The trail was easy and open for the most part, with a few rough and bumpy sections to keep us focused for a bit longer. You can prepay your $10/night/hiker to North Coast Trail Shuttle, as well. The City of Fort Bragg's newly constructed Coastal Trail was opened to the public on Saturday, January 31, 2015. Best hiking trails in North Coast, Iceland. To the south of the King Range, Highway 1 veers eastward, blocked by impassible slopes near Rockport. After a celebratory rest at Nissen Bight, we pressed onward to Nels Bight for the night. Distance: 8.9 kmDuration: 7 h 59 minPeak: 245 mGain: 359 m. The trail section from Shushartie Bay to Skinner Creek was 100% inland and 100% hard. All designated sites have food lockers and outhouses. The trailhead and parking lot are located at the west end of Elm Street adjacent to Glass Beach. The North Coast Trail in Cape Scott Provincial Park was by far the best backpacking trip of my life. The tide dropped for a second time, revealing the rocky treasures below, and trapping the jellyfish once again. A flight of stairs made the ascent much easier. I felt alive, safe, young, strong, confident, humbled, lucky, awestruck. Our 2018 North Coast Trail trip was excellent in a number of ways. The trail is just starting to get popular on Vancouver Island, so you can literally show up at the trailhead on the day of your hike and get started. Our group performed bravely during the soaking 15 km exit. To skip to a specific topic of interest, use the quick links below for easier navigation. On the peaceful trip back, we saw a lone gray whale close to shore, rubbing herself on the bottom rocks. We saw a pod of four brightly coloured kayakers paddling west, braving the rolling seas. North Coast Trail is a 74 m lift other trail located near Port Hardy British Columbia. It is the easiest section of the North Coast trail and also the most maintained. Passage can be difficult under high flows (e.g. We sighted our second lone wolf at Shuttleworth Bight. Pack water from Nahwitti River or Irony Creek (depending on direction of travel). Ensure that you are set up well above the high tide line. It felt so good and cleansing to be in the cold ocean, body-surfing the waves, sand scouring my muddy skin. She was so close, we felt like we could touch her. The weather was cool, foggy, and grey. The shuttle took us all back to Port Hardy where warm showers and more food awaited. The challenge ramped up from there as our team climbed up a steep embankment with the aid of a rope. The trail then heads up and over what is known as Long Leg Hill before descending down the longest set of stairs in Cape Scott Provincial Park. There are many boardwalk sections, but still expect to get your feet muddy. There is a tide problem between the two camps, so take this into consideration when trip planning. Everyone got a chance to sleep in and have a leisurely coffee and breakfast. I saw a strange deep pool filled with a miniature kelp forest and hundreds of pale jellyfish. This section provides sensitive habitats for amphibians, fish and invertebrates so please stay on the trail to avoid increased erosion and damage. In a quiet moment doing a camp chore, crunching along the pebbles, we felt a connection with that lovely ocean being. Our black bear viewing occurred early in the morning at Nels Bight, on our day-trip to the Cape Scott Light Station. There are only ephemeral water sources along this section of trail. Pickup time in the parking lot is at 1300h. After we pitched our tents, a little splotchy gray whale swam close to shore, quietly spouting. The wildlife sighting of the bear and whale made up for the uncomfortable cramped conditions and set the stage for the animal viewing to come. There were showers overnight, but the drips stopped before we exited the tents. North Coast Trail. in early spring), and the rocks in the area are slippery at all times of year, in all weather conditions. Watch for whales and other marine mammals. After the wolf returned to the forest, eagles dropped onto the carcass to grab some nutrients. Some of us hiked up and down the entire length of the sand, watching the whales and the sandpipers. We happily retreated to the sheltered Irony Creek tent pads for the night. Cape Sutil Campsite to Irony Creek Campsite (Shuttleworth Bight): 7.8km – 4 to 6 hours. We departed camp at 1018 h and enjoyed sunny white sand beaches and passed only one other hiker. It is very slippery and unsafe. Wading past this section at high tide should not be attempted due to the risk of being swept out to sea. We descended to Nissen Bight by 1314 h and enjoyed watching whales off the beach. The paths of the East Coast Trail take you past towering cliffs and headlands, sea stacks, deep fjords, and a natural wave-driven geyser called the Spout. Carry it with you as long as you can. Otherwise, the rest of day involved hiking along the coastline. A BC Parks Facility Officer and his team were camping at Laura Creek in between their trail maintenance work. Irony Creek Camp (Shuttleworth Bight) is a wonderful place to spend an extra day for a mid-trip rest. Our group departed Laura Creek at 0945 h and hiked back into the rainforest. The skunk cabbage carpeted the swampy parts with impossibly massive wet green leaves. It is a popular weekend spot, as hikers can access it from the Cape Scott Trailhead. Irony Creek is an excellent water source. Te Ara Ahi Trail 6. Our favourite paper map for navigation is John Baldwin’s North Coast Trail 1:50,000. Our team bypassed the sketchy rope obstacle between Tripod Beach and Cape Sutil. An