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Hesquiat Pensisula Trail

In our hearts, we all live on the land. That is the real world. We take away the obstacles to experience what is real, to experience your bliss. We show you the way. That's Coastal Bliss Adventures.


We Take Care Of You

We do the planning, logistics, and support. You do the experience and the fun.

All-inclusive Tour

From pickup to return, we cover everything you need, except your personal items. We take you to and from the trip start, and feed you well along the way. We can't guarantee weight loss on our tours.

Knowledgable Guides

Our guides get out into our areas. They know the ins and outs of the trip and provide exceptional interpretation of flora, fauna and history. You'll know more after you leave.

Supportive Preparation

We give you an entire packet of information on how to prepare, what to bring, how to pack, and a plan for training so you can fully enjoy the trip. Our care for you starts before you even arrive.
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Hesquiat Peninsula
6-day Backpacking Tour

from $2454

The Hesquiat Peninsula is a rugged coastal hike that spans 50 km along the western shore of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, between Nootka and Clayoquot Sounds. It is more rugged and remote than many of the other coastal hiking trails of Vancouver Island, and still has that open Pacific vista, providing access to viewing whales, wolves, black bear and more.

  • Dates And


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  • Itinerary


    This is our typical itinerary for this tour. Because we are travelling in wilderness, itineraries can change. There are many factors that can affect how a tour actually runs. We confirm pickup times by phone, email or SMS at least 12 hours before.

    This trip begins in Nanaimo, where we will arrange your pickup to drive to the location where we begin the activity.

    • Day One

      Pick up early in the morning in Nanaimo and drive to Gold River and fly to Escalante Pt.
      This day we drive to Gold River, stopping for lunch and pack checks in Campbell River. Extra items can be stored in our van, and missing items can be picked up in Campbell River. We then continue to Gold River, where we will take a scenic flight by float plane along Nootka Sound to close to Escalante Point, from where the trail heads down a beach to a small stream where we will spend our first camp. This stunning beach is worth spending time at, exploring the caves, coves, beaches and headlands. The beach at Escalante is one of the most stunning along the trail. We hike about 1.7 km to our campsite.

    • Day Two

      Escalante Point – Barcester Bay (km 1.7 – km 11.4 - 9.7 KM, 5-6 hrs)
      Today we time our journey so that we have a low enough tide to cross a tricky surge channel just north of Split Cape, 6km along the sandstone from camp. At the surge channel there is a cluster of spectacular sea stacks that are worth exploring, tides permitting. The surge channel is negotiated by either carefully climbing in and out of it, or by going around on the bushy ledge. This is the only real challenging feature along this trail. Once the surge channel has been crossed the hiking continues for another 1.5 km along more serrated sandstone or sandy paths at high water. Once we reach Split Cape there are sculpted conglomerate rocks to view. We continue for another 4.5 km along easy beach or sandstone to the beautiful beach and sand dunes at Barcester Bay, where we will make our camp for the night.

    • Day Three

      Barcester Bay – "Ranger camp" after Estevan Point (km 11.4 – km 21.8 - 10.6 KM 6-7 hrs)
      Our journey today begins along a flat sandy strip along the edge of the rock shelf. There is a black sand beach 4.5 km south of Barcester Bay, more interesting rock formations, sandstone domes and some larger stacks. This can be a great place to view eagles as they perch atop surveying the land and sea for prey. As we make our way around the point, we may catch sight or sound of sea lions. There is a good camping location here with excellent water. We will stop to fill up our water bottles before continuing on to Estevan Point. Water between this fill up point and our next camp is scarce, so be sure to drink up and fill up! We should be able to see Estevan Pt Light station from here. We will fill up with extra water and camp for the night about 1 km past the lighthouse, just in the forest, resting up for the next morning's boulder beaches.

