Hesquiat Pensisula Trail
In our hearts, we all live on the land. That is the real world. We take away the obstacles to experience what is real, to experience your bliss. We show you the way. That's Coastal Bliss Adventures.IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT --OPERATIONAL IMPACTS OF COVID-19 ON COASTAL BLISS ADVENTURES
We Take Care Of You
We do the planning, logistics, and support. You do the experience and the fun.
From pickup to return, we cover everything you need, except your personal items. We take you to and from the trip start, and feed you well along the way. We can't guarantee weight loss on our tours.
Our guides get out into our areas. They know the ins and outs of the trip and provide exceptional interpretation of flora, fauna and history. You'll know more after you leave.
We give you an entire packet of information on how to prepare, what to bring, how to pack, and a plan for training so you can fully enjoy the trip. Our care for you starts before you even arrive.
6-day Backpacking Tour
The Hesquiat Peninsula is a rugged coastal hike that spans 50 km along the eastern shore of Nootka Sound on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
- HIKING DAYS: 4.5
- TRAVEL DAYS: 1.5
- RATING: Strenuous
This is our typical itinerary for this tour. Because we are travelling in wilderness, itineraries can change. There are many factors that can affect how a tour actually runs. We confirm pickup times by phone, email or SMS at least 12 hours before.
This trip begins in Nanaimo, where we will arrange your pickup to drive to the location where we begin the activity.
Pick up in Nanaimo drive to Gold River
This day we drive to Gold River, stopping for lunch in Campbell River then continuing to Gold River, where we will spend the night at the campsite. This will give us an opportunity to complete an equipment check and orientation. This evening we will eat out at one of the local restaurants.
Float Plane to Escalante Point and Explore beach from Basecamp
First thing in the morning, to avoid afternoon winds we take a scenic flight along Nootka Sound to close to Escalante Point, from where the trail heads down a beach to a small stream where we will spend our first camp. This stunning beach is worth spending time at, exploring the caves, coves, beaches and headlands. The beach at Escalante is one of the most stunning along the trail.
Escalante Point – Barcester Bay (km 0 – km 12 (12 KM 3 – 5 hrs) )
Today we time our journey so that we have a low enough tide to cross a tricky surge channel just north of Split Cape, 6km along the sandstone from camp. At the surge channel there is a cluster of spectacular sea stacks that are worth exploring, tides permitting. The surge channel is negotiated by either carefully climbing in and out of it, or by going around on the bushy ledge. This is the only real challenging feature along this trail. Once the surge channel has been crossed the hiking continues for another 1.5 km along more serrated sandstone or sandy paths at high water. Once we reach Spit Cove there are sculpted conglomerate rocks to view. We continue for another 4.5 km along easy beach or sandstone to the beautiful beach at Barcester Bay, where we will make our camp for the night.
Barcester Bay – Matlahaw Point (km 17 - km 29 (12km 3- 5 hrs))
Our journey today begins along a flat sandy strip along the edge of the rock shelf. There is a black sand beach 4.5 km south of Barcester Bay, more interesting rock formations, sandstone domes and some larger stacks. This can be a great place to view eagles as they perch atop surveying the land and sea for prey. As we make our way around the point, we may catch sight or sound of sea lions. There is a good camping location here with excellent water. We will stop to fill up our water bottles before continuing on to Estevan Point. Water between this fill up point and our next camp is scarce, so be sure to drink up and fill up! We should be able to see Estevan Pt Light station from here. Once around Estevan point the beach can be exposed if the weather is unfavourable. If so, we may hike in the forest along the remains of an old telegraph line connecting the lighthouse to Hesquiat village (where with permission good camping is available). However, in good weather we will hike the boulder fields along the shoreline to Smokehouse Bay next to Matlahaw Point, where we will make camp.
