Hansen Lagoon Bust

–submitted by John Young; originally published on his blog

Four years ago, I went on an Island Mountain Ramblers’ trip to Lowrie Bay, and caught the bug–the bug of venturing (at low tide) along the shore and over headlands to the end of Hansen Bay. So when our trip to Nootka Island was cancelled due to COVID restrictions, I decided to return to Cape Scott, with the hope of forging our way along the lagoon to Nels Bight.

  • June 7 – camped at San Josef Bay (#3 on the map)
  • June 8 – over Mt. St. Patick to Lowrie Bay (10k; 6 hours 20 minutes)
  • June 9 – attempted to get to Rasmus Creek, but fallen trees forced us back and we camped just south of the point leading into Hansen Bay (a 10-hour day!)
  • June 10 – back to Lowrie Bay
  • June 11 – home sweet home

June 7 – a short 2.5k walk to our campsite

San Jo–arguably the nicest beach on Vancouver Island!

We managed to squeeze all 6 of our tents into this spot in the trees


Our beach-side kitchen, dining and living room


June 8 – up and over Mt. St. Patrick (416 m.) to Lowrie Bay

A rough trail, but oh! the view from the summit!

Bill with some fancy footwork crossing Russell Creek

Lowrie Bay


June 9—some beautiful and challenging seaside hiking


And the bushiest whacking I’ve ever experienced, especially with an overnight pack!


But fabulous flora along the way

Our camp in a small cove on June 9

Michael caching food for the night

June 10 – return to Lowrie Bay

Eli with a sea lion skull

Thankfully, the bear appears to be well fed!


Luckily, the weather cleared up and we relaxed back at Lowrie Bay

I had fun with this Japanese light bulb that I found, intact!


June 11 – back up Mt. St. Pat


And along San Jo Bay and back to the trailhead


Yes, my hands took a beating, but it was worth it!

A Traverse in Strathcona Park: Wolf & Puzzle Mountains with a Circumnavigation of Volcano Lake

–submitted by Matthew Lettington; originally published on explorington.com

I’m a prisoner to my work schedule, and my summer vacation kicks off in the final weekend of June. However, since meeting Phil, I’ve come to participate in an annual pre-summer trip known as the Birthday Hike. This annual prelude-to-summer trip has brought us to some of the best places on Vancouver Island.

Wolf Mountain

For two days, starting June 22, 2019, we set our sights on the three peaks which rise high along the ridge, on the west side of the Elk River Trail. The ridge is among the best Island Alpine I’ve had the pleasure of hiking; its near-pristine nature is protected by the awful bushwhack of Butterwort Creek on one end and a gnarly few steps on the other. It’s the type of terrain that is only visited by the crazy few who would seek out these diminutive objectives over the many giants of the Elk River Valley.

Total Distance 28.6 km
Starting Elevation: 312 m
Maximum Elevation: 1826 m
Total Elevation Gain: 2421 m

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Flower Ridge Trail

June 29-30, 2019

~ submitted by Jamai Schile

The party of six Ramblers set off from the well marked parking area on Western Mine Road. From there the group started the trail that climbs and weaves its way into the alpine. The relatively gentle gradient that gains 1,100 meters to the ridge crests at kilometre 8. The trail is dispersed with a few rolling treed areas that offer some relief from the grade as well as an impressive view point over looking the Myra Falls mine site.

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North Coast Trail

July 9 – 15, 2019

~ submitted by Carmen Zitek

A lifetime objective for a group of five hopeful hikers.

We set off from Port Hardy hostel on the morning of July 10th.  Babe the NCT shuttle operator had us leaving for Shushartie Bay at 0700hrs via water taxi.

The weather was not very promising but we decided to forge ahead anyways, us and three German men; Marco, Robert and Uwe.

We arrived after a really lovely boat ride at 0800 hrs….our hearts light and our packs heavy!

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West Coast Trail Hike

June 15 – 21, 2019

~ submitted by Sherry Durnford

We lucked out with weather for our June West Coast Trail hike.   What is usually a wet month turned out to be ideal conditions for hiking the WCT! 

Our group spanned 6 decades from a vicenarian (person in 20’s) to a septuagenarian (person in 70’s)   For a group that hadn’t hiked together previously, our trip went famously.  

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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.

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