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Where the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.

 

 

 

What Our Guests Say

  • We truly had a fantastic hike! We appreciate all the organizing and coordinating in making it a wonderful time. Thank you for all of your lugging and slugging! It was an unforgettable time!

    --Carol, Carla, Liz, (Ontario) and Sabine (Austria)
  • Thanks again for a fabulous Nootka Sound trip and for putting on the whale show for us. Georgia, your knowledge of the area was invaluable.

    --Pam, BC

  • The guides were very very professional and I felt very safe in terrain which is different from North Yorkshire. They produced meals from those rucksacks which my husband thought I was pulling his leg. We did see some envious looks from fellow campers too.

    --Kate, Scarborough, Great Britain
  • The crowning of this trip however was sitting in the sun at Friendly Cove, watching the humpback whales feeding off shore.  The Nootka Trail was certainly a trip of a lifetime. 

    --Cheryl, UK

  • We had a great time and all the aches and pains were worth it!! By the time we got back to my house we were feeling great. Elaine felt very proud of herself. Anyhow, I think you are amazing guide and I hope we didn't wear you out!

    --Denise and Elaine, Calgary

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The Tour

The Nootka Island Trail is a journey of forgotten history. Hiking the west coast of Nootka Island gives visitors to this rugged and spectacular Island the opportunity to experience the same scenic beauty as early explorers.  This is the edge of the rainforest, where land and sea meet and interact. Waves crash rhythmically onto the shingled beaches, while inland water gently cascades down waterfalls onto the beaches. Together with an abundance of wildlife, this makes Nootka Island a paradise of scenic treasures.


Historically, Nootka Island marks the beginning of European history in British Columbia.  More than 50 years before the Hudson’s Bay Company established Fort Victoria, Nootka was the hub of trade between Native people and European explorers.  It also became a point of Spanish and English controversy, bringing them close war. 


While Spanish and Russian ships travelled up and down the BC coastline, and even made contact with some of the native peoples, it was Britain’s Captain James Cook, who on his attempt in 1778 to find the Northwest Passage, first set foot on the island and spent time at Yuquot (Friendly Cove). 


Fur traders, a Spanish settlement a mission followed.  The mission can still be seen with its stained glass windows depicting the signing of the Nootka Convention by Captains Vancouver and Quadra. 


In 1803, a turn of events saw the massacre of Captain Salter’s crew on the Boston and the 3 year enslavement of John Jewitt, later depicted in his journals ‘White Slave’.  Following this event, and the increased activity around Fort Victoria, the European interests in Nootka diminished.  However its’ significance in the history of BC lives on.  Many of the names given to islands and locations on Vancouver Island stem from this period of exploration and exploitation.


Our backpacking tour begins on the rugged northwestern end of the Island where we are dropped by float plane.  We then trace the coast southward to Yukuot.  Here we can visit the old Mission, an old totem, and the woodworking studio of master carver Sanford Williams.

 

For a great article, check out BCAA's Westworld Magazine to see the article on "BC's Wild West Coast."

 

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Itinerary

This is our typical itinerary. (Because we are travelling in wilderness, itineraries can change. There are many factors that can affect how a tour actually runs.)

Day 0: Arrive in Vancouver or Nanaimo

Day 1: Coastal Bliss Adventures will arrange for your transport to Nanaimo and meet you at the Ferry Terminal taking care of transportation to Gold River.  Here we will board a float plane to fly us to our Trail head. Louis Bay, on the north-western tip of Nootka Island.  Following a short hike we arrive at our camping location for the 1st night, or continue to Skuna Ck., Tide/time dependent.

Day 2:

Third Beach to (Skuna Ck 2.25, 1hr) or Tide permitting to Crawfish Falls 15.25 km, 4-6 hrs

Day 3:

Crawfish (Calvin) Falls to Beano Ck

Over sandy beach south round bay, straight shoreline to First Nations village site at Bajo Point (3.5 km). Sand, boulders, rock shelf. Round Point to see Nootka sound and Hesquiat Peninsula in distance. Long stretch of pebble beach to Beano Ck. (Cross Creek if possible). 6.75 km, 3-4 hrs   Day Total 10.25km.

Day 4:

Beano Ck to Maquina Pt.

Cross Creek if on north side. Round Bay below cliffs, or along trail through forest. Up short rope 10m.  Through forest to Calicum Ck. 2.25km, 45 mins east end Beano.   In and out of pocket beaches. 1.25km, +1.25km to sea cave beach. 2nd rope (hand line) into forest and on to Maquina Pt. Look out and down to beach 1.5km east of Maquina Pt.