    • Day Four

      "Ranger camp" to the Hesquiat village (km 21.8 - km 28.7 - 6.9km 4-6 hrs)
      Once around Estevan point and on the beach, hiking can be exposed if the weather is unfavourable. When we leave the lighthouse, we hike in the forest along the remains of an old telegraph line road that used to connect the lighthouse to Hesquiat village, but only to our camp. From there, we are on "billion boulder beach". If the tide is right, we will we able to walk out on the sandstone shelf and avoid the boulders, but will be tromping through water in our hiking boots. We will be able to camp at the Hesquiat village reserve (with permission). While at the village, we hope to be able to speak with Dianne Ignace, who lives on this reserve with some of her family.

    • Day Five

      Hesquiat village – north of Le Claire Point (km 28.7 – km 40.1 - 11.4 km 4-6 hrs)
      Leaving the village, we cross Purdon Creek and head out to a mix of rocky beaches and sand beaches to the open beach highlight at Anton's Spit. We may pause here for lunch or to enjoy the day and the scenery. At the North end of this beach, we climb up the small rocky cliff and pass Le Claire Point's rocky headlands, after which we will find ourselves on a lovely pebble beach at km 40 to camp.

    • Day Six

      North of Le Claire Point – Boat Basin (km 40.1 – km 45.1 (5km 4-5 hrs))
      This is our final day. We will hike the final 5km to Boat Bay. This is along many pocket beaches and rocky headlands and some short, forested sections around some headlands when necessary. We respectfully journey through another First Nations reserve before arriving at Boat Basin. Once here and if possible, we will have a tour of Cougar Annie's Garden, by Peter Buckland, who renewed the garden and developed the property over his nearly 60 years of stewardship. Cougar Annie was an immigrant settler and pioneer who moved to Hesquiat in 1915: Ada Annie Rae-Arthur tamed a small part of these wild forests on her 5-acre homestead. Following this we will hike the short trail to the floatplane dock on Hesquiat Lake, where our pilot will pick us up and fly us back to Gold River. We will head into Gold River for lunch before driving back to Nanaimo to say good-bye and return to settled life.

    Note:Time journeying between camp locations are estimates. We plan to take our time to experience the stunning scenery and wildlife that we may encounter along the way.

  • What's Included
    Included Not Included
    Transportation from and to the departure location (pick up and drop off) Your transportation to the departure location (from your home)
    All park fees and camping fees National Park entry fees (may change as Parks alters their policies)
    Professional guides Hiking Boots (should be less than 5 years old)
    All meals (except on travel days) Some food (on travel days and special options)
    Tent (shared)* *A single tent may be substituted for a supplemental charge. Single travellers that cannot be placed in a shared tent will be charged the single supplement charge.
      Hiking Boots (should be less than 5 years old)
    A substantial preparation guide Backpack (available for rent)
    Gear rental options Sleeping bags or mats (available for rent)
      Gratuities are not included. Recognizing your guide for their hard work and care is always appreciated; $10-20/day per guide is recommended.

  • Getting There And
    Where To Stay

    Getting There

    If you are travelling into the Vancouver, Victoria, or Nanaimo area from afar, you should arrive at the departure location (in Nanaimo) for your trip the day/evening prior to the trip start date and plan to leave the day following trip return.

    You can fly to Vancouver (airport code YVR) or Seattle (airport code SEA) then connect to Vancouver Island using ferry, bus, or air, or arrange flights directly to Vancouver Island.

    Flying to Victoria (Airport code YYJ)

    Flying to Nanaimo (Airport code YCD)

    Nanaimo Airporter shuttle service.
    Servicing all of Vancouver Island from airports to ferrys to cruise ship terminals. Tel: 1 250 758-2133

    BC Ferries 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779)
    We will let you know the ferry to take for travelling to Vancouver Island, but if you want to check out times, you can go the the BC Ferries website at:

