NCT v.s. Nootka Trail - ClubTread Community

User Tag List

 3Likes
  • 1 Post By happiestoutdoors
  • 1 Post By pdomansky
  • 1 Post By Tatlow
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: , AB, Canada.
Interest: Backpacking, trail running, spending time with my wife, kids, and dog.
Posts: 1,294
Default NCT v.s. Nootka Trail

Hi - I am looking for some perspective from those who have completed the NCT and / or the Nootka Trail. Pros / Cons. Recommendations. I have trekked the WCT several times and want to try something different. My concern with the Nootka Trail is that I may find the experience too short given the distance. Thanks,
FamilyGuy is offline  
Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 06:59 PM
Headed for the Mountains
 
russellcoffin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 232
Default

Definitely do the North Coast Trail!! I completed it this summer with my dad and it was one of the best experiences. Took us 4 nights, 5 days and every single day was a completely new experience. From what I have heard, the NCT is similar to the WCT, except way less maintained and much fewer people. The complete isolation from getting dropped off by the water taxi is awesome, and the first day is a good challenge. Words can't really describe the trail, but believe me it was phenomenal! Also do it in August when there is less rain and more sun! Here's my video of the trip

Last edited by russellcoffin; 01-21-2017 at 07:00 PM. Reason: typo
russellcoffin is offline  
post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 08:53 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: ALBANY, OR, USA.
Interest: SEA KAYAKING HIKING FISHING
Posts: 801
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyGuy View Post
Hi - I am looking for some perspective from those who have completed the NCT and / or the Nootka Trail. Pros / Cons. Recommendations. I have trekked the WCT several times and want to try something different. My concern with the Nootka Trail is that I may find the experience too short given the distance. Thanks,
Do the Nootka as a YOYO and avoid the shuttle, experience the greatness of the ocean twice in one trip. The hike is never the same, different tide, different animals, different weather. I've done it as a yoyo twice, once starting from the north after seakayaking in, and then again taking the boat from Gold River out to Yuoquot. The NCT is quite excellent as well but different.
alpalmer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 05:08 AM
Off the Beaten Path
 
happiestoutdoors's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Raincouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Posts: 869
Default

I have done both and I have to say while Nootka is short, it's a much nicer hiker. Way more remote, way more beach time (and almost no inland time).

I honestly didn't love the NCT at all. I don't have a trip report up about the NCT, but my nootka one is here: https://happiestoutdoors.ca/nootka-trail-trip-report/

However, part of the reason I didn't love the NCT is because we had terrible weather and we went when the trail was brand new so it was almost unfinished and the mud and marshes were epic - if you think the WCT can get muddy, this was on a whole other level.

Nootka is a lot of beach walking while the NCT is a lot of inland then into a pocket cove, then back inland - travel is was veeerry slow on the NCT.

I'm happy to answer any questions you have about either.
alpalmer likes this.
happiestoutdoors is offline  
post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-22-2017, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: , AB, Canada.
Interest: Backpacking, trail running, spending time with my wife, kids, and dog.
Posts: 1,294
Default

Thanks all - this is great!
FamilyGuy is offline  
post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 01:41 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
pdomansky's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Surrey, BC, Canada.
Interest: Getting outside in any capacity.
Posts: 589
Default

I have already made travel arrangements with Air nootka/Uchuck boat to do the Nootka trail this summer with my wife and 11 year old son between July 3-8. Looking forward to it, been on my bucket list for too many years.
alpalmer likes this.

“Real adventure is defined best as a journey from which you may not come back alive, and certainly not as the same person.” - Yvon Chouinard
pdomansky is offline  
post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
High on the Mountain Top
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: , AB, Canada.
Interest: Backpacking, trail running, spending time with my wife, kids, and dog.
Posts: 1,294
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpalmer View Post
Do the Nootka as a YOYO and avoid the shuttle, experience the greatness of the ocean twice in one trip. The hike is never the same, different tide, different animals, different weather. I've done it as a yoyo twice, once starting from the north after seakayaking in, and then again taking the boat from Gold River out to Yuoquot. The NCT is quite excellent as well but different.
I like this idea, actually. If one flies in can a boat be chartered to pick you up in the same spot? Or does one take the boat in and just charter them to pick you up? I assume the latter is what you did. Thanks again,
FamilyGuy is offline  
post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 03:36 PM
Off the Beaten Path
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: ALBANY, OR, USA.
Interest: SEA KAYAKING HIKING FISHING
Posts: 801
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyGuy View Post
I like this idea, actually. If one flies in can a boat be chartered to pick you up in the same spot? Or does one take the boat in and just charter them to pick you up? I assume the latter is what you did. Thanks again,
I just bought a ticket, both ways, on the MV Uchuck III. http://www.getwest.ca/

Their schedule goes into Yuquot on Wednesday and Saturday. So it gives the hiker 6+ days to go up and back. Granted you are tied to their schedule and if you miss you stay another three days but I didn't feel that pushed by the timeframe. But if you fly in and then boat back, that could work too. I did not use a private charter. I was hiking solo.
alpalmer is offline  
post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 04:03 PM
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: West Vancouver, BC
Posts: 6
Default

Haven't done the Nootka but on my list for this summer. Completed NCT twice. Have done the WCT/JDFMT/North Wilderness Coast also. Most people I've talked to that have completed the WCT are hesitant to go on the NCT. They think it is 'harder', 'ropes instead of ladders', etc. Really the more technical sections are similar to the WCT but overall the hike is easier mainly because the hike is shorter. The WCT has much more challenging terrain. The further west you get the easier it gets on the NCT. I talked with a guy who did the WCT 16 times and who wouldn't do the NCT because he thought it was harder. I don't get it at all. Just look at a map and it is obvious.

