Duration: 6 or 8 days

Level: Moderate

Min Group Size: 2

Max Group Size: 8


$1596 CAD + tax (6 days)

$1796 CAD + tax (8 Days)

2017 Dates (6 day trips in parentheses):

June 22 (23)

July 6 (7), 20 (21)

Aug 3 (4), 17 (18), 31 (Sept 1)

Departs From: Vancouver (downtown) and Nanaimo

Porters are available for this trip, see the Book Now page.

Please read our FAQs for more information about our tours.

Book the 6 Day Trip

Pay a deposit then fill out a booking form.

Add To Cart

Book the 8 Day Trip

Pay a deposit then fill out a booking form.

Add To Cart

What’s Included (6 day trip)

  • Floatplane flight to Nootka Island
  • Return journey on the MV Uchuck
  • 5 nights camping accommodation
  • All camping equipment (tent, sleeping mat, headlamp, eating utensils, etc., even includes sleeping bag if needed)
  • Meals while on trail, so 5 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners - see a sample menu
  • Soft beverages during car journeys
  • All park permits and fees
  • The services of one of our guides for the duration of your trip

What's Included (8 day trip)

  • Everything listed under the 6 day trip above


  • All transport from pick up at your downtown hotel to drop off at the end of your tour including ferry to Vancouver Island and car transport to Gold River
  • Two nights accommodation in Gold River

What's Not Included

  • Meals or snacks while not on trail

Nootka Island Trail 

This is a wonderful wilderness trek on remote Nootka Island, the place of first contact between the First Nations and Europeans on the west coast. It features beautiful pocket beaches, stunning west coast sunsets and lots and lots of wildlife. It also has perhaps the best spot on any coastal hike - Calvin Falls, where we like to schedule a rest day so we can enjoy a swim and some relaxation.

The shortest of our three coastal hikes at a mere 35km (22 miles) long the Nootka Trail remains remote and wild. If done in good weather it is a fairly moderate hike (though technical through the forested sections); catch some bad weather though and it's a whole other story. Even in good weather on some parts of the trail we average about 1km per hour! If you want a true wilderness coastal hike on glorious beaches against the backdrop of verdant temperate rainforest but don't want to do the kilometres required by the West or North Coast trails then the Nootka Trail may be the one for you.

This year we offer two options, a 6 day and an 8 day trip. The 6 day option will not include transport to and from the trailhead or two overnight stays in Gold River, one at the beginning and one at the end of the trip. Instead we will meet you in Gold River on the morning the hike begins and say goodbye at the end of the trail. This option may work well for those already in the area. If you're coming from further away though you may find the more relaxed pace of the 8 day trip more to your requirements.


Please bear in mind that this is a wilderness hike and the itinerary is only a suggestion and not set in stone.

DAY ONE - For those on the 8 day trip we will pick up at your hotel indowntown Vancouver (airport or other hotels not included) around midday from where we will take a short drive to Horseshoe Bay to catch the ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island (pick up possible here too). A 1 hr 40 min ferry ride awaits. Once on the Island we head for Gold River (4 hours) and our accommodation at the Gold Rover Chalet.

DAY TWO -  This morning we meet those on the 6 day trip and at approx. 10am our friends at Air Nootka will take us on a magical float plane flight to Louie Lagoon on Nootka Island (30 minutes). The flight wends its way through inlets and over islands and beaches following the entire length of the trail and allows us to see our route before we set foot on it. Make sure you have your camera ready for this exciting part of the journey.

A hike of approximately an hour will bring us to our first campsite at Third Beach. We can set up our tents here, relax on this beautiful beach and get ready for an evening around the campfire. (Distance 2km, 45 mins - 1 hour of hiking)

DAY THREE - Today we hike from Third Beach to Calvin Falls. This is a reasonably long day but not particularly strenuous, we may have time to relax and enjoy a swim in the falls or in the sea. There is also an excellent reef to explore if the tide allows, one full of sea life.. (12 km, 5-6 hours)

DAY FOUR - Moving on from Calvin Falls we will hike to idyllic Beano Creek. Along the way we will spend some time at Bajo Point to see if we can spot sea otters.  These marvelous creatures were hunted to extinction during the fur trade period but have been successfully reintroduced and are now growing in numbers. (Distance 12km, 4-5 hours)

DAY FIVE - A shorter day distance wise sees us move on to a pocket beach about halfway to Friendly Cove. There are some good up and down sections over headlands in this section including the longest rope pull (see gallery for photos). (Distance 5km, 3-4 hours)

DAY SIX - This mores strenuous day takes us from our pocket beach to another within sight of the church at Friendly Cove. There is some rugged hiking on this day and the going can be slow. (Distance 5km, 4-5 hours)

DAY SEVEN - Our final day on the island sees us finish the trail to arrive at Yuquot or Friendly Cove. This Mowhachaht First Nations village was the point of first contact between indigenous people of British Columbia and white Europeans. We will visit the historic church and graveyard before returning to Gold River on the passenger and freight vessel the MV Uchuck (arrive 4pm). At Gold River we will say a fond goodbye to our 6 day clients. For our guests on the 8 day trip we will head to our hotel for a well earned shower and then out for an equally well earned burger. (Distance 3km, 2 hours)

DAY EIGHT -  Those clients on the 8 day trip will return to Vancouver with us, leaving at 9am and arriving approximately in the mid afternoon.

Nootka Wildlife Video

Wildlife Viewing

Chances of seeing:

  • Black Bears - probable
  • Wolves - probable
  • Cougars - less likely
  • Eagles - highly likely
  • Whales - probable
  • Sea Otters - possible
  • Sea Lions - possible

Please see our FAQs page for an explanation of these ratings.

We can’t say enough about the obvious attention to detail. The planning and preparation were first class..... Considering this was a backpacking trip the food was surprisingly good.... Nootka Island was amazing, just as we hoped it would be. It was a shame we didn’t see the wolves but hearing them and seeing their tracks was exciting enough.
— Tom & Vicky, UK
As a guide, Sean was fantastic. The trip was expertly organised from the ferries, right down to what we were going to have for dinner each night. He is an excellent and imaginative chef.
— Izzy M, UK
Sean and Chris were both great guides (and backcountry cooks!)
— Harry, Canada
What an awesome adventure! I would highly recommend this trip to anyone looking for a true west coast adventure.
— Frances D, Canada
Thank you again for all, it really was what we were looking for and more.
— Semblat family, France