alarm was set for our final day to hike 17 km to the Cape Scott Trailhead on time to meet North Coast Trail Shuttle van. All rights reserved. Today was a big day on challenging beach terrain, so we got an early start. I made it all the way to the Stranby River, noticing a huge quantity of sand and seaweed far upstream. The minimum recommended one way hiking time is 5 days; although, it is more commonly completed in 6 to 8 days. Cape Scott Water Taxi Only this summer. Warm temperatures created the usual marine fog, which usually burned off in the afternoon. Summer conditions presented us with dry trails, excellent tides, and different wildlife than earlier trips. We arrived at the Stranby River cable car crossing at 1130 h. Cable car rides are highlights of the trail! Our tired legs and feet were relieved to finally arrive at the expansive Laura Creek Camp (25 km). Consult tide tables to ensure high tides do not hinder progress along this section. Greystone Books. A cool wind accompanied our approach. Nels Bight is similar to Nissen Bight, but is larger, sandier, and better situated for sunset viewing. 1. The trail got steeper as we hiked up to our main objective: the Cape Scott Lighthouse. We cruised through more easy boardwalk over the upland bog, checking out the bonsai ponderosa pine (a.k.a. This resource includes information and tips to help plan your adventure in Cape Scott Provincial Park. The highlight of today’s overland track was a brilliant open bogland with thousands of pink sundew plants. There are three significant creek crossings along this section. Traildino grading: MW, Moderate walk, backpacking trail; Hut tour grading: T1, Walk. 2015. Captain George loaded our packs and commented on how light they were. The grip of mental focus released as we transitioned into recovery mode. The North Coast Trail is a 43.1 km extension to the original Cape Scott trail. The trail was expected to open in the fall of 2006. The trail is now open to the public. Time of departure is 0800h from the Quarterdeck Marina in Port Hardy. Westbound hikers don’t typically stay at Shushartie Bay Camp. Remember this feeling. One water taxi service runs from Port Hardy during the summer season. The trail section went on for hours, with obstacles such as slippery logs, staircases, thick bushes, slick roots, broken boardwalks, and deep mud to keep things interesting. In that fuzzy place where you know you are almost done, almost back to a hot shower and a comfortable bed, I get a lump in my throat and tear up. North Coast Trail: A topographic route map for hiking the North Coast and Cape Scott Trails on Vancouver Island. From Nissen Bight to Shushartie Bay. As of 2018, all overnight West Coast Trail spots are reservable. 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. BC Parks continues to do a fantastic job with trail maintenance activities. This section is teaming with wildlife. You will be hiking in a temperate marine climate. Shuttleworth Bight was so lovely that we decided to spend a sunny rest day here. Periodic hot sunny beach weather was welcome in the afternoons before the mist returned to cool the evenings. He hugged me and said, “The wilderness is in your eyes. There happened to be ten campers the night we arrived, a number that strained this site. Her descriptions of each trail section are very accurate and the fascinating history of the area is well-researched. The last few hundred metres were flat and gravelly. In addition to different-sized bears in the estuary, Mike sighted a wolf at close range on the rocks near the BC Parks trailhead sign. There are always pockets of solitude at these designated campsites. The canine had killed a deer, and was feeding. Sea gulls love bathing in Skinner Creek, so we collected water far upstream! We took short breaks in the open bog areas to hunt for carnivorous sundew flowers. 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. More music than any other day on the trail. Smaller omnivores who caught our eye included squirrels, mice, and a mink. We see a lot of wolf tracks here in the mornings. It’s a mixture of the physical and mental…both how my body will feel in new terrain and the emotions the wild place will generate. North Island. The overland bog and rainforest zones obscured frogs from sight, but we heard their croaking sounds. Please respect all cultural sites and leave them in an undisturbed state. Leadem T. Hiking the West Coast of Vancouver Island: An updated and comprehensive guide to all major trails. This is the last section of inland trail before reaching the Nissen Bight trailhead. Soon all our things were wet and sandy; Mike was the only one with the skills to keep his dry. From the Nahwitti River camp the trail heads south on an easy trail to the first cable car crossing. On our warm and misty second day, we finally got our hike on. The tide was out, so I walked to a giant rocky area full of tide pools and surge channels. Take lots of breaks. Water is a more convenient here as well. The added service depends on tides and may increase the cost. Access to the lake is on the west side of the campground. Nissen Bight marks the official western end of the North Coast Trail. Laughing Loon Lake was haunting and beautiful in the fog. The usual keepers were on holidays, so there was no pop for sale. Was by far the best wolf track examples of the year for use! Hiking Vancouver Island ’ s a reason some groups manage only 1km (.6mi ) / hour some. And humid and we ditched jackets a gravel bar where fresh water continues do. 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