Which hike is right for me?

The three main trails in Cape Scott Provincial Park offer unforgettable adventures for hikers of all levels. Choose the one that suits your skill level and availability:

The San Josef Bay Trail is an easy, 30 minute afternoon stroll. The two kilometer, compacted gravel trail is suitable for novice hikers, high clearance strollers and assisted wheelchairs.  A few of the slopes have grades that are steeper than optimal for special needs access.

The Cape Scott Trail is a classic trek and offers beginner and intermediate level hikers a chance to experience the remote beauty of the park. It’s approximately 18 kilometers, or 5 to 6 hours, from the trailhead to Nels Bight.

The North Coast Trail is a highly challenging and unbelievably rewarding adventure. Plan to spend about 4-7 days hiking this rugged 58 kilometer trail. This is no walk in the park: It’s not recommended that you tackle the trail without previous backpacking experience.

How do I get there?

This is how you can Plan & Prepare.

What should I bring on my hike?

Having the right gear will make your trip even more enjoyable. Good quality equipment will keep you warm and dry while at the same time remaining light enough to carry day after day.

Click here for a printable checklist.

When is the park open?

Cape Scott Provincial Park is open year round. The best time to hike in the park is from April through October, when the days are long and the trails are at their driest. Camping fees are in effect from May 1st until September 30th. Click here to book online.

Do I need to make a reservation?

You are not required to make reservations to hike or camp in Cape Scott Park. However, camping fees are in effect from May 1st until September 30th and may either be paid in cash at the trailhead or by registering online.

During the off-season (September 30th to May 1st) fees are not collected and regular maintenance is not performed.

What is the weather like?

Cape Scott Provincial Park is located within a temperate rainforest on northwest Vancouver Island. Typically, the best time for hiking in Cape Scott Provincial Park is during the summer, from April through October.

During the summer, temperatures range from around 17 C in the days and down to 9C at night. Rainfall is usually limited to intermittent showers but can be considerable and should always be expected. During the winter, temperatures range between 9C during the day and down to around 2C at night. Precipitation is high during the winter and winds are strong. Consider the weather when planning for your trip and pack accordingly.

Is it safe?

Cape Scott Park is managed by the Province of British Columbia as a backcountry park. Hiking in the park is safe, providing visitors respect their surroundings and are properly prepared.

While the park is a remote wilderness area, emergency assistance may be available. During the summer, Park Facility Operators and BC Parks Rangers work in the park and have training to assist in emergency situations. The Lighthouse at Cape Scott is also staffed 365 days of the year. See Plan & Prepare for more information.

Who is 43K Wilderness Solutions and why are they promoting this park?

43K is a local Vancouver Island company specializing in park operations, remote facility design and construction and project management. We have been working in Cape Scott Park since 2005 and we built the North Coast Trail. 43K works with BC Parks to promote Cape Scott and our goal is to bring more people to the park so they can experience BC's wild coast and learn more about our natural environment. We believe that the more time people spend in the wilderness, the more they will understand, respect and ultimately help to conserve our natural environments.

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