Cape Scott Rules: No drones. Just after the 6km mark, the trail gets a lot rougher. Cape Scott is a Mecca for hiking enthusiasts, and hikers should be prepared and knowledgeable for coastal hiking. The logging road to the trail head is a bit rough to, but if taken slowly any car can do it. Build your campfire in an existing fire ring or make one below the high tide line. Since it can take quite a long time to get to Cape Scott from southern Vancouver Island, many people choose to stay overnight in the area before their trip. They are your one-stop land and water logistics between Port Hardy and the North Coast Trail. What gets most hikers are the sore and blistered feet from the pack weight and uneven ground. All of the main junctions on the logging roads have signs with info about how to get to Cape Scott, so navigation is pretty easy. I also made a custom Google map for you. A parking lot is provided at the Cape Scott and San Josef Bay trailheads, near the southeast corner of the park. I’ve seen whales, sea lions, mink, seals, and eagles. The next kilometre of trail features of lots of boardwalk that can be VERY slippery. Unlike other popular coastal hikes like the West Coast Trail, hiking to Cape Scott is cheap and easy. If you want to check out some history, there are several graves near here. A few minutes past the blowdown, a signed trail on the left descends a short distance to a gravel beach with some beautiful sea stacks. Follow the trail over the dunes from the west end of Guise Bay to the sandy beach of Experiment Bight. Never run. The road quickly turns to gravel. The team drank lots of water at camp and during rest periods. I used this book on my most recent trip to Cape Scott to find lots of off-the-beaten-path stuff. There is also lots of historical garbage strewn around including parts of an old stove. When parking remember not to block other cars and logging trucks have the right-of-way so drive with your lights on, and make way for them. Cape Scott is such a special place, especially when the sun comes out. Campsites: Unlimited space on both beaches above the high tide line | Toilet: One outhouse at each beach | Water: Collect from the creek at the end of the second beach. Part trail map, part field guide, part regional history, this book equips visitors with everything they need to know to make the most of the park. The Cape Scott area is the unceded traditional territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples. When not working to advance sustainability at Camosun College she can be found riding her bike, gardening or walking in the woods with her family. Most hikers take the water taxi to the Shushartie Bay trailhead and hike westbound. We spooked a black bear on my last visit and saw over a dozen eagles feeding. The next section of trail follows the banks of St. Mary Creek. The bridge here is made of a huge fallen log, with some railings for safety. Cape Scott is located near Port Hardy, at the northern tip of the island. You’ll pass another cluster of tent platforms on your right, then the trail to the outhouse on your left. This short trail is mostly flat. My home is in Vancouver but my heart is in the mountains. The trail to San Josef Bay heads left and your route to Cape Scott turns right. The trail becomes progressively easier in the east to west direction. Look for a faint trail heading north (right) into the forest. Here are the main places to find water along the trail and at the campgrounds. At Nissen Bight it links up with the original Cape Scott Trail Cape Scott Lighthouse Trail Get in touch. Follow the WWII era plank road through the forest. Finally got to Cape Scott Finally went to Cape Scott! Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links. Cape Scott, Cape Scott Trail, Regional District of Mount Waddington, British Columbia, Canada (50.78656-128.43062). Cape Scott is one of the best places to hike in BC. A long line of tents along the beach at Nel’s Bight. The path follows an old Danish settlers’ road. If you’re on a budget, the North Coast Trail Backpackers Hostel gets good reviews. We explored the small … All of the freshwater in the park has a dark tea colour from the tannins in the soil. What a journey to get there. Visit Expedia's current Cape Scott travel listings and learn about the terrific scenic and cultural attractions that this area offers. With another forecast for 15-25 NW winds tomorrow, we were concerned about going around the cape especially as slack is at 9:20 making for a late start. The Kwakwaka’wakw call this tidal lagoon Wachlalis, which means “river on the beach in the bay”. Stay on the main trail as it heads into the forest. Cape Scott has been on my list of places to hike for a long time. Don’t cut down live trees for firewood as they don’t burn well. If you are hiking the North Coast Trail, you need to take a water taxi to the start of the trail at Shushartie Bay. Look carefully to spot evidence of Danish settlers logging. And definitely pull over if you see a logging trucks – they are very heavy and cannot stop quickly. The remaining 60+km is on gravel logging roads. Distance: 2.9km | Elevation Loss: m | Time: 1 hour. The North Coast Trail is billed as an alternative to the West Coast Trail. Cape Scott and the North Coast Trail is the first comprehensive guidebook about one of Vancouver Island's most iconic destinations. The tiny little trees growing from the top of the stacks defy the onslaught of the raging Pacific on a daily basis . -Taryn, Cape Scott Provincial Park is located at the northern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. If you don’t want to hike the Cape