Hiking Nootka Trail
Just back from a trip with a guest on the Nootka trail.
Trail is actually ''busy'' but never enough to cause issues at campsites.
Trail conditions are optimal right now..
The cutoffs trails through coastal rain forest are mostly dry, well marked but highly overgrown. This trail keeps it's standing as being wild and challenging.
The only section of trail that is not marked accurately is the first km from Louie Lagoon drop off to Third beach. Use caution when following the orange markers. Once at the creekbed, we followed a fainted trail leading us off to the south part of Third beach. This section of trail is HIGHLY OVERGROWN and makes for very challenging and slow hiking. Note that it is the worst and slowest section.
That being said, most of the hiking being along the beach it is all pretty cruisy and enjoyable. Even though some sections (read pea gravel) are tiring, travelling at low tide has proven to ease the walking... by far. Lower tide allow you to walk on bigger, more stable rocks and even, on concrete like rocky beach.
Right now, tides are easy to manage and kind of well timed with a normal hiking day. Make sure to get the table before you go.
Weather was just perfect on the Island.
Temperatures ranging from 11 degrees early morning to 25 at lunch time. Hot and sweaty days under the blasting sun,.
Isolated fog patches were actually a relieve when hiking long days along the Coast.
Lots of signs of wildlife activity.
Bears and wolves are very present on the trail. Did not get to see any wolves but fresh tracks of a pack strolling on the beach kept things reall! Seems to me that they are used to humans and manage to stay away from busy camps.
On the 2nd section of trail, south of Beano creek, many creeks and water sources are dry or running low. Make sure to plan accordingly. Relying on John Baldwin's map allowed us to plan well and to not let oursevles run dry.
Overall, the Nootka trail is a great journey and July is prime time to enjoy it!
Worth mentionning that Air Nootka has been very helpful, flexible and no matter what, timely!
Cheers you all and happy trails!
ACMG Hiking guide