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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-09-2017, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Default Nootka Trail

I'm wondering if anyone has recent info on the condition of the Nootka trail. I would also like comparisons between it and the North coast trail.
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 04:09 PM
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I have only done from Shuttleworth Bight to the Cape Scott trailhead...

Nootka is easier. The beachwalking can be gravelly and bouldery like North Coast, but the inland sections tend to be easier. Minor scrambling, 2 spots where you use ropes to go up steep areas but not too difficult (I can free-climb the tougher). Lagoon to the first beach is the toughest, 45 minutes worth, where you may crawl on hands and knees through the mud, but it's a pretty short section and none of the other short inland sections are swampy (usually decent trail). Nothing as bad as the swamp around Nahwitti Cone (Laura Creek to Nissen Bight). Mostly beachwalking for most of the trek. Short days, and the beaches are nicest at the north end.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lythe View Post
I have only done from Shuttleworth Bight to the Cape Scott trailhead...

Nootka is easier. The beachwalking can be gravelly and bouldery like North Coast, but the inland sections tend to be easier. Minor scrambling, 2 spots where you use ropes to go up steep areas but not too difficult (I can free-climb the tougher). Lagoon to the first beach is the toughest, 45 minutes worth, where you may crawl on hands and knees through the mud, but it's a pretty short section and none of the other short inland sections are swampy (usually decent trail). Nothing as bad as the swamp around Nahwitti Cone (Laura Creek to Nissen Bight). Mostly beachwalking for most of the trek. Short days, and the beaches are nicest at the north end.
Thank you. From what I've read there aren't any pit toilets. I'm wondering if there is a mess of toilet paper like I've seen in so many places without facilities or are there designated places to do your business.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-15-2017, 08:30 PM
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No designated areas, you are supposed to go below the high tide line and bury it. Less people makes this easier to do than a crowded beach. No actual outhouses (not counting a derelict one at an old surfer shack). I usually take a lighter along, and burn my TP on the spot before I bury it all. There are vacation homes along a small stretch and the owners will ask you not to go in the woods as previous hikers have left a mess. Also be prepared to hang your food at every stop.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2017, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lythe View Post
No designated areas, you are supposed to go below the high tide line and bury it. Less people makes this easier to do than a crowded beach. No actual outhouses (not counting a derelict one at an old surfer shack). I usually take a lighter along, and burn my TP on the spot before I bury it all. There are vacation homes along a small stretch and the owners will ask you not to go in the woods as previous hikers have left a mess. Also be prepared to hang your food at every stop.
Thanks
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 03:17 PM
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Hey guys, I'm thinking about doing the Nootka Trail this summer. I see a lot of online posts saying that this is a 5-6 day hike. This seems a little excessive for only 36 kms. We did the North Coast Trail last year in 7 days and that's more than double the distance and from what I've been told, harder as well. We definitely aren't planning on speed hiking it and want to take it somewhat easy but 3-4 days seems like it would be more than enough. Any recommendations on how long to book for? Thanks.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 05:34 PM
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Hi @ChubbyTuna, I just spoke with the owner of Shorebird Expeditions water taxi and she told me that the North Coast Trail was "a walk in the park" compared to the Nootka Trail (I hiked the North Coast Trail in April 2017 over 5 days and I'm not sure I believe her). Anyways, I expressed that I was thinking of doing the Nootka trail over 3 days and she told me that she's never heard of anyone who wasn't running it to complete it in under 3.5 days and she encouraged me to extend my itinerary to at least 4 days. Hope that helps. I am heading over at the beginning of August (probably August 1st or 2nd) and am looking for more folks to split the water taxi ride with. Message me if you're interested!
Cheers
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Last edited by thea; 05-11-2019 at 07:03 PM.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 07:14 PM
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Hi @ChubbyTuna, I just spoke with the owner of Shorebird Expeditions water taxi and she told me that the North Coast Trail was "a walk in the park" compared to the Nootka Trail (I hiked the North Coast Trail in April 2017 over 5 days and I'm not sure I believe her). Anyways, I expressed that I was thinking of doing the Nootka trail over 3 days and she told me that she's never heard of anyone who wasn't running it to complete it in under 3.5 days and she encouraged me to extend my itinerary to at least 4 days. Hope that helps. I am heading over at the beginning of August (probably August 1st or 2nd) and am looking for more folks to split the water taxi ride with. Message me if you're interested!
Cheers
