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Cape Scott Provincial Park, Vancouver Island

Logging road travel, beautiful scenery

sunny 21 °C
View TaJ 2019 & TaJ 2019 June 27 to Aug 15 on Rooseboom-Scott's travel map.


Cape Scott is one of our primary destinations on this trip to Vancouver Island. The cape is at the very northern tip of the island and is one of the remotest spots in British Columbia.

Our day at Cape Scott Provincial Park began with the obligatory logging road drive. This time around it is 63 kilometers of rough gravel. It took us 90 minutes to navigate through pretty rugged road to get to the parking lot for Cape Scott Provincial Park. This road is not for the faint of heart. Narrow and winding, across one lane bridges too numerous to mention.

The parking lot was filled to capacity. About 100 cars in total. Initially, we were surprised, but then it dawned that this was a holiday weekend in British Columbia and the weather was fantastic. It was then no so hard to imagine a relatively large number of people out exploring one of the wildest spots on Vancouver Island.

Cape Scott Provincial Park is a hiker’s delight, at least in good weather, perhaps in bad as well. Many backpackers take a 3 or 4-day adventure to the lighthouse at the very tip of the island. Many others, like us, are here for a day trip to the fabulous beach at San Josef Bay.


The hike is on a comfortable trail, through a mix of old growth and second growth forest. Some of the trees here are truly spectacular, others that grew up on nurse trees now have root systems that are hard to believe.


After 40 minutes we walk out onto the beach. We had brought out lunch and by now it was Noon so we sat on a beach log and enjoyed our sandwiches.


We kicked off the hiking boots and spent 3 hours walking on the beach and among the sea stacks that sit between the 1st beach and the second. At high tide the second beach is inaccessible without going waist deep or more through the surf.


This weekend there are about 50 tents pitched on the beach. If we were younger we would be among the tenters for a night under the stars, but, alas, our tent, as well as our really strong sense of adventure, are back in Nova Scotia. We content ourselves with a long beach walk.

The return trip is another 90 minutes of bouncing around on really crappy roads, but some of the best places are at the end of these roads. Along the way back we stop at Ronning’s Garden. This old farmstead was first settled back in the early 1900’s by Danish farmers who tried to tame the wilderness here. Old Mr. Ronning wrote all over the world for exotic plants and trees to incorporate in his garden. For years this place was being reclaimed by the forest, but recently an attempt has been made to bring the garden back.


The pictures show what you can see here at Cape Scott. It is worth the rough ride to get here.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 10:19 Archived in Canada Tagged cape_scott_provincial_park san_josef_bay

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Yes, definitely worth the drive. We have photos of the same trees! It's a spectacular beach and place for photos. I can imagine sunset there.

by Mary Klimek

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