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Coastal backpacking trip on Nootka Island, British Columbia | CA-SSE702

This is a remote coastal backpacking tour on Nootka Island with beautiful beaches, fewer hikers, interesting history


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.


  • Nootka Island
  • Beaches
  • Mammal, bird and marine wildlife
  • Gold River
  • Starfish Lagoon
  • Calvin Falls

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”).

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Local Guides
  • Small group
Availability Jun - Sept
Duration 6 days
Departs From Vancouver, BC
Difficulty Moderate / Challenging
Group maximum 10
Minimum age 10
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No


1 316
Per Adult
    • Best Price Guarantee
    • Toll Free number in N. America: +1 888 285 1676
    • International number: +1 780 414 1676

Availability & Prices* (2022):
$1895 CAD/person
June 6-11
July 8-13

*Pricing does not include:
- 5.00% GST [Federal Tax]

What's Included

Find out what is included and what to bring.


  • Meals/snacks/beverages while on the expedition
  • Charter flights or water taxi
  • Camping fees
  • Cooking gear
  • Camp stoves
  • Tents
  • Meal preparations
  • Tarps
  • Major first aid supplies
  • Emergency radio or satellite phone
  • Accommodation in tent campsites along the route

Suggested Clothing

  • Clothing suited to a variety of temperatures and weather conditions
  • Rain gear
  • Hat
  • Warm socks
  • Hiking boots
  • Sneakers
  • Swim suit
  • Towel

What to bring

  • Warm sleeping bag (required) *Rentals are available
  • Sleeping pad (required) *Rentals are available
  • Backpack (required) *Rentals are available
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Daypack
  • Canteen
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

Contact us for more Information about this tour


You can also send an email to, or use the contact form here below.


Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


Guide information: Two guides per tour, each with wilderness first aid certification.  Your guides have many years of experience in the outdoors and are experts in the activity they lead.  They are also familiar with the natural and cultural history of the area and committed to your satisfaction and safety.

Restrictions: Moderate level of fitness is recommended.  Be prepared to carry packs of at least 40 pounds. This tour has long hiking days a variety of different terrain and off-trail hiking.

Transportation: Trips originate and end in Vancouver, British Columbia. Transportation between Vancouver and the trailhead is included.

Weather: Average summer temperatures are between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.

This morning we will pick you up from your accommodations in the Comox Valley and bring you to our base of operations where final pack checks and equipment are sorted out. Next we have a 2-3 hour drive to the west coast of Vancouver Island and the community of Gold River. After arrival in Gold River, we will immediately fly by floatplane to Louie Bay on Nootka Island. Our pilot usually flies us over Friendly Cove, the end of our hike, and along the stretch of coast we will be hiking for a bird’s-eye view of our journey. After landing in Louie Bay, a short hike will bring us to the west coast of Nootka Island and our first campsite on a beautiful sandy beach.

Today's hike is a full day with a wide variety of rain forest and beaches, from sand to small boulders, forming our path. Our goal is Calvin Falls, a fantastic spot to enjoy on a warm day. This is our longest day km wise at approx. 14km's.

Beano Creek is our destination today. Beano often has a perfect swimming hole to enjoy after a day of hiking. We will cover approx. 11km's today.

Today's hike will be dictated by the weather and how the group is feeling. We might take a short day to Callicum Creek or push on past Maquinna Point towards Friendly Cove. We could cover anywhere from 3-12 km's today.

This is the day we will designate as our lay-over day. We might in fact use this lay-over at any point during the journey. Every campground offers a good excuse to slow down and get our bodies attuned to "Island Time".

We will arrive at the village of Yuquot and Friendly Cove before noon. Yuquot is the traditional village of the Mowachaht who have lived in the region for over 4000 years. Spain and England alternately occupied the area. It was during Cook’s third voyage around the world in 1778 that he was forced to make repairs to his vessels in Nootka Sound. In recognition of the friendliness accorded him and his crew, he named the area Friendly Cove.

Of special interest here are the lighthouse and the elegant little church with spire that rises above the surrounding brambles. The church is no longer used for services because of the relocation of the Mowachaht to Gold River, but serves as a museum of replica houseposts.

In the late morning we will be returned to Gold River by floatplane. We will lunch in Gold River or Campbell River before returning to Nanaimo to catch an early evening ferry back to the mainland. We should arrive at the ferry terminal by late afternoon with the intent to catch the 5:55pm ferry back to Horseshoe Bay. A private charter will be waiting to take you back to the Accent Inn where you will likely arrive around 8:30pm.

Payment Details

Deposit and taxes
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
A 30% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.

A non-refundable deposit of 30% of the trip fee is required to hold your reservation. The balance of the fee is due 60 days prior to the commencement date of the trip. As a significant portion of our trip costs is already committed well in advance of each trip, there is no refund after 60 days. If payment is not received when due, we reserve the right to treat the reservation as canceled. We will refund both deposit [less a small administrative fee] and the full balance of payment if we can replace your spot with another participant, less any non-refundable amounts of money from third-party deposits. Cancellation notice must be received in writing.