Hiking 1-2 days

Take these hikes not just as a means of reaching your destination, but to experience the rugged beauty that is revealed with each remarkable step. On Vancouver Island North, one doesn’t so much hike as one goes on an expedition. Not so much a visitor as an explorer. At every turn, there’s opportunity to uncover another hidden passage and reveal long-forgotten treasures. Serving up every type of terrain you can imagine, Vancouver Island North offers rocky shorelines and sandy beaches, mountain passes and cliffside trails with views that plunge into the Pacific.

Travel to Vancouver Island North
Day 01
Day 02
Additional Activities
Day 01
For a truly unique west coast experience, head past the community of Holberg, accessed by gravel logging road from Port Hardy. Look for signs to Raft Cove or Cape Scott Provincial Parks. The trail to Raft Cove is a moderately challenging 2.5 km hike, leading through the coastal rainforest out to a white sand cove and the open Pacific Ocean. Soft sand and breaking waves welcome hikers at Raft Cove. A well-groomed path from the Cape Scott Park trailhead leads hikers 2.5 km, on a relatively easy gravel surface, out to the wide, sandy beach of San Josef Bay. At low tide, walk between the sea stacks at the north end of the first beach at San Josef Bay and connect to the second beach (a more challenging high-tide trail crosses the bluff, but exploration at low tide is recommended).
Check out Day 02
Day 02
Whale watching day tour duration ranges from 2 – 5 hours. Daily scheduled departures from Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill, Alder Bay, or Port Hardy.
Members of a population of some 285 fish-eating orcas known as the “Northern Residents” are often in the area in pursuit of salmon. The more stealthy marine mammal-eating population of killer whales known as “Transients” are also often hunting in the area. Humpback whales are back from the brink of extinction and are now spotted with increasing frequency.
Vancouver Island North sightseeing crews operate with respect, ensuring safe, sustainable encounters that serve the whales and the sightseers in equal measure. Captains closely adhere to “Be Whale Wise” guidelines that dictate boats stay at least 100 meters away from any whales. That’s not to say these remarkable mammals won’t make a memorable encounter on their own terms.
Check out Day 01
Additional Activities
  • If you’re heading west, be sure to stop at the Shoe Tree on the eastern end of Kains Lake, this old cedar snag is covered with hundreds of shoes contributed by visitors
  • Learn about biology, habitat needs and threats to local marine mammals at the Whale Interpretive Centre in Telegraph Cove
  • You will be struck immediately by Telegraph Cove’s charm, dig into the roots of this place by touring historic boardwalk
Getting here & Getting around
The North Island may feel like a remote destination, but it’s certainly not a challenge to get here. With a fully paved highway leading you North, to daily flights and multiple ferry options, you have your pick of ways to travel! Visit the Getting Here page to learn about getting around in Vancouver Island North.
Waivin’ Flags Taxi & Bus Service
Town Taxi
Pacific Coastal Airlines
North Coast Trail Shuttle
National Car and Truck Rentals
Mount Waddington Regional Transit
Drive BC – Provincial Highway Information
Cape Scott Water Taxi
Budget Rent-a-Car
BC Ferries
View On Google Maps
Explore Vancouver Island North
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