Day 6 - July 18, 2015 - Nissen Bight to Nels Bight, then up to Cape Scott Lighthouse and back This day was cloudy on and off, but finally beautifully sunny as we sat on the long white sandy beach of (very busy) Nels Bight. To avoid bears that are searching for food at low tide, make sure you set up camp in the designated camping locations, and avoid camping close to the shoreline areas. Fresh water at Nels Bight is of a shade of silt similar to Cape Sutil's. This area is also a good base for those exploring the rest of the park. Cape Scott Nissen Bight or Nels Bight . Day 4 -Nissen Bight to Cape Scott Lighthouse & Back to Nels Bight (23 km) Day four promised to be another long day, we intended to hit the Cape Scott Lighthouse and return to Nels Bight. The minimum one-way hiking time is about 5 days, but most hikers take 6 to 8 days to complete the trail. Small gas boats would bring supplies and passengers to this bay, but due to exposure to storms no dock was ever built. The Federal Government has removed the suspension bridges and closed all public access between the lighthouse and foghorn at the Cape itself. Hansen Lagoon: Length 14.7 kilometres from the trailhead. Cape Scott Provincial Park is located on the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island, and offers a truly rugged and beautiful getaway for those that are up for the adventure. The trail forks here – go straight ahead to Nissen Bight, or left to Nels Bight and Cape Scott. Near the junction are several historic features including the burial site of an adopted son of the local schoolteacher. I thought perhaps I might get my first full day on the North Coast Trail without rain of any kind. Sea Otter Cove and Lowrie Bay: Length 10 kilometres from the trailhead. Sites are available at Skinner Creek, Cape Sutil, Shuttleworth Bight, Nissen Bight, Nels Bight and south of Eric Lake. The beaches of Cape Scott Park are incredibly beautiful and well worth the hike in. On day two, we had to do a six kilometre hike from Nissen Bight to Nels Bight, since Nels Bight is a good place to start to go to the actual cape. Today, people come to Cape Scott Provincial Park for its unparalleled hiking and camping opportunities. Nissen Bight/Nels Bight Junction: Length 13.1 kilometres from the trailhead. Nissen Bight West from Mapcarta, the free map. Nels Bight, about midway between the eastern boundary of the park near Nissen Bight and the Cape Scott Lighthouse, is a fine-textured white sand beach, 2,400 meters long and 210 meters wide and considered to be the most impressive of the nine beaches in the park. Planning to spend two nights at either Nissen Bight or Nels Bight and dayhike from there. This is a popular spot for a picnic or rest. Left takes you to San Josef Bay 1.7km, which was where we were headed on this day. In a way it was a little sad to be done with the NCT. Together they combine for over 100 kilometres of white sand wilderness camping bliss. Hiking through this area felt like taking a walk through the past. When you reach the Nissen Bight cutoff, the trail splits in two, one leads to Nissen Bight’s and the other to Nels Bight. Average one-way hiking time: 5 hours. Since 2016, Cape Scott has been experiencing high wolf activity, and dogs are a high-level attractant for wolves and other large carnivores. Remnants of the past include fence-posts along the old road and evidence of the early settler’s drainage systems. I got pretty sick when I got home from my trip. Day 7-Nels Bight to Erik Lake: Distance 13 km It is time to head back to civilization. Average one-way hiking time: 4.5 hours. Other significant beaches include San Josef Bay, Guise Bay, Experiment Bight, Lowrie Bay and Nissen Bight. The next morning, with the rain lightening up we finished packing up camp and set out to Nels Bight. More than 100 years ago this area was the main settlement of the Danish pioneers, who grew crops and hay here on the open meadows. Cape Scott Provincial Park is located about 563 kilometres from Victoria. Nels Bight: Length 16.8 kilometres from the trailhead. Less adventurous hikers can leave the backpack at home and still get a taste of Cape Scott’s unique terrain and spectacular Pacific Ocean vistas along this well-maintained gravel trail, which ends at the sandy shore of San Josef Bay in the southeastern corner of the park. Rocky promontories and jagged headlands are scattered along the remote and wide sandy beaches. The park is characterized by 40 miles (64 km) of scenic and rugged ocean frontage from Nissen Bay in the north to San Josef Bay in the south. Contributed by: Karysa Brossoit and Jackie Johnson of @backpackingplanet. Doing Cape Scott. Day 5/6-Nissen Bight to Nels Bight: Distance 6 km A great place to take a well-earned rest day, explore the magnificent beach, and a one of the easy Cape Scott trails. The park is named after the Cape Scott Lighthouse, established