The North Coast Trail, located inside Cape Scott Provincial Park on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, is a 43.1 km (26.7 mile) hiking route that is considered by many to be one of the best in the world. Rugged and remote, it is a beautiful but challenging trek which my friend Rick McCharles of BestHike.com says is not so much a hike but a backcountry adventure.
Rick recently hiked the entire length of the NCT and shared the experience on the Best Hike Blog, which is always a great site for finding new trails to explore all over the world. Rick begins his initial post on the North Coast Trail by calling it “paradise” but goes on to explain why it is certainly not for everyone. He notes that the trail is so challenging at points that some groups manage a pace of just 1km (.6 miles) per hour! That’s a pretty brutal pace and far from a stroll in the park. In typical Best Hike fashion, he then goes on to share logistical information for the trek, listing options for hiking this beautiful beast.
Most hikers who take on the NCT make a 7-day/6-night excursion along its length. After giving us his initial introduction, in his second North Coast Trail post Rick breaks down each of those days and tells prospective backpackers what to expect. He also shares plenty of great video and photos from along the way, helping to further prepare visitors to the trail.
For hikers looking for a remote wilderness adventure, it seems this is a fantastic option. Wildlife abounds, including wolves and bears, and the scenery is simply spectacular. Rick encountered a great deal of mud along the trail, which helps account for some of the slow progress at points, but overall he loved the experience, which involved walks along the shore, treks deep into the forest and a trail that wanders up, over and around some very beautiful places.
Check out his full trip report for more information. Then start making plans to hike this trail yourself.
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