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Boat ride out to Shushartie Bay. We saw an otter on the way out, but I didn't get a photo.

(Part 1 - North Coast Trail Section)

After completing the West Coast Trail (WCT) two years ago I'd always wanted to go back and complete another coastal hike. I cannot remember how I heard about the North Coast Trail (NCT), but the fact that it had far less people hiking on it every day was very appealing. It was also advertised as more rugged and wild than the older WCT. During the previous winter I decided it was time to go back to Victoria island and complete this trail (rather than say, the Juan de Fuca or the Nootka which I will most likely do in the years to come).

To get to the trail head for the NCT it is necessary to take a shuttle boat from Port Hardy, which then on the way back makes it necessary to take the shuttle bus back from the Cape Scott trail head. These costs (depending on how many people are booked on the days you are going) make this trip somewhat similar in cost to hiking the WCT, even though the actual trail fees are much cheaper ($10/day/person). I had booked the shuttles beforehand, but the actual trail does not need to be booked because currently there is always plenty of space.

The day we were driving up to Port Hardy it poured rain for about an hour or two. I was worried it would do so the next day, but we were lucky it did not. This was after a long dry spell in weather on the island. The weather forecast wasn't too great, but not terrible. It looked like we would probably have a good trip (nice enough weather and relatively dry trail).

The shuttle boat leaves at 8am and takes about half an hour to get to Shushartie Bay, where there is no dock and you must get off the boat by stepping onto rocks along the coast. This was relatively easy for us, so personally I don't see need of a dock here. Then the boat leaves and your only option to get back to civilization (besides calling for rescue) is to start hiking.

Day 1 - July 13, 2015 - Shushartie Bay to Skinner Creek

This day was mostly overcast with only light rain for about an hour. It was completely inland.