backpacking
20 days ago

Hiked this trail Easter Weekend 2018 (and many times prior). We did the traditional hike - day 1 hiked to Nels Bight (about 17k and 5-7 hours) and made camp there, then day 2 hiked to the lighthouse (about 7k and 2 hours each way plus the extra time you’ll want to check out all the interesting finds) at Cape Scott with a day pack (the keepers served up coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts for Easter - nice treat), and hiked back out on day 3.

The trail is muddy year-round, just a matter of how muddy depends on the recent weather. Wear gators and good boots. There is a good bit of boardwalk which can be slippery so nano-spikes over the boots are helpful too.

Other highlights:
There are wolf tracks on the beach almost every morning (definitely leave dogs at home) though I’ve not seen them yet myself at Nels. There are lots of black bears in the park too. Neither of these animals should be feared but do ensure you are aware of what to do if you encounter one and keep your food cached.

The ranger cabin at Nels is available in the off-session (mid September to end of May) on a first-come-first-serve basis and is almost always shared with other campers. Be sure to treat it with utmost respect so it continues to be available to the public.

Every time I reach Nels Bight it’s like the angels sing - it’s that beautiful! The whole park is one of the most amazing places I’ve been. Enjoy!

5 months ago

Completed this trail August 2017. Great trail, plenty of boardwalk and mud if it's wet. Not a simple walk in, plenty of up and over roots and rock etc.

backpacking
7 months ago

What a beautiful spot on North Vancouver Island. Trails are easy as long as it is dry,but as I have been told they are usually not. We lucked out with a nice dry trip only finding a few mud pits to get round. The trail was also variable in terms of what you were walking on. Boardwalk, roots, rocks, mud, old boardwalk and gravel sections make up the trails.

We did 4 nights, the first at San Josef Bay, second and third nights at Nels bight. 3rd day we hiked out to the light house and down a very rough trail to the water from the helicopter pad. When we asked the lighthouse keeper about the trail down he called it "interesting". Trees down and steep path with rope to assist but it was worth the trek down. 4th night was spent at Eric lake so we could make a quick exit in the morning on the last day.

Good trail from those new to backpacking however you must be 100% self sufficient.