. Do not wear caulk boots in the yurt, and use the food caches located behind the structure. Our team arrived to Cape Sutil at 0758 h. Two hikers from Holland were waiting for the water taxi to take them back to Port Hardy. There is only one significant tide problem along the North Coast Coast Trail involving a rocky cliff cut-off. It’s not the nicest beach on the trail, but it is a logical place to stop on westbound itineraries. Wading past this section at high tide should not be attempted due to the risk of being swept out to sea. We use Cape Scott (#8790) tide tables. These options skip significant overland sections and shorten the hike. Historic rusty artifacts from Cape Scott’s Danish settlers were visible along this section. Our second cable car obstacle transported us across the Stranby River. There is a designated campsite with four tent platforms, a food cache, and a pit toilet located approximately 200 metres west of Laura Creek. The section is very slippery and a fall will likely result in serious injury. We saw a pod of four brightly coloured kayakers paddling west, braving the rolling seas. The trail links to the current trail end of Cape Scott Park at Nissan Bight and continues to the Cape Scott Trail end at Shushartie Bay. Access to the Cape Scott Trailhead is by logging road. Our group caught the low tide route the entire way to Irony Creek. Find walking maps and guidebooks, self guided walking holidays and hiking tours. Even if a creek is not tidal, seagulls seem to love bathing near the mouth. All hikers now require a WCT overnight user fee and a valid National Park Entry Pass. North Coast Trail is a 74 m lift other trail located near Port Hardy British Columbia. Increased prices for the 2020 season. You will feel it again soon on our next trip. There were tons of opportunities for amazing photos. The trail runs along the northern end of Vancouver Island spanning Cape Scott Provincial Park. BEST TREKKING GUIDEBOOKS: Cape Scott and the North Coast Trail by Maria Bremner (2015) HIKING TRAILS 3 – Northern Vancouver Island (9 pages) – $31. The Lost Coast Trail skirts the coast of the King Range National Conservation Area. The highlight of today’s overland track was a brilliant open bogland with thousands of pink sundew plants. The yurt is open the rest of the year for emergency use by the public. Here are a few extra tips to make your water taxi experience better: Cape Scott Water Taxi service will start July 1st and run through until Mid September. At this time, both segments have a stone or crushed stone surface. It was a long march south through forest, meadow, old corduroy road, and new boardwalk planks. Some of us hiked up and down the entire length of the sand, watching the whales and the sandpipers. Distance: 57 kilometers Duration: 7 days / 6 nights Group: 5 participants max Staging: Port Hardy, BC Experienced hikers only. This historic area was the site of a past Danish settlement. The Cape Scott Water Taxi & North Coast Trail Shuttle are owned and operated by George and Babe Burroughs. Hanging floats at the end of the beach identify the access point. These animals are making a visible comeback on the coastline of Vancouver Island, and we are always happy to see them. Three tent pads, a food cache, and a pit toilet are located on the hillside above the trailhead at Shushartie Bay; however, there is no water source at Shushartie Bay. We departed camp at 1018 h and enjoyed sunny white sand beaches and passed only one other hiker. This eight day / seven night trip included his first successful completion of North Coast Trail in the eastbound direction from Nissen Bight to Shushartie Bay. Smaller omnivores who caught our eye included squirrels, mice, and a mink. The west side has a food locker and the outhouse. Our group set up camp, shared our first meal, and relaxed for the rest of the day. There is a short easy inland section to the second cable car crossing located at the Stranby River. Children from six to 15 years old are $5 per person per night. The North Coast Inland Trail (often abbreviated as NCIT) is a work-in-process multipurpose trail project that currently consists of several separate portions, defined by their counties, in northern Ohio, United States.Affiliates with the trails have high hopes to connect all of these portions and to extend the trails into Indiana and Pennsylvania, two of Ohio's land-bordering states. A solitary orange sea star glowed on the rocks near Cape Sutil Camp as we hiked into the forest, the first wildlife of the day. Access to the Shushartie Bay trailhead is by water taxi from Port Hardy. The weather was perfect the entire week, with only a few showers on the first day. Cape Scott Water Taxi Only this summer. There is a campsite with four tent platforms, a food cache, and a pit toilet located at Nahwitti River.The Nahwitti River can be used as a water source, but walk far enough upstream to avoid tidal influx. Rehydrate fully at camp. Coastal Trail Now Open. Twin Coast Trail 2. Our team was strong and worked together well. Tell us proposals, you are interested in: Farmers Markets/Products on Vancouver Island. To the south of the King Range, Highway 1 veers eastward, blocked by impassible slopes near Rockport. The First Nations crossed this narrow peninsula, portaging canoes to avoid treacherous waters around the cape. Stellar’s jays squawked at us as we travelled through their homes. He hugged me and said, “The wilderness is in your eyes. It was a wonderful experience to immerse in the natural world, see wild animals in their homes, and feel the elements of summer ocean weather. Base: Port HardyWebsite: www.capescottwatertaxi.ca/services/north-coast-trail-shuttle/Phone: 1-250-949-6541 (Toll free: 1-800-246-0093)Email: [email protected]. He took everyone’s pictures next to the trailhead sign for the scrapbook. We surprised a lone wolf feeding in the intertidal zone east of the tombolo. Distance: 13.3 kmDuration: 6 h 54 minPeak: 71 mGain: 200 m. Today was an important accomplishment as our team finished the official 43.1 km length of the North Coast Trail! (Note: the pages are not water-proof even though I thought they might be). There is a food locker, outhouse, and water source. So low we could hear the ocean, then smell it wildlife experience of the tombolo hiking on... 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