Day 5:

Maquina Pt. to Friendly Cove

Across Lagoon and along pebble beach to Friendly Cove.   Set up camp. Swim in warm lake. Explore area and take photographs of church, colourful totems, old totem, lighthouse and visit Sanford Williams workshop.

Day 6:

Water Taxi  back to Gold River. Drive to Nanaimo for ferry.

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What's Included

Coastal Bliss provides the essential elements of the hike for you:

Hiking sample menu
  • Transportation from and to the departure location
  • All park fees for the Trail
  • Professional guides
  • All meals (except on travel days)                   SAMPLE MENU
  • tent (shared)
  • gear rental options
  • A substantial preparation guide

We can't provide everything. You will have to provide:

  • Hiking Boots
  • Some food (on travel days)
  • Your transportation to the departure location
  • Accommodation before or after the trip
  • Backpack (available for rent)
  • Sleeping bags or mats (available for rent)

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Getting There

If you are travelling into the Vancouver, Victoria, or Nanaimo area from afar, you should arrive at the departure location for your trip the day/evening prior to the trip start date and plan to leave the day following trip return.

You can fly to Vancouver (airport code YVR) or Seattle (airport code SEA) then connect to Vancouver Island using ferry, bus, or air, or arrange flights directly to Vancouver Island.

Flying to Nanaimo (Airport code YCD)-this is the preferred departure location

Flying to Victoria (Airport code YYJ)-commute to Nanaimo required after arrival.

Nanaimo Airporter shuttle service.
Servicing all of Vancouver Island from airports to ferrys to cruise ship terminals.  Tel: 1 250 758-2133

Greyhound Canada provides bus service four times a day from Victoria to Nanaimo

BC Ferries 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779)
We will let you know the ferry to take for travelling to Vancouver Island, but if you want to check out times, you can go the the BC Ferries website at:
www.bcferries.com/schedules/

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Where to Stay

Naniamo Pick up & Hotels

Pick up: Departure Bay, Duke Pt. Ferry Terminals, or the following Accommodations:

Best Western Dorchester Hotel
Address: 70 Church, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, V9R 5H4
Phone: (250) 754-6835
Website: www.dorchesternanaimo.com

Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Address: 121 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia CANADA, V9R 3A2
Toll Free: 1-866-309-4432
Phone: (250) 753-4432
Website: www.paintedturtle.ca

Vancouver Pick up & Hotels

Accent Inn, Vancouver Airport
10551 St. Edwards Dr. (off Hwy #99)
Richmond B.C. V6X 3L8
Ph: 604-273-3311 Fx: 604-273-9522
email: accent@accentinns.com

(Guests can receive a 10 % discount at Accent Inn if they identify themselves as guests with ‘Coastal Bliss Adventures’)

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Preparing

How you prepare for your adventure is important. Being well prepared will enhance the quality of your experience. Because we are travelling in wilderness, it is very important for you and for the rest of your adventure group that you are fit enough to handle the level of difficulty and demand with no problems. Our guides know how to minimize the impact of these demands as much as possible, but they cannot remove them. The depth of your experience can only increase if you have made sure that you have prepared well.

Your preparation will be different for different activities. Preparing for a kayak trip is different from preparing for a hiking trip. We have provided some basic information that can be downloaded through the following links to pdf documents. If you do not have the Adobe Reader, you can download it from the Adobe site by clicking here.

Use the links below to download some of the preparation files for this hiking tour. When you book your tour, we will send you a complete preparation packet to help you get ready. We've also included a couple of infographics to help you along.

 

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Need Gear?

We have gear available to rent if you don't want to buy a particular piece of equipment, or need to travel without it. 

Look over the following list to help you decide whether you want to rent. If you decide to rent gear, you can tell us on the phone or book it online with your tour.

Hiking Tours:

Item  Cost
Sherpa for Hiking Tours  $2399.00
Backpack Rental  $55.00
Sleeping Bag Rental  $55.00
Thermarest Rental  $20.00
Gaiter Rental  $15.00
Rental Bundle 1-Sleeping Bag+Thermarest+Gaiters or hiking pole  $80.00
Hiking Pole Rental (one)  $7.50
Rental Bundle 2-backpack+gaiters+hiking pole  $76.00
Rental Bundle 3-backpack+sleeping bag+Thermarest  $117.00

 

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This option may be available for those who really want to do this hike, but a normal pack weight would make it a deal breaker. A sherpa can take a large part of the pack weight, but not all. The sherpa also personally assists you along the trail and in camp.
Moderately Strenuous: parts of the walk take place on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky/rooted paths), hiking days can be 5 to 7 hours, weather and conditions can significantly increase difficulty.