The Ditidaht First Nation, along with the Pacheddaht and Huu-ay-aht people, has always lived along the west coast of Vancouver Island. Our ancestors created many of the hiking trails and paddling routes in this land for the purpose of trade and travel.
Some of our traditional communities and cultural places, along with a once life saving trail established for survivors of ship wrecks along the coast, became part of the newly created Pacific Rim National Park in 1973. That 75 km life-saving trail is now known as the West Coast Trail, and it is a premier adventure destination on Vancouver Island.
The West Coast Trail is much more than a breathtakingly beautiful hike – it is the remnants of history that takes you through in the footsteps of the First People. It is also a challenging hiking trail, and requires careful preparation and planning. Here are some things you should know about the West Coast Trail:
In order to hike all or 1/2 the trail you must reserve your spot through the Parks Canada Website
The trail is open May through September, is 75 km long and takes 5-7 days to hike. The terrain is uneven, and you must be prepared for slippery conditions on muddy trails, wooden surfaces, boulders and rocky shorelines.
Summer of 2015 introduced Timber construction replacing the age old boardwalks.
At various parts of the trails you will be wading through rivers, negotiating steep slopes, climbing ladders and using cable cars
It is not unheard of for structures on the trail to be unexpectedly damaged by storms and other natural phenomenon. Likewise, the climate of this temperate rainforest can change quickly and dramatically. You must be prepared for unpredictable weather conditions and changes on the trail
Accidents and injuries do happen on the West Coast Trail. If an accident should occur, it may take up to 24 hours for help to arrive.
NITINAHT LAKE MOTEL
Comfort and convenience minutes from Windsurfer’s Park. Sleeping rooms and kitchenettes. Check availability or book.
NITINAHT LAKE VISITORS CENTRE
Includes Groceries, gas, cafe, and WCT Orientation
COMFORT CAMPING TENTS AND CABINS
2.5 km hike to premium private campsites near the Nitinaht Lake Narrows. Maximum capacity of 4 people and monