Nootka Island Trail Maintenance Trip


[The below report is for the club trip done in June 2023]

The Nootka trail is a remote and rugged 40km through hike on Nootka Island. We accessed the trail via water taxi from Tahsis, starting from Yuqout with a pickup at Tongue Point. The trail passes through the Mowachaht/Muchalat First Nations territory. We planned a south to north hike with intention to conduct trail maintenance along the way. We brought clippers for clearing the trail, ropes for helping with steep sections, and planned to mark headland trails as well with buoys that could be found on the beach.

Day One: Travel to Nootka

After a long drive from Victoria with a pick up in South Nanaimo we arrived in Tahsis in the early afternoon. We learned a small plane had crashed in the area just the day before, so there was a fair bit of activity in town with first responders, reporters, and fire crews dealing with the incident. We were still able to board our water taxi and travel to Yuquot to begin the Nootka Trail from the south end. It was a short walk to our first camp where we spent the first night.

Day Two: Yuquot to Headbonk Camp

Trail work between Yuquot and Headbonk camp. We clipped, lauped, and sawed out brush blocking the trail. Put handlines in where the trail was steep and raised some buoys at headland crossings. A long day covering only 8km or so. A trip out to Maquinna point was a highlight.

Day Three: Headbonk to Beano Creek

Departing Headbonk under blue skies we started out North. We had less pruning to do on this leg of the trip but added a couple ropes and buoys to headlands where needed. Grey whale sighting a stone’s throw away from the beach at Tsarksis (coincidently a former whaling village). Tucked in for the night at Beano Creek.

Day Four: Beano to Calvin Creek

Beano Creek to Calvin Creek largely uneventful and under grey skies. Dry rock and good for walking. Came across one bear along the way, observed from a distance.

Day Five: Calvin Creek to Third Beach

Left Calvin Creek under fog, burned off quick. Encountered a large bear near Skuna Bay. Bear held its ground despite our warnings, so a bear banger was deployed. Not far down the trail one in our party had an injury that resulted in their arm in a sling. We sent them ahead to camp with support and spent a good amount of time trimming, roping, and marking the headland trails before arriving at third beach for the night.

Day Six: Third Beach to Tongue Point

We woke to fresh Wolf tracks on the beach on and around our camp. From Third Beach we traveled north, clipping and pruning along the way and adding in a couple new ropes. We spotted a large sea otter in one of the coves. We made our way into the lagoon at Tongue Point traveling through the mud flats towards the wrecked ship. This shipwreck is always a sight to see and raises many questions about its origin. There was a film crew nesting at Tongue Point filming wildlife. For the afternoon, in need of water, we bashed our way out to visit the old radar tower on the Northwest Cone.

Day Seven: Water Taxi to Tahsis

On the morning of day seven, we caught the water taxi back to Tahsis without issue. The waters were calm in the morning, and we travelled comfortably viewing many sea otters along the way. After a great brunch at Westview Marina, we made our way home.

Trip Video

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