Scott trail, but would like a excellent day adventure from the Port Hard area, this is a most worthy destination for the day. Be prepared to hang your food in a tree out of reach of animals and use Leave No Trace practices for going to the bathroom. For most hikers, the basic Cape Scott Provincial Park map is all you’ll need. The food lockers closest to where the trail hits the beach were pretty full, but the ones further out were about 2/3 full or less, depending on the day. You can also spot lots of other wildlife at Cape Scott. You can camp here too. It has a diameter of over 7m. Along the path you will journey back in time as signs of civilization still present from the Danish pioneers who settled the land 100 years ago reveal themselves. From the trailhead, follow the trail nearly 1km to a junction. Lowrie Bay and Experiment Bight see a handful of campers each year. Make a small fire and don’t burn big driftwood logs so that there is lots of wood left for everyone. just some of the services we can offer. There is an info board with a map. However, in dry weather, there may not be any water for hikers. Distance: 2.5km | Elevation Gain/Loss: none | Time: 45 minutes. It is about eight hours, depending on the amount of mud and water on the trail, which can be substantial. After Nahwitti Lake take the left fork onto NE 60 Road. Just after the 5km marker, the trail veers away from the creek slightly. It’s a great place to base yourself for a day hike to the cape. What to Bring to Cape Scott: Everything you need to be self-sufficient. Buoys in the grass mark the exit from Guise Bay beach. (Although it’s definitely not pavement so use caution as there are some bumps and steeper bits). We put our kitchen set up back in the grass to be sure we’d be up above the tide. Since the coastline here is impassable, the trail climbs up into the forest, gaining 75m in less than a kilometre. Make sure your camp is well above the high tide line. I suspect they are very overgrown and boggy. Cape Scott Park offers some of the best hikes on Vancouver Island, BC. Port Renfrew is five hours north of Victoria, and the trailhead is another two hours down a gravel road. About 1.6km from the junction, the trail emerges from the forest into an open area at with an info board. Turn left to continue to Cape Scott. This is Day 1 of my 5 day Cape Scott hiking trip in July 2015. Hi, Thanks for sharing your trip experience. At just 2.5km from the trailhead, San Josef Bay is a popular spot for families and beginners. However, the North Coast Trail and the trail to Lowrie Bay do have tidal obstacles. Recently I learned that burning driftwood can create toxic smoke from the salt build up in the logs. Find the most current and reliable 7 day weather forecasts, storm alerts, reports and information for [city] with The Weather Network. Most of the trail is in thick coastal rainforest. Rain 10 °C. Watch for the famous Shoe Tree – people have been leaving old shoes here since the 1970s! The VI Trail is currently more t… Cape Scott has been on my list of places to hike for a long time. The muddy and slippery trail over the old corduroy road in between the trailhead and Eric Lake. The trail to Cape Scott is 23.6km long from the trailhead to the lighthouse. The main reason to pay attention to the tides at Cape Scott is to pick a good campsite well above the high tide mark. Shushartie Bay, Nahwitti Beach, Cape Sutil & More… LEARN MORE A short trail on the left leads out to a small beach. About the North Coast Trail: The North Coast Trail is a 43.1-km extension to the Cape Scott Trail that officially opened in May 2008. These trails are rough and seldom-travelled, so they are best for experienced hikers only. Turn right to continue around the lake to the campground. There are also lots of wolves at Cape Scott. See the trail description above for more details: Unlike the West Coast Trail and most other coastal trails in BC, tides are not a problem on the main trail to Cape Scott. The second beach is past some sea stacks and around a rocky headland. The stunning Cape Scott Trail is located about 65 kilometres west of Port Hardy on the northwest tip of Vancouver Island, Canada. The other one, marked Second Dyke, deadends beside the tree-covered dyke. I’m sure you’ll have a great hike. However, it can be a good place to stay if you need to break up the long hike to Nel’s Bight or Nissen Bight into two days. To get to the Cape Scott Trailhead, start by driving the Island Highway (Highway 19) north. However, I’m not sure if it was busier because the West Coast Trail is closed or just because it’s gotten more popular over the years. Exploring the old fields at Hansen Lagoon. Cape Scott Provincial Park is a provincial park located at the cape of the same name, which is the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, and located 563 km (350 mi) from Victoria.It was established in 1973 with about 37,200 acres (15,100 ha), and later expanded to approximately 22,294 hectares (55,090 acres). This is the fork to turn off to the parking lot or turn south to San Josef Bay. The Cape Scott Trail is a classic trek for beginners and intermediates alike. Never camp or linger near a dead animal. This section is part of the original Cape Scott Trail. On the south (left) side of the trail, you will see the remains of a collapsed building. Maria Bremner has been an avid hiker, nature enthusiast and writer all her life. The trail is level and well maintained. Hike to Cape Scott from Nels takes about 2 hours and is a great hike and well worth it. The minimum recommended one way hiking time is 5 days; although, it is more commonly