This is a remote coastal backpacking tour on Nootka Island with beautiful beaches, fewer hikers, an interesting history, and a fabulous assortment of mammal, bird and marine wildlife. The Nootka Island backpacking trip offers a wide variety of terrain and scenery, packed into a fun and challenging 43 km's of classic coastal hiking.
You will take a float plane from Gold River to our access point at Starfish Lagoon on Nootka Island. You will experience amazing sandy beaches, interesting sandstone formations and true old growth rainforest. You finish our journey at Yuquot or Friendly Cove where Captain Cook first made contact. The group will visit the local First Nations family, the historic church and the coast guard lighthouse. The area around Nootka Island is believed to have been inhabited for thousands of years. There is evidence to suggest that human presence at Yuquot at Friendly Cove dates back at least 4,000 years.
The area’s inhabitants were first called Nootka by James Cook in 1778. As was the case when cultures with different languages met, communication was reduced to gestures and drawings, which were often misinterpreted. Although there is some debate over the origin of the term “nootka”, the best guess is that it comes from “nootk-sitl” meaning to go around or make a circuit. It probably was used by the inhabitants to indicate that Nootka was an island, and not to their name. The people who claim Nootka Island and who maintain a presence at Yuquot are the Mowachaht (“place where the deer come from”).