Cape Scott Trail is a 29.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Mount Waddington B, British Columbia, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until September.

Length29.8 miElevation gain3,438 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingHikingBeachForestLakeViewsWildlifeBlowdownMuddyHistoric siteNo dogs
Description
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The beaches of Cape Scott Park are incredibly beautiful and well worth the hike in. The trail from the parking lot to Nels Bight and beyond to Cape Scott is fairly easy and fairly flat, though muddy year-round in spots. What gets most hikers are the sore and blistered feet from the pack weight and uneven ground. Be sure to wear good hiking footwear and take care of the blisters at the first sign of them. Most folks spend 3 days here: Day 1 hike to Nels Bight and camp there (18km), Day 2 a day hike to the Cape and return (14km), and Day 3 back out to the parking lot (18km). A day hike or overnight camping at San Josef Bay (3-4km from the parking lot) is an easy hike and over a well-groomed gravel trail. Camping fees apply for all overnight camping.

Food cache and outhouses(with toilet paper) are available at most campsites. Tent pads available at Eric Lake and Fisherman's river sites.

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Reviews (80)
Photos (88)
Recordings (39)
Completed (185)
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Leif M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 30, 2020
Hiking

Great trail. I did the north coast trail including cape Scott in the summer, I really enjoyed it. Yeah there was mud and swamps, bears and wolves, but they don’t want anything to do with us. I just hiked to Nissen bight/Fisherman bay yesterday solo and it was a blast. Lots of water and downed trees. No I didn’t have gaters or poles or big clunky boots! Lots of wool. Made for nice fast fun trip. 3:50 from nissen. Oh bridge is out at the dikes on the way to nels bight..... so turned back and went to Nissen.

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pugpanda ramsay
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Hiking
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Yumi Cho
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2020
BackpackingFeeGreat!Muddy
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Shea Godberson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
HikingBugsFeeGreat!Muddy

Great Hike went with Wife and 11 year old son and 8 year old daughter. a bit muddy nothing gaiters cant handle, fairly flat. We had success walking the 18km to Nels bight day one, then day two about 12-13 km to the lighthouse and back where light house staff were very friendly and informative. water source are fine a little brown but after running through sawyer filter tasted great! then 18km hike back day three to the parking lot. incredible history and neat landscapes.

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Philip Gebert
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 17, 2020
HikingBugsFloodedMuddy

Get excited for mud! It's a fun hike that you can do in one night if you're short on time, it's roughly 6-6.5hrs one way.

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Cyrus G
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
Hiking

I agree with others. I would just go to San Jo bay which is much shorter and has the beautiful rock stacks. Nels Bight and Cape Scott are nice but I don’t think it’s worth the incredible distance. We were fortunate to see a pod of grey whales at Nels Bight but I wouldn’t travel the distance hoping for that!

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Jenn L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
HikingMuddy

Do you like mud? Do you like puddles so wide and deep they could be classified as lakes? Do you enjoy getting sand in every nook and cranny? If so, go to Cape Scott and fill your boots (literally)! If not, the stunning beaches DO make up for the slog. Nissen is lovely and chill if you don't mind an extra-long day trip to the lighthouse (23+ km compared to 15ish from Nels), but be warned the water source is almost 1 km down the beach. Saw a HUGE bear at Guise and another group saw a pack of wolves near Fisherman's River - a big thank you to the kind hikers who stuck with me for safety. Expect mud the entire length of the trail except the hill up to the lighthouse. WEAR WATERPROOF BOOTS or you'll be sorry! Gaiters looked helpful. Poles also recommended. I thought I hated this hike and now I can't wait to go back!

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Sasha Luciw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020
CampingBridge outBugsGreat!MuddyWashed out

Stretch your legs before this one. I've had my share of difficult hikes but my feet were burning at the end. Regardless it's so worth it. First day hiked to our camp spot at Guise Bay which took us 6.25 hours. Quiter than Nels Bight and absolutely beautiful. No problem finding firewood. Short 1 hour long hike on the 2nd day to Cape Scott light house where you'll meet the quirky and friendly coast guard/light house keeper Todd. Fresh filtered water at the light house. Water sources are all creek based. We brought a water filter and aqua tabs which seemed to do the trick, colour always looks a bit dark. Only saw 1 bear from a distance, bring bear spray. 3rd day and our hike back we beat our record at 5.5 hours. Speedy hikers pushing ourselves otherwise you could take longer at a slower perhaps more enjoyable speed. LOADS of mud and plenty of uneven roots. Your feet will be screaming at some point. We went Labour long weekend and were blessed with 20 degree weather and sun, still lots of mud so be prepared for wet feet. If you hit up Guise Bay, walked across the sandy/gressy field to the opposing beach. I loved it here! Look forward to this hike again next summer.

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Mary-Anne Levson
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Hiking
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Rachel Douglas
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Walking
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Johanna Christine
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BackpackingBugsMuddyScramble

Challenging hike, laden with with insatiable beauty.

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Tylor Nelson
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Running
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David T
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Hiking
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Cassidy Chalk
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CampingBridge outBugsGreat!MuddyOver grownScrambleWashed out
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