in the 1960s to safely guide mariners, but access to the lighthouse is no longer available. One of Cape Scott Provincial Park’s special features are its sea stacks, which can be seen and accessed at low tide. Any recomendations out there? Dogs are allowed in the San Josef Bay area only, and are not allowed within the remainder of the park. By signing up for our newsletter, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. It is not as strenuous as the past sections but can be difficult and is the final stretch of the North Coast Trail! This is a popular camping destination with a beautiful sandy shoreline. Cape Scott Nissen Bight or Nels Bight . The trail to Nissen Bight from the Fisherman River Bridge is 3.7 km (2.2 miles) and will take about two to two and a half hours to reach the rocky shoreline, where you will find a campsite. Distance: Then official North Coast Trail is 43 km (Shushartie Bay to Nissen Bight) plus a mandatory 15 km exit on the Cape Scott Trail (Nissen Bight to Cape Scott Trailhead). Turn left for Nels Bight. A shorter day, however the terrain was no easier than the day before. Guise Bay is another beautiful beach that offers good camping possibilities. The lot is about 64 kilometres west of Port Hardy, and can be reached by car through a combination of public highways and private, active logging roads. There aren’t any designated swimming areas in the park, but the beaches at Nels Bight and San Josef Bay are popular swimming destinations for hikers and campers. Average one-way hiking time: 5.5 hours. Camping is allowed at San Josef Bay. From this point the route descends the mountain to Sea Otter Cove. Nissen Bight is 15km from the trailhead. Some were pretty obvious, like rusting farming equipment, while others were more subtle, like mossy mounds marking areas where buildings once stood. The public may visit the lighthouse, which is outside the provincial park and federally operated. Other significant beaches include San Josef Bay, Guise Bay, Experiment Bight, Lowrie Bay and Nissen Bight. Instagram. Many people camp here after finishing the North Coast Trail. I passed through an old pioneer village with artifacts and the foundation of one of their homes. The trail`s transition from rugged to easy becomes evident when heading towards the junction from Nissen Bight. Doing Cape Scott. Guise Bay: Length 20.7 kilometres from the trailhead. Average one-way hiking time: 8.5 hours. Right takes you to Eric Lake 2.4km, Nissen Bight 14.2km, Nels Bight 16.4km and Cape Scott 21.7km. In all, Cape Scott Provincial Park is a stunning area for a day hike to San Josef, or a multi day trek to Nels Bight, Nissen Bight and the lighthouse, full of lush plants along the trail, many animals from squirrels to bears, and beautiful beaches perfect for camping. There several stunning, white-sand beaches within the park, including San Josef Bay, Guise Bay, Experiment Bight, Lowrie Bay and Nissen Bight. The river is also a good place to collect drinking water. The trail from the parking lot to I treated all of the water that I drank on my NCT hike and my Juan de Fuca hike, but this water was a little colourful, and I don't think I waited the full 30 minutes I was supposed to before I drank it. Most trails run along old settlers' roads and can be quite slippery when wet. I realize day hikes to the lighthouse is longer from Nissen but I am not too concerned with that. Lucky visitors may sometimes spot sea otters, an endangered species, in the bay. As soon as I hiked to the end of Nissen Bight and got onto the Cape Scott Trail, I knew I was going to be on a very different sort of trail for the rest of my hike. Start typing to see results or hit ESC to close, http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/cape_scott/hiking.html, http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/cape_scott/, Guided Kayaking Trips: the perfect COVID-19 escape. In total I hiked 5.8 kilometres to the first beach – Nels Bight. The park is also home to excellent examples of old-growth forest. The park is characterized by 40 miles (64 km) of scenic and rugged ocean frontage from Nissen Bay in the north to San Josef Bay in the south. Details. The trail runs along the north coast tip of Vancouver island, then joins up with the old Cape Scott trail at the end of Nissen Bight bringing the total length of the trail to about 58.5km. Cape Scott is a Mecca for hiking enthusiasts, and hikers should be prepared and knowledgeable for coastal hiking. There were more remnants of the old settlement here, including quite a few fence posts that were still standing. Eric Lake: Length 3 kilometres from the trailhead. It’s a good spot if you reach the Nel’s/Nissen Junction and feel too tired to get all the way to Nel’s. Experiment Bight: Length 18.9 kilometres from the trailhead. The park is home to more than 115 kilometres of beautiful ocean frontage, including about 30 kilometres of remote beaches. Juan de Fuca Marine Trail/West Coast Trail/North C... Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Day 3: Payzant Creek to ... Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Day 2: Chin Beach to Pay... Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Day 1: China Beach to Ch... North Coast Trail Day 6: Eric Lake to the Cape Sco... North Coast Trail Day 5: Nissen Bight to Eric Lake, North Coast Trail Day 3: Irony Creek to Nissen Bight. Back to these later. Sea Otter Cove is only passable at mid to low tide. Average one-way hiking time: 1 hour. Explore: San Josef Bay & Cape Scott Provincial Park. Night 3: Shuttleworth Bight Night 4: Nissen Bight (bypassing Laura Creek) Night 5: Guise Bay (Our Favourite) Night 6: Nels Bight. Nissen Bight West from Mapcarta, the free map. The main features of the park which catch people by surprise are the underpopulated string of beautiful sandy beaches - San Josef Bay, Nels Bight, Guise Bay, Experiment Bight and Nissen Bight Beaches. Nissen Bight Nels Experiment Bight Bight Guise Bay Hansen Lagoon William Lake Eric Lake Brink Lake Port Hardy Lowrie Bay Cape Russell San Josef Bay Cape Scott San Josef Trail ... Sayward Junction 168 km 2 ½ hours Campbell River 232 km 3 ½ hours Courtenay 292 km 4 hours Nanaimo 387 km 5 hours Just before Nissen Bight a small side trail leads to Fisherman Bay. North Coast Trail: This trail is an extension of the original Cape Scott Trail, stretching 43.1 kilometres, with a total hiking distance of about 59.5 kilometres. Normally, when you go into Cape Scott Park, your objective is to get to Cape Scott and buy a souvenir there, but since Daddy … Average one-way hiking time: 6 hours. Back to these later. We were rewarded when we arrived though as we spent a Nels Bight as well. These are memories you’ll want to keep forever. Day 6 - July 18, 2015 - Nissen Bight to Nels Bight, then up to Cape Scott Lighthouse and back This day was cloudy on and off, but finally beautifully sunny as we sat on the long white sandy beach of (very busy) Nels Bight. We are looking for less campers if that makes a difference. The park runs from Shushartie Bay in the east, west around Cape Scott and south to San Josef Bay. Day 4, Aug 20, Laura Creek to Nels Bight – about 13km, 3 hours 2 hours to Nissen Bight, 1 hour to Nels Bight Rain stopped in the morning but started again when I got moving. The only parking lot is located in the southeast corner of the park, providing easy access to Cape Scott and San Josef Bay trailheads. It was strange to be done with the near-isolation too. Nels Bight is the most impressive of the 9 beaches in the park, at 2,400 metres long and over 200 metres wide! The climbs that did exist on it were fairly gradual, and it was really easy to hike fast after days of having to watch every single step I took. The first dyke they built was destroyed during a particularly bad storm, so they built it again, paying attention to tides, prevailing winds, and other things that I barely have any kind of a grasp on. Nissen Bight junction to Nels Bight beach (13.1km to 16.8km) The path splits again with one route to Nels Bight and Cape Scott, the other to Nissen Bight and the North Coast Trail. From Nissen Bight I had to backtrack about 2 kilometres to the junction on the Cape Scott Trail which would take me to the lighthouse and the three sandy beaches. Average one-way hiking time: 7.5 hours. Nels Bight is the most impressive of the 9 beaches in the park, at 2,400 metres long and over 200 metres wide! The Cape Scott North Coast Trail (grand opening May 10, 2008) is a 43km extension of the existing Cape Scott trail. Only experienced hikers familiar with wilderness hiking and the use of a map and compass should go beyond Mt. There were still muddy sections and a few awkward things to scramble over, but it was like a freeway compared to the NCT. Numerous other trails exist to Hansen Lagoon, Fisherman Bay, Nissen Bight, Nels Bight and Guise Bay. As I was leaving, dark clouds starting rolling in again. I can't confirm what got me sick (to be honest it could have been the expired hummus), but it was definitely a lesson to be more careful in the future. I realize day hikes to the lighthouse is longer from Nissen but I am not too concerned with that. Cape Scott is a wilderness park, and backcountry camping locations are available. Some mud pits were on … However, the park is open all year round for those that don’t mind winter camping opportunities. With a beautiful sandy beach stretching more 2,400 metres long and 210 metres wide at low tide, Nels Bight is the most popular camping destination in the park. The thought of bad weather was a little less daunting at this point, knowing I only had one more night on the trail before I could look forward to a warm, dry bed in Port Hardy. View their backpacking trail