Cape Scott Trail

–submitted by Pam Newton

On Saturday, July 20th five hikers set off on their first trip to Cape Scott.  After meeting up at the North Coast Trail Backpackers Hostel in Port Hardy, we went for dinner and checked out the local Filomi Festival.

Sunday morning, we arrived at the trailhead, eager to get started after 1 hr 45 min on the logging road.  We followed the well used trail past the Eric Lake campsite, over the new bridge at Fisherman River, and past the junction to Nels Bight before arriving at Nissen Bight 5 hours later, our home for the next two nights.  After setting up camp, we headed to the water source at the opposite end of the beach.  No whales were spotted, but we did see a large black bear happily grazing on the grasses above the beach.  We arrived back at camp ready to relax and enjoy dinner, and were treated to a beautiful sunset that evening.

Monday was our day hike to the lighthouse.  Staying at Nissen Bight added extra km’s, but the shorter distance the previous day was appreciated!  This was the most historical part of the trip, with numerous signs (and artifacts) providing insight into life at the Danish settlement that once existed in the area.  After passing through the popular Nels Bight, we all agreed that Nissen was the better choice for us, as it was much quieter and our water source didn’t have the same sulfur smell that Nels had.  We carried on to the Lighthouse, where we had a relaxing lunch and refilled our water with cold, filtered tap water!  We made our way back to camp, eager for appies and dinner, and more than ready to rest our weary feet.

Tuesday morning, we packed up camp and headed back out to San Josef Bay for our last night.  We stopped for lunch at Eric Lake, where we quickly ate and moved on to avoid the clouds of mosquitoes.  After hearing that the water supply at 2nd beach was scarce, we decided to re-fill our water at the well-flowing creek just south of Eric Lake.  We arrived at San Jo Bay with plenty of time to set up camp, relax, check out the sea stacks and a couple of sea caves, and enjoy our last night in this beautiful place.

Waking up on Wednesday to yet another beautiful day, we packed up camp, hiked the 45min back to the parking lot, and made our way home.  5 more hikers can finally say “we did Cape Scott!”

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