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.
My love of hiking and mountaineering is to the level of obsessive. I blame my wife for my love of the sport, she got me started when we were first dating. Our second backpacking trip ever was a trip to Cape Scott. It was March 2008, it rained and snowed so vigorously that we had water penetrating our waterproof gear and running down the inside of our jacket arms and out by our hands. When we arrived at Nels Bight, I refused to stay in the Ranger Cabin; we came to camp! Instead we camped at Guise Bay for two nights. Let me rephrase that, for two nights of storms!
Sophie, dwarfed by the fallen sequoia, behind her.
The Settlers Road to Cape Scott is one of my favorite hikes. It’s more than just a trail walk through the forest and across beaches, it’s a walk through history. All along the trail hikers are reminded that the area was settled several times in the early part of the 20th century; a time when British Columbia was still struggling in economic decline, after the collapse of the gold rushes. There are many artifacts of the early settlers on the trail, like the tractor in the trees but it doesn’t end there, don’t forget about the military history!