video here. It was more along the lines of the trails I was used to hiking, well defined and extremely well cleared. If you’re up for the adventure and want to travel to Cape Scott Provincial Park, don’t forget to bring your camera. Cape Scott Provincial Park is located about 563 kilometres from Victoria. Average one-way hiking time: 45 minutes. Nels Bight, about midway between the eastern boundary of the park near Nissen Bight and the Cape Scott Lighthouse, is a fine-textured white sand beach, 2,400 meters long and 210 meters wide and considered to be the most impressive of the nine beaches in the park. From Nissen Bight I had to backtrack about 2 kilometres to the junction on the Cape Scott Trail which would take me to the lighthouse and the three sandy beaches. I woke up on Day 5 to fairly optimistic looking skies. It's a two-person wide, flat gravel path which winds back and forth and up and down small hills through the old growth forest. Average one-way hiking time: 7 hours. Planning to spend two nights at either Nissen Bight or Nels Bight and dayhike from there. Continue north along a rough section to Nissen Bight, a popular camping area, or turn west and travel to Nels Bight and the other beaches on the route to Cape Scott. Fresh water at Nels Bight is of a shade of silt similar to Cape Sutil's. Rocky promontories and jagged headlands are scattered along the remote and wide sandy beaches. By the time I was back on the Cape Scott Trail, it was raining, alternating between a light sprinkle and an occasional heavy downpour. Hansen Lagoon is a stopping place for Canada geese and a variety of waterfowl traveling the Pacific Flyway. Day 4 -Nissen Bight to Cape Scott Lighthouse & Back to Nels Bight (23 km) Day four promised to be another long day, we intended to hit the Cape Scott Lighthouse and return to Nels Bight. The round-trip distance from the Nels Bight-Nissen Bight trail junction to Cape Scott is about 20 km. Nissen Bight Nels Experiment Bight Bight Guise Bay Hansen Lagoon William Lake Eric Lake Brink Lake Port Hardy Lowrie Bay Cape Russell San Josef Bay Cape Scott San Josef Trail ... Sayward Junction 168 km 2 ½ hours Campbell River 232 km 3 ½ hours Courtenay 292 km 4 hours Nanaimo 387 km 5 hours The section between Laura Creek and Nissen Bight heads inland and features many boardwalks and bridges. Average one-way hiking time: 5 hours. A bit of hiking towards Nels Bight brought me to the area where the settlers had attempted to grow crops. Make sure your vehicle is locked and your windows are closed, and that all food and other attractants are secured in your trunk – bears have been known to break into vehicles parked within Cape Scott Provincial Park. I have to admire the courage of the people who chose to settle in such a hostile and remote area. The landscape changes again at Hansen Meadows, where 20th century settlers cleared the land in preparation for farming. Fisherman River: Length 9.3 kilometres from the trailhead. This area has a beautiful sandy beach, however there is no year-round drinking water or facilities available. Nissen Bight Camp The North Coast Trail ends at the eastern end of the beach at Nissen Bight. In total I hiked 5.8 kilometres to the first beach – Nels Bight. Contributed by: Karysa Brossoit and Jackie Johnson of @backpackingplanet. However, the water source is a creek at the eastern end of the beach. The trail itself was clearly an old settler's road in places. Nissen Bight West is a campsite in British Columbia. View their backpacking trail video here. St. Patrick. Follow us on social media and keep up-to-date with the geographic and travel quarterly magazine of British Columbia. San Josef Bay: Length 2.5 kilometres from the trailhead. Nels Bight, midway between the eastern boundary of the park near Nissen Bight and the Cape Scott Lighthouse, is a 3km-long (1 3/4-mile), white-sand beach; it's considered the most impressive of the nine beaches in the park. The remains of the second dyke built by the settlers could also be seen. This route is very challenging, and not recommended for beginners. The trail forks here—go straight ahead to Nissen Bight, or left to Nels Bight and Cape Scott. Nissen Bight: Length 15 kilometres from the trailhead. Nissen Bight. Right takes you to Eric Lake 2.4km, Nissen Bight 14.2km, Nels Bight 16.4km and Cape Scott 21.7km. Unofficial sites can be found elsewhere but … Night 3: Shuttleworth Bight Night 4: Nissen Bight (bypassing Laura Creek) Night 5: Guise Bay (Our Favourite) Night 6: Nels Bight. We are looking for less campers if that makes a difference. It's a two-person wide, flat gravel path which winds back and forth and up and down small hills through the old growth forest. This is a hike-in park, and there is only one parking lot available. Average one-way hiking time: 4.5 hours. The route to Sea Otter Cove is accessed via San Josef Bay’s second (western) beach. Day 