Matlahaw Point – north of Le Claire Point (km 29 – km 40 (11km 3 – 5 hrs) )
From Matlahaw point the shoreline takes a sharp turn toward Hesquiat harbour. Here the beach is less exposed and provides an easy beach walk to Hesquiat village. We will respectfully cross the First Nations land to Purdon Creek. We will require a low tide to cross the mouth of Purdon Creek, or seek permission to use the bridge further inland on their Reserve. Le Claire Point 10km open beach highlight to Anton's Spit. At North end of this beach, we climb up the small rocky cliff and pass Le Claire Point after which we will find ourselves on a lovely pebble beach at km 40. We will either camp here, or we will hike on to Boat Basin to camp. This will depend on weather conditions; hiking speed and float plane pick up time on Day 6
North of Le Claire Point – Boat Basin (km 40 – km 45 (5km 1 – 2 hrs))
This is our final day. We will hike the final 5km to Boat Bay. This is mostly along the beach with one short, forested section. Respectfully journey through another First Nations reserve before arriving at Boat Basin. Once here and if possible, we will have a tour of Cougar Annie's Garden. Cougar Annie was an immigrant settler and pioneer who moved to Hesquiat in 1915 Ada Annie Rae-Arthur tamed a small part of these wild forests on her 5-acre homestead. Following this we will hike the short trail to the floatplane dock on Hesquiat Lake, where our pilot will pick us up and fly us back to Gold River. We will head to Gold River for lunch before driving back to Nanaimo to say good-bye to one another.
Note:Time journeying between camp locations are estimates. We plan to take our time to experience the stunning scenery and wildlife that we may encounter along the way.
Included Not Included Transportation from and to the departure location (pick up and drop off) Your transportation to the departure location (from your home) All backcountry park fees and camping fees National Park entry fees (may change as Parks alters their policies) Professional guides Hiking Boots (should be less than 5 years old) All meals (except on travel days) Some food (on travel days and special options) Tent (shared) Hiking Boots (should be less than 5 years old) A substantial preparation guide Backpack (available for rent) Gear rental options Sleeping bags or mats (available for rent) Gratuities are not included. Recognizing your guide for their hard work and care is always appreciated; $10-20/day per guide is recommended.
Getting There And
Where To Stay
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. Try the following Canadian online travel booker: flightnetwork.com.
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 Victoria (Airport code YYJ)
Flying to Nanaimo (Airport code YCD)
Nanaimo Airporter shuttle service.
Servicing all of Vancouver Island from airports to ferrys to cruise ship terminals. Tel: 1 250 758-2133
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:
Where to Stay
Victoria Pick up & Airport Hotels
Pick up: Schwartz Bay Ferry Terminal, or the following Accommodations near the ferry or airport:
Travelodge Sydney Airport Hotel
Travelodge may offer Coastal Bliss Guests a lower rate per night (ask us for the discount code before you book) and is an easy place for us to pick you up/drop you off before and after your tour with us.
2280 Beacon Avenue, Sidney, BC, CA, V8L 1X1
Phone:1 250 656 1176
Hotel Zed is near downtown Victoria, but not right downtown. It has built up a very good reputation and has reasonable rates. Ask for Coastal Bliss Adventures Special Room Rate when making your reservation.
3110 Douglas Ave. Victoria, BC, CA, V8Z 3K4
Phone:1 250 388 4345 Or 1 800 997 6797
If you are arriving in Vancouver and staying there before getting to a pick up location on Vancouver Island, the Accent Inn is close to the aiport.
Accent Inn, Vancouver Airport
10551 St. Edwards Dr. (off Hwy #99)
Richmond B.C. V6X 3L8
Ph: 604-273-3311 Fx: 604-273-9522
(Our guests may be able to receive a discount at Accent Inn, contact us for details.)
If you are staying in Victoria after the tour, consider these near downtown Victoria accommodations:
The Strathcona Hotel
Address: 919 Douglas Street, Victoria B.C.
Ocean Island Inn
Address: 791 Pandora Ave. Victoria BC, Canada
Phone: Toll Free 1.888.888.4180
229 Gorge Road East
Victoria, BC V9A 1L1
Toll-Free Reservations: 1-800-565-3777
Preparing For Your Trip
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 or kayaking tour. When you book your tour, we will send you a complete preparation packet to help you get ready.Please take this seriously. Most people are unaware of the demands of a coastal environment, particularly with keeping dry and warm. Your preparation will really help make your coastal hiking or kayaking tour a great experience.
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.
Item Price Sherpa for Hiking Tours $2399.00 Backpack Rental $55.00 Sleeping Bag Rental $55.00 Thermarest Rental $20.00 Gaiter Rental $15.00 Hiking Pole Rental (one) $7.50 Rental Bundle 1-Sleeping Bag+Thermarest+Gaiters or hiking pole $80.00 Rental Bundle 2-backpack+gaiters+hiking pole $76.00 Rental Bundle 3-backpack+sleeping bag+Thermarest $117.00