THE SEA TO SKY ADVANTAGE
- 25 years of leading expeditions.
- Special hotel rate in Vancouver, including free airport shuttle.
- Readings and anecdotal storiesl.
- Certified guides with Wilderness First Aid.
- Diversified, tasty menu with meals prepared by our guides.
- Top of the line equipment including tents.
- Free transportation from Vancouver to trip origin.
- Comprehensive package of conditioning and equipment/clothing information.
- On going preparation support from our office.
NORTH COAST TRAIL ITINERARY
A complete itinerary along with maps, clothing and equipment list, will be issued
the point of origin and return, provincial park user fee, camping fees, food drop, trail ferry fees, cooking
gear, camp stoves, tents, meal preparations, meals/snacks/beverages on
the expedition, tarps, major first aid supplies, emergency radio or satellite
phone, and professional guides. We can provide sleeping bags, sleeping
pads, and backpack if required.
: Transportation to point of origin, transfers,
accommodation and food other than included in the itinerary, gratuities,
and personal equipment.
: All meals while on the backpacking portion of
Arrival in Vancouver. This denotes the day or days
spent in Vancouver before the listed start date of the trip.
Please note today is a travel and information day, we will start hiking tomorrow. We meet at B.C. Ferries Tsawwassen Terminal. The ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Duke Point in Naniamo takes about two hours. Next we journey by van up Island towards Port Hardy approx. four and a half hours, with a lunch stop in Campell River along the way. We will use this evening to get to know our travelling companions and to discuss the trai ahead.
This morning we will enjoy a a scenic water taxi ride to the trailhead at Shushartie Bay. our destination today is Skinner Creek and although only 8km's away it will take us most of the day to complete. This is the largest section of inland trail, passing mainly through upland bog ecosystems, home to sensitive habitats for a variety of fish, amphibians and other invertebrates. Skinner Creek offers us our first opportunity for great beach camping!
The morning tide will determine whether we will follow the beach or inland trail on our way to our first cable car crossing at the Nahwitti River three kms away. We then enter back into dense rainforest and up "Long Leg Hill" before descending the longest set of stairs in all of Cape Scott Provincial Park. Our destination, Cape Sutil, the former site of the First Nations village of "Nahwitti", requires some rainforest scrambling before we descend to the beach again for camp.
Small coves, rocky headlands and pebble beaches characterize today's hike towards spectacular Shuttleworth Bight at km 24. We will constantly be alternating between inland trail sections with stunning views, bogs with boardwalk and rope-scrambling and beautiful pocket beaches carved out by the constant pounding of the Pacific. When we reach our campsite at Irony Creek we will have left the most technical portions of the trail behind us.
Today's hike is predominantly coastal, the beaches alternate between sand, gravel and cobble. Depending on tides we will be passing numerous tide pools on rock shelves that are full of inter-tidal sea life. Sea urchins, star fish, anenomes, perri-winkles and many other species will highlight our trek today. We will be hiking close to twelve kms on our way to the Laura Creek campground.
Today, we hike along the last inland section of the new North Coast Trail and join up with the more established trail systems in Cape Scott Provincial Park. We will stop and take in the stunning scenery at Nissen's Bight for lunch before continuing on towards Nel's Bight further to the west for camp. While this is the most popular camping destination in the park the camping location's beauty is well worth the potential company. Our trek today will have covered 13.5 kms.
We will use Nel's Bight as a basecamp and as an opportunity to do some day-hiking without our full packs! Many of the areas close by are full of First Nations and later settlement history giving us lots of options for exploring. We may decide on a full day-hike out to one of the few remaining lighthouses that has not been automated on BC's coast or we might visit Guise Bay or 'Yichaledaz' - "Where Canoes Run Ashore in Heavy Swell" to see some of the remains from the WWII facilities. Finally there is Hansen's Lagoon or 'Wachlalis' - "River on the Beach in Bay" where Danish settlers first tried to tame these wild lands starting in 1897. Reminders of there struggles are still evident for now, until the rainforest reclaims the land for good.
After some more morning exploring we will start our journey south towards the trailhead. As we pass the small campground at Fisherman's River we will encounter decaying buildings, farm implements, a telegraph line, an old caterpillar tractor and the marble grave marker of William Christiansen. These are all parts left behind along the settler's original corduory road that linked their isolated community to the rest of the outside world. Tonight we will enjoy a well deserved shower and dinner in Port Hardy.
We will retrace our journey south down Vancouver Island, stopping along the way again for lunch, on our way to the ferry at Nanaimo and back to Vancouver later that evening.
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