6 - July 18, 2015 - Nissen Bight to Nels Bight, then up to Cape Scott Lighthouse and back This day was cloudy on and off, but finally beautifully sunny as we sat on the long white sandy beach of (very busy) Nels Bight. Cape Scott Provincial Park was established in 1973. Fisherman Bay was where the Cape Scott Store and Post Office was located during the second settlement attempt. Some aspects of the trail are frustrating, but those are the aspects that make it a unique adventure. My original plan had been to hike all the way to the lighthouse and camp at The most impressive of these beaches, Nels Bight, stretches more than 2,400 metres long and 210 metres wide at low tide, and is one of the park’s most popular camping destinations. This route receives minimal or no regular maintenance. Left takes you to San Josef Bay 1.7km, which was where we were headed on this day. My understanding was that the Cape Scott Trail had very minimal elevation change, and I found that to be very true. The most impressive of these beaches, Nels Bight, stretches more than 2,400 metres long and 210 metres wide at low tide, and is one of the park’s most popular camping destinations. Remember to boil, filter or treat all drinking water before consuming. Facebook. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. This is a popular camping destination with a beautiful sandy shoreline. I saw more people in a few hours on the Cape Scott Trail than I had seen on the entire NCT. Trail to Nissen was easy inland with minor ups and downs. It is smaller than Nel’s Bight and sees far fewer visitors. Visit the sand neck, Guise Bay, Experiment Bight or even the Cape Scott Lighthouse (7 km from Nels Bight) if you’re feeling up to it at this point in your journey. 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). Nissen Bight – 41.3 km. You also agree to receive email updates on new posts and offers. This is a popular camping destination with a beautiful sandy shoreline. The park’s most popular beach and camping destination is Nels Bight, which stretches 2,400 metres long and 210 metres wide at low tide. There were all kinds of remnants of the settlements. The trail`s transition from rugged to easy becomes evident when heading towards the junction from Nissen Bight. Nissen Bight to Nels Bight, 6 km, 2.5 – 4 hours; Once you’ve set camp, you can explore the most western regions of the park. The lot is about 64 kilometres west of Port Hardy, and can be reached by car through a combination of public highways and private, active logging roads. You will be sent an opt-in email to confirm that you would like to receive emails from us. Email. I passed through an old pioneer village with artifacts and the foundation of one of their homes. When we finally arrived at Nissen Bight, with sore wet feet, bed sounded like the best option. Camping only. Near the junction are several historic features including the burial site of an adopted son of the local schoolteacher. St. Patrick, which offers a spectacular panoramic view of the park. From this point the route gains elevation quite quickly until you reach the summit of Mt. For more information, visit http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/cape_scott/. Continue north along a rough section to Nissen Bight, a popular camping area, or turn west and travel to Nels Bight and the other beaches on the route to Cape Scott. At Nissen Bight it links up with the original Cape Scott Trail Cape Scott Lighthouse Trail Heading north from the trailhead, it is 17 km to Nels Bight, where nearly … 11 tent pads, located in the forest, are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The only parking lot is located in the southeast corner of the park, providing easy access to Cape Scott and San Josef Bay trailheads. Cape Scott: Length 23.6 kilometres from the trailhead. Visitors should be prepared to encounter wolves and bears within the park. The Cape Scott Lighthouse Trail and the Lowrie Bay Trail are briefly described separately, as is the North Coast Trail, which runs along beaches and through forest from Shushartie Bay to Nissen Bight. Any recomendations out there? Nissen Bight West is a campsite in British Columbia. Average one-way hiking time: 3 hours. The official camp - with pit toilet and food cache - is 1 km down the beach. Nissen Bight/Nels Bight Junction: Length 13.1 km from the trailhead. The following information comes from the BC Parks website, http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/cape_scott/hiking.html. There are 11 wilderness campsites, and fees are applicable during the main camping season from May 1 to Sept. 30. Eventually the trail descends and an elaborate staircase leads to the beach at Nissen Bight. Length 10 kilometres from the trailhead were headed on this day 14.7 kilometres from the trailhead artifacts. 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