Why I like the NCT:
-Less $$ Total about $300/person for all costs from my house and back (WVan).
-Easier shuttle
-Less people
-Fantastic beaches
-No reservations except for water taxi/shuttle. Both times on taxi we've seen whales/porpoises.
-Lots of coast hiking... more than WCT in my opinion. I know one of the replies in this thread says not enough but really there are some long stretches and hiking the wide beaches is really nice.
-More remote feel.
-Anything goes pretty much; I don't like the idea of the Parks Canada additional requirements even though I understand why.
-More wildlife fer sure
-Lots of tidal pools along the hike so take the time to investigate

Advice on NCT:
-If starting from Shushartie combine the typical 2nd and 3rd days as one as shown on NCT map. Get the hard stuff out of the way.
-From Shushartie camp at Nahwitti to maximize distance. I like Skinner Cr but trade for the extra mileage.
-You can skip the first cable car and cut across and save some time if low tide. rocks very slippery. look at your map and you can see why.
-Don't skip Nels Bight/Cape Scott area
-There is less fresh water on the hike believe it or not so plan accordingly
-Not a fan of Cape Sutil because of the water issue
-I bring my canyoning gloves for the ropes and other scrambles. You know the blue rubber on the palm/stretchy material on the back from the hardware store. Work well wet. To me this is a safety issue with the ropes, especially the last big one.
-no surge channels and i'm not sure you can get stopped by the tides on the hike.
-Same amount of mud as the WCT so plan accordingly.
-Overall the WCT has more interesting and challenging terrain/features. Hiking the sandstone shelves are so fun but the NCT has to be done at least once.
-The steeper pebble beaches are hard on light hiking shoes so I tend to take my mid-weight boots which I never like to hike in.

All in all if you add the NCT to the Cape Scott area you can easily get a solid 6-7 days in.

-M
Kanyunrat is offline  
post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 07:49 PM
Scaling New Heights
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mid Vancouver Island, Canada.
Interest: Backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, imitation jogging
Posts: 66
Default

Kanyaurat: Thank you for your interesting and extensive response. Like you I have yet to do Nootka but it is in the top 3 of my bucket list (and our group has it pencilled in as our 2018 feature hike). I will do the WCT for the 10th time this summer. Sometimes it has been great weather and sometimes...not so much. The NCT for me, but based on my only time doing it the first year it opened, was harder. I am going to do it as well this summer so I will have another chance to compare the two. What follows concerns only the North Coast Trail
- When we did it the first time, some of our group, those with shorter legs had trouble with the steps cut in logs etc.
- Some of the route was guess work but I expect now years later, it will be apparent. At one point, three groups converged and all of us were off the track apparently
- Tides held us up twice. It was a first time hiking with some in our group so we initially overestimated our pace and thus got pinched by tides
- Some of the ropes and headlands were challenging safety wise versus the mud baths the trail had in common with the WCT
- The biggest surprises were the need to carefully plan water sources and the steeply sloped beaches with rocks/large pebbles
- We covered it in 7 days opting to take a day off on day 4 (after the hard stuff had been done) and a day to read books, make a steam sauna, and generally bask in SUNSHINE. The sun was a nice surprise for sure.

It may seem simplistic, but I think all of these hikes, Nootka, WCT and NCT are worthy of at least one experience and the fact we are able to discuss them and compare them tells just how fortunate we are to have these fantastic options available to us.
Happy Trails
Trail Talk likes this.
Tatlow is offline  
post #11 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2017, 08:20 PM
Hittin' the Trails
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: West Vancouver, BC
Posts: 6
Default

Good comments and sounds like some similar experiences. Yes the water sources were an issue my first time but went back the next year and planned accordingly (Cape Sutil and Nissen). I don't see how you could ever get off trail now unless going by headlamp and cannot think of a location where tides would be an issue but maybe i was lucky. Didn't pull out the tide tables either trip. I always suggest a good lazy day at the beach. Makes it all worth it for sure. I don't see myself going back until I've done the rest of the coastal hikes on the island and Nootka next up.

Just a suggestion, put the Wilderness Coast hikes on your list. The guidebook for the coastal hikes has a very short write-up which makes me wonder if he actually did them... and may indicate that they are not as good as the others but, the hikes are completely on the coast. One 30min stretch of headlands is all. If was really fantastic and sometimes quite challenging as the hiking is right on the waters edge in some steep sections. Our group had done WCT/NCT/JDFMT and when done we were saying that it was one of our favorites. No bridges/no ladders/no boardwalks/no bear boxes and just a few ropes. Pretty wild even though in the National Park. Still has a crappy permit system but it is much less $$ for the permits. Long drive over to the Olympic Peninsula though. Some serious tide obstacles for sure.

-M
Kanyunrat is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome
 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1