completed in 6 to 8 days. It starts at the east end of Cape Scott Provincial park with a water taxi drop off at Shushartie Bay. Most of the trail is in thick coastal rainforest. The eastern portion of the park contains a number of estuaries that are accessible only by boat. Crossing the open fields near Hansen Lagoon. In the early 1900s, several hundred Danish settlers tried to homesteads and farms in the area. The trail offers hikers a glimpse into wild, west coast ecosystems. The trail also changes into a long straight section of old settler corduroy road. Ignore a side trail heading into the dunes and onward to Experiment Bight. A chapter on the plants and animals of the North Coast will also help hikers appreciate the incredibly rich wildlife of the area. If you have a low profile car or truck or you have a nice vehicle, don’t bring it! I'll be doing a post on each day with my favourite photos over the coming months. 18 KM hike in to ranger station which we were lucky enough to get to make use of. It’s totally secluded and heart stoppingly gorgeous. We see several 8-14 year olds taking on the long (17 km), but relatively easy route with their parents each year. On my last visit, I saw lots of wolf tracks, but no actually wolves. The black dot is a bear. Cape Scott is home to a large black bear population. | Food Storage: Food locker near the outhouse. The trail to Cape Scott isn't especially technical but it's not easy. You can sometimes see it and hear it down the bank to your left, but you never get close to it. At the far end of the beach (before the big rocks) clamber over driftwood towards buoys marking the trail. Easy hiking now. Soon, you’ll arrive at an info sign and dozens of fisherman’s buoys hanging in the trees. On the other side, it heads back into the forest through a particularly muddy patch. These are all up-dated as of July, 2020. It's approximately an 18 kilometer, 5 or 6 hour hike, from the trailhead to Nels Bight. Much of the trail consists of wooden boardwalk. See the rules and tips section below for detailed rules about dogs and campfires. Look for a trail heading into the forest, marked with a hanging buoy. It is about eight hours, depending on the amount of … The Cape Scott trail perfectly show cases the diversity of Canada's wilderness. On my most recent trip, we had an uncomfortable encounter with a bear on the sea stack beach on the way to Cape Scott. Day hiking is free. We took a lunch break at Lawrie Bay, a BCMTNA site with an easy landing behind a rocky islet. | Food Storage: Food lockers where the trail meets the beach, next to the outhouse near the ranger station, and on the west side of the beach before you cross the creek. Each year, thousands of backpackers and nature lovers head to the northern limits of Vancouver Island, bound for the jewel of the region: Cape Scott Provincial Park and the recently completed North Coast Trail. Over 100 years ago, Danish settler built a series of dykes across Hansen Lagoon to convert the tidal salt marsh to pastures. Logging road with lots of pot holes and big rocks to avoid. Campsites: Unlimited space on the beach above the high tide line | Toilet: Three outhouses – one where the trail meets the beach, one just past the ranger station, and one on the other side of the creek | Water: Collect from the creek on the west side of the beach. Follow it through a grassy area and into heavy trees to find an old tractor wedged between two trees. The trail runs along the northern end of Vancouver Island spanning Cape Scott Provincial Park. The one marked Hansen Lagoon has a good view down the length of the lagoon. Consider an overnight stay in Port Hardy. They each have an outhouse and food locker. Campfires are permitted in Cape Scott Provincial Park as long as there isn’t a regional fire ban in place. Poop in outhouses since wolves are just big dogs and want to eat and/or roll in your poop. The Cape Scott trail begins at the main parking lot, west of Port Hardy via Holberg. It’s a 23.6km hike from the trailhead to the lighthouse at Cape Scott, so most visitors do it as a backpacking trip, staying at one of the campsites along the way. The remaining 1.7km to Nel’s Bight is flat and fairly easy. (Kids are $5/night.) Some maps show trails branching off this trail to the south, but I couldn’t find them. A popular backpacking trip is to hike the 16.8 km (10.4 mi) Cape Scott Trail to Nels Bight, which typically requires 4–7 hours each way and is rated as easy/moderate in difficulty. I have an older version of this map and it has some good info about history and points of interest. For more information about the park, either purchase the guidebook, or visit the links provided here. Cape Scott has a large wolf population. eriklake 002. experiment … Hey Guys, On Saturday the 8th of July, I finished hiking the Cape Scott trail with my wife, our friend, and our friend's mother. There were a LOT of tents at Nel’s but it’s such a big beach so there was still lots of space. Continue along the trail, following boardwalk for a few more minutes. From there, you can continue onwards to the Cape. Go to Wild Coast Magazine or John online for a great map and description of the Cape Scott North Coast Trail. 6 hours later upon arriving home I realized I had left my GoPro at the picnic shelter. I stayed here on one of my trips to Cape Scott, and it was definitely more chill than Nel’s Bight. Less than 2k from here to San Josef Bay (I had to hike farther to get water which made it about 3k). (Believe me, I’ve seen some nasty falls through here.). Watch for wildlife in the lagoon. 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