North Coast Trail


NORTH COAST TRAIL – HIKING from the north end
Hikers embarking on the North Coast Trail will need to decide whether they want to start from the South end of the trail, or if they want to start at the North end. You need to think about this carefully. If you start at the north end, you will have to traverse the main trail from the trail head at Cape Scott and hike to Nissen Bite. Here, at the south end of the beach, you will find the start of the North Coast Trail. You will need transportation to the trail head at Cape Scott. We can pick you up in Nanaimo, or Victoria, or any point in between these destinations and take you to the trail head. Again, beware if you decide to drive there as you have to leave your vehicle there for the duration of your excursion. You are out in the middle of God’s country and there is no one around to watch your vehicle. There have been countless break-and-enters into people’s vehicles. If you reserve with us, you do not have to worry about your vehicle. It is money well spent.

Prior to starting your journey, you will have to make arrangements/reservations with the North Coast Shuttle Service to either. If you hike from the North and go south you will finish in Shushartie Bay where the North Coast Shuttle will pick you up by boat and bring you back to Port Hardy. They can bring you back to Port Hardy where we can pick you up and either drive you to the start of the trail to your vehicle, or we can drive you to any other destination listed in our schedule (Victoria, Nanaimo, etc.). If you decide to hike from the South, again you will have to make arrangements/reservations to be dropped off by the North Coast Shuttle Service at Shushartie Bay. See more information about hiking from the South end below. The average time to hike this trail is about 5-7 days depending on your pace. The trail can be challenging in some parts/sections. It is a moderate to difficult hike. See the link below for more information.

IMPORTANT: Remember, the North Coast Trail is in Cape Scott Provincial Park, so be prepared for the worst.

Simplified –starting from the north
DRIVE TO CAPE SCOTT TRAIL HEAD – HIKE TO NISSEN BITE through the main trail in cape scott – the trail starts at the north end of the beach called “nissen bite” — HIKE THE NORTH COAST TRAIL –GET PICKED UP BY THE NORTH COAST SHUTTLE SERVICE IN SHUSHARTIE BAY – WE PICK YOU UP IN PORT RENFREW OR CAPE SCOTT TRAIL HEAD AND DRIVE YOU TO YOUR NEXT DESTINATION.

North coast trail – hiking from the south end
There are two starting points to the North Coast Trail, one is through Cape Scott Provincial Park. The other starting point is via the South end of the trail. If you decide to go through the South end you will access the trail-head by water taxi/boat. There is a shuttle service (North Coast Trail Shuttle) that will take you from Port Renfrew to Shushartie Bay, which is the start of the North Coast Trail. You must make a reservation with them. Personally, I would recommend starting from the North for several reasons. First, the terrain for the first 10 kilometers of the South end is very rugged and full of mud. Second you will be starting with a full pack, which makes it even more difficult. The last time I hiked the North Coast Trail was last August when it was a little warmer, there was still a lot of mud to contend with. The trail meanders close to the ocean. If you like a challenge, then start the trail from the South end. You must specify when making your reservation if you want us to pick you up at the trail head in Cape Scott or in Port Renfrew at the North Coast Trail Shuttle passenger area. Again, remember you are in Cape Scott park so be prepared for adverse weather and do bring ‘gators.’ Be sure to watch the ocean as you hike, you might catch a glimpse of a whale breaching the water.

simplified – starting from the south

ARRIVE IN PORT RENFREW – CATCH THE NORTH COAST TRAIL SHUTTLE TO SHUSHARTIE BAY – HIKE THE NORTH COAST TRAIL –HIKE BACK TO THE CAPE SCOTT TRAIL HEAD – WE PICK YOU UP AND DRIVE YOU TO YOUR NEXT DESTINATION
Please note, in case the North Coast Shuttle Service is late, there is a one-hour grace period. That is to say, if the shuttle service is running late, do not worry. Relax, we will be waiting to pick you up in Port Renfrew to take you to your next destination.
Important information for North Coast Trail backpackers
If you are hiking the North Coast Trail, you will need to make reservations with the North Coast Trail Shuttle. We can pick you up in Port Hardy at the North Coast Trail Shuttle service terminal, or at the trail head parking lot to Cape Scott. If for any reason you need their address it is 6555 Port Hardy Bay Road. You can also find out more information about them on the internet. This service caters only to people who wish to hike the North coast Trail which is located in Cape Scott Provincial Park. Please refer to the map link if you require more information. The trail is well-marked, but pay close attention to the trail markers on the beach. If you miss one, it can be easy to get confused and lost. Due to the fact that Cape Scott is so remote, our trips to cape Scott are every two weeks. However, we would return after one week to pick you up. For example, if we dropped you off on a Saturday, we would return the following Saturday to pick you up to take you to your next destination. Please see our schedule for more detailed information. Don’t forget to e-mail us if you have any questions.