Hey Thea, we did the North Coast Trail in September of 2017. It would be nice to split the cost with others to bring the price down. I'll ask my friends but I think they are planning for end of August, beginning of September due to how busy they are at work with fire season. Most of the reports that I've read say that the North Coast Trail is harder and I don't see it getting much more difficult than the almost 9 kms of knee deep mud we went through at one point. Have you looked into the cost of a seaplane vs water taxi? I've just started researching costs today so I haven't compared yet.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 02:26 AM
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I think we took 5-6 days for Nootka, including 1 rest day, and the first day was kind of a rest day too, just 45 minutes from where the float plane dropped us off to the beach we camped at (but the nastiest muddiest 45 minutes of the entire hike). I also think it was just right, could even have been longer (though we had nice weather). It is more of a relax and enjoy hike than a grind. But Nootka is definitely the walk in the park, kind of compares with Shuttleworth to Nissen Bight section of the North Coast
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Lythe View Post
I think we took 5-6 days for Nootka, including 1 rest day, and the first day was kind of a rest day too, just 45 minutes from where the float plane dropped us off to the beach we camped at (but the nastiest muddiest 45 minutes of the entire hike). I also think it was just right, could even have been longer (though we had nice weather). It is more of a relax and enjoy hike than a grind. But Nootka is definitely the walk in the park, kind of compares with Shuttleworth to Nissen Bight section of the North Coast
Thanks Lythe. I've got some research to do but I think we'll probably plan for 5 days... 1 day in, 3 days to hike and 1 day out. I guess it would be weather dependent as well for float planes and boats possibly not being able to make it in due to weather/fog.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 07-29-2019, 04:44 PM
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We did Nootka Trail at the very end of June and early July (Canada Day!) last year. We did it in 4 days, 3 nights. We never felt rushed at all - each day we had plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful beaches we decide to camp on. It is a spectacular hike - I would love to do it again one day.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 02-24-2020, 09:01 PM
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The Nootka Island coastal hike is the easiest I've done. Whoever said that this is much harder than the NCT is quite misinformed. From lagoon to Yuquot is a comfortable three days. Maquinna Pt is really nice but you need to be a bit adventurous as there and handlines to go down and explore and is recommended. Maquinna Pt more reminiscent of the WCT. The hike is mostly a trudge and we got a little bored and kinda missed those sections of hard/technical inland hiking to break things up. First beach has some great marine life to investigate, Calvin Falls is nice, Maquinna Pt is great, and the tidal lagoon has some great marine life. Surfer shack a little too grimy for us. History of Yuquot Pt/Friendly Cove is worth the time and you can camp there. Honestly, my two daughters said the float plane ride and starfish in Louie Bay Lagoon were the best and they preferred the NCT/WCT. Note that a leisurely day to us is 6-8hrs. Lythe's posts are accurate. That first 45min is your typical rugged coastal bushwack. Did have a bear stroll by and a wolf follow so that was cool. Also note that going to the radar station requires an extra day for sure. So 4 days including the radar station area would be comfortable for us.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 04-27-2020, 11:25 PM
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You may want to check with the people at Air Nootka or the people that run the Uchuck ship out there. With the whole Covid 19 crisis going on right now, I was talking with Air nootka while booking a drop off this summer, they advised that the first nations communities won't be allowing hikers to pass through both on the Nootka and Hesquiat Trail. Hopefully this changes with the easing of Provincial restrictions.

“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
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 06-23-2020, 12:00 AM
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Was wondering exactly the same thing. Any recent intel on whether the trails of Nootka and Hesquiat are open for backpacking mid-July?

Every journey begins with one small step.
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 06-23-2020, 11:44 AM
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I spoke with Air Nootka last week. They advised to check BC Parks daily regarding the Hesquiat. It is still currently under a full closure, and they aren't flying people out there (yet). They said to reach out again in July to see if there are any changes, but at the moment, Hesquiat is still a no go.

Regarding Nootka, they advised that they are flying people to Louie Lagoon, and picking up roughly 1 KM from Friendly Cove, as they said the First Nations did not want anyone travelling through, so you can still hike the Nootka, but you won't be able to see the church, lighthouse etc in Friendly Cove.

They did sell me on the Tatchu trail, which looks absolutely stunning, and is about ~35KM including a 10KM slog on a logging road. They suggest doing it in 4-6 days. It is quite remote and rugged.
It is primarily on crown land, with a couple of sections crossing through First Nations territory, but they are flying people out to Port Eliza, and picking up at Rugged point.

I would suggest reaching out to Air Nootka, they are a great resource and wealth of information regarding those coastal hikes.
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“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
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