    Where to Stay

    Naniamo Pick up & Hotels

    Pick up: Departure Bay, Duke Point Ferry Terminal, or the following Accommodations:
    Days Inn Harbour View Nanaimo
    Address: 809 Island Hwy South, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, V9R 5K1
    Phone (250) 754-8171
    Best Western Dorchester Hotel
    Address: 70 Church, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, V9R 5H4
    Phone: (250) 754-6835
    Painted Turtle Guesthouse
    Address: 121 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia CANADA, V9R 3A2
    Toll Free: 1-866-309-4432
    Phone: (250) 753-4432

    Getting There


    Many of the major North American carriers fly into Vancouver or alternately, Seattle. Check with your travel agent for details. There is a bus service, Quick Shuttle at, from Seattle’s airport to hotels in Vancouver. These run daily and are affordable.
    For more information, in North America, phone 1/800/665-2122 or 1/604/940-4428 – Fax 1/604/940-4429.
    Information regarding shuttles and other airport information is available at

    On Your Own:
    We can pick up in Quesnel or meet you at Bear Mercantile, on Bowron Lake.
    Air: Daily flights with Central Mountain Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines
    Bus: There is no longer bus service to Williams Lake or Quesnel.
    Car: Take Barkerville turnoff just north of Quesnel on Hwy 26. It is 89 km (53 mi) to Wells. Proceed through Wells toward Barkerville. Look for signs for Bowron Lakes. A 28 km gravel road will lead you to the Bowron Lakes.
    Journey with us from North Vancouver (only): You must make it to North Vancouver for pickup. From Vancouver Airport there is an Airporter Bus, as well as the SkyTrain, which takes you to Downtown Vancouver, Water front (Sea Bus terminal) Transit Link. Take the Sea Bus to North Vancouver.


    It is difficult to recommend accommodation as needs and price considerations vary. Tourism British Columbia can help you locate the accommodation that best suits your needs. In North America phone, 1-800-HELLO BC 1-250-387- 1642 or visit We do recommend that accommodation be selected in North Vancouver, as this is our point of departure for this tour. We have suggested 3 inns, but more are possible. However, we only pick up from these three locations.
    SureStay Hotel by Best Western North Vancouver Capilano or +1 (604) 987-8185
    Econo Lodge Inn & Suites or +1 (604) 337-8393
    North Vancouver Hotel or 1-800-663-4055 or +1 (604) 987-4461


    We will pick up from the above 3 accommodation locations. If you choose to stay in Downtown Vancouver or Richmond (location of airport) it will be up to you to meet us at one of the above stated pick-up locations. Your guide will contact you the day before your tour with final confirmation of pick up time (very early, generally between 6-6:30am) and to check that you and your belongings have arrived.

  • Preparing

    Preparing For Your Trip

    How you prepare for your adventure is important. Being well prepared will enhance the quality of your experience. Because we are travelling in wilderness, it is very important for you and for the rest of your adventure group that you are fit enough to handle the level of difficulty and demand with no problems. Our guides know how to minimize the impact of these demands as much as possible, but they cannot remove them. The depth of your experience can only increase if you have made sure that you have prepared well.

    Your preparation will be different for different activities. Preparing for a kayak trip is different from preparing for a hiking trip. We have provided some basic information that can be downloaded through the following links to pdf documents.

    Use the links below to download some of the preparation files for this hiking or kayaking tour. When you book your tour, we will send you a complete preparation packet to help you get ready.Please take this seriously. Most people are unaware of the demands of a coastal environment, particularly with keeping dry and warm. Your preparation will really help make your coastal hiking or kayaking tour a great experience.

    Hiking Preparation package

  • Gear Rental

    Need Gear?

    We have gear available to rent if you don't want to buy a particular piece of equipment, or need to travel without it. 

    Look over the following list to help you decide whether you want to rent. If you decide to rent gear, you can tell us on the phone or book it online with your tour.

    Item Price (per day)
    Backpack Rental $6.50
    Sleeping Bag Rental $6.50
    Thermarest Rental $2.25
    Gaiter Rental $1.67
    Hiking Pole Rental (one) $0.90