The Cape Scott Trail is located in the Cape Scott Provincial Park; it is a rugged, remote area where hurricane-force winds and rains can occur at any time of the year. Trails are often muddy. Hikers should be properly equipped and familiar with wilderness travel; be prepared for extreme conditions. You need at least 5 - 7 days to experience all that the Cape Scott trail has to offer. Most trails run along old settlers' roads and can be quite slippery when wet. Although most of the trail is flat, it is a long hike into the main camping areas so be prepared for a long first day if hiking to the ocean side camping sites (Nissen Bight - 5.5 hours in, Nels Bight - 6 hours in, Experiment Bight - 6.5 hours in, Guise Bay - 7 hours in). In case of a late start, Eric Lake is only 1 hour into the trail and offers camping sites. There is a Ranger's Station at Nissen Bight where they will collect pay stubs from the trail payment required at the beginning of the trail ($20 per person, per night). The day hike out to the Cape requires an early start; dress in layers as the weather changes constantly. The lighthouse keepers offer refreshments and snacks (if they have received their supply shipment recently) and enjoy having visitors. Be aware of bears and cougars during your time in the Cape Scott.
From Highway 19, approx 2KM south of Port Hardy, take Holberg Road and travel 45.5KM to Holberg. Continue on San Josef Main and follow the Cape Scott Provincial Park signposts. The Cape Scott/San Josef Bay trailhead is at the end of San Josef Main, about 18.5KM from Holberg (65KM from Highway 19). There is parking space at the trailhead. 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.
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Posted By: faltrog
- Sun Aug 26 01:07:41 EDT 2012
Upsidevery nice hike, have done it twice now with both times unceasing to amaze. Although it's a long hike to get to the beach, we were told not to stop at Nels Bight, since the other beaches closer to the lighthouse are much nicer.
Downsideweather can be bad (we had 2/4 nights of rain in early august) along with windy spells.
CommentThe start of the trail has changed a lot over the past few years - the parking lot has been further developed (much larger and gravel parking area now with 2 tiers). Also, there was lots of foam on the beach, perhaps insulation and styrofoam washing up from the tsunami in Japan last year.
Posted By: kobracom77
- Wed Jan 06 04:30:53 EST 2010
UpsideAwesome beaches!!!!!, Great camping sites. Fairly good hike in, with lot's of mud usually. Rains lot's there, so make sure you have a tarp and some rain gear. As well as a WATERPROOF tent!!!! (I am only saying this is a upside because, I like the rain)
DownsidePoor drinking water at Nel's bight. Can get fairly busy in mid summer. The fact they shut down the cable bridges and such from the light house on.
CommentI am pretty sure the last time I hiked it (once a year) it was only $5 a night per person. Don't leave valuables in your car!!! We stay at Guise Bay. There is good drinking water there. Also the lighthouse is close to there (fresh drinking water and snacks there) The lighthouse keepers are very nice and helpful. Probably my fav Island hike, lot's of cool history here to learn. Also in my opinion the nicest beaches on the Island. If anyone has any questions about this hike feel free to e-mail me. I usually do it once a year. Definitely a must do hike.