Hiking Nootka Island

The Nootka Trail is what the West Coast Trail was before it became famous.


Hiking Nootka Island

A worthy successor to the West Coast Trail, rainforest, exposed coast, wildlife, First Nation artifacts and stunning scenery.  8 Days/7 Nights $2195 (per person).  Available any dates with two or more people.

A guided hike backpacking the Nootka Trail along the west coast of Nootka Island. Long sand beaches, crashing surf, sea otters, whales, bears and wolves. Old growth rainforest and pebble beaches and First Nations culture.

The challenging backpack route along Nootka Island’s west coast is 40 kilometres long and begins with a magnificent float plane flight. Leaving from the harbour at Gold River, enjoy aerial views of Nootka Island and the sound, preview the hiking trail and watch the waves break against the shore, before being dropped at the trailhead.

From here one of Strathcona Park Lodge’s guides will lead you through long sections of beach and old growth rainforest. Keep an eye peeled for beach booty treasures, black bears, wolves, whales and sea otters. Enjoy the beautiful waterfall at Crawfish campsite and the amazing viewpoint from Maquinna Point. The tiny community of Yuquot, dots the shoreline with it’s 200 year old white church.

Daily hiking distances on the Nootka Trail are 5 to 15 kilometres with a 20 to 30 pound pack. The route ranges from flat sand to boulders to rough trail; high cut hiking boots are a must.

The Nootka Trail will inspire you with it’s long beaches and tidal flats, rocky headlands, rainforest trails, creek crossings, stunning coves and incredible views along the rugged coast.

Includes: accommodation (double occupancy), meals and out-trip food (from dinner on arrival day through breakfast on departure day), tents (two-person), transportation within the package, instruction and guiding services of an experienced outdoor leader(s).

Group size is a maximum of eight. Clients will be sent an equipment list and a medical/liability form prior to arrival.

All prices are in Canadian dollars, per person (based on double occupancy), and subject to applicable taxes.

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Day 1

Arrive at Strathcona Park Lodge between 4:00-5:00 pm. Relax, settle into your room... go for a refreshing swim in the lake. At 5:00, meet your instructor and group. After dinner receive pack, provisions, and instruction for the trek.

Day 2

Breakfast at 7:30. Depart by Lodge transport to Gold River where you will be flown by Air Nootka's seaplane to Starfish Lagoon at the north end of Nootka Island. Hike to your first camp located on an open Pacific Ocean beach. (Approximately 1 hour)

Day 3

Hike the beach to where the beautiful Calvin Creek tumbles into the ocean. Swim above and below the waterfall or play in the ocean waves. (Approximately 6.5 hours hiking)

Day 4

Today's destination is Bajo Reef, a perfect place to examine the rich sea life amongst the kelp in pristine tidal pools. Watch for the colony of sea otters playing in the kelp. Flocks of sandpipers and oyster catchers (birds) roam the shoreline for their dinners. (Approximately 2 hours hiking)

Day 5

Our camping spot is close to Beano Creek where you will be rewarded with a refreshing dip. The smooth pebbles are not only comfortable to sleep on, but provide hours of sorting entertainment. (Approximately 4 hours hiking)

Day 6

The most strenuous day as you traverse the rugged headlands of Maquinna Point and camp near there at a tidal lagoon 1.5 hrs west of Yuquot (Friendly Cove). (Approximately 8 hours hiking)

Day 7

Enjoy a short, pleasant hike to Yuquot (Friendly Cove - about 1.5 hrs), the historic landing site where Chief Maquinna and the Nu-chah-nulth people welcomed the first Europeans, including Captain Cook. Visit the Catholic church where there is an exhibit of First Nations and European history. Visit the adjacent lighthouse, one of the few still manned, and one of the most stunning on the BC coast. The keepers are most receptive and hospitable people. Walk the beautiful polished pebble beaches, swim in the small fresh water lake, and between June and mid August, visit a First Nations Master carver at work in his carving shed on the beach. Board the working vessel M.V.Uchuck III for the voyage to Gold River. After pick up by Lodge vehicle arrive back at SPL by 5:00 pm, in time for a swim and sauna before dinner.

Day 8

Hearty breakfast and depart by 11:00 am

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Trip Duration

8 Days/7 Nights


Any dates possible with 2 or more people

Special Notes

Trip must start on a Sunday or Tuesday to coincide with the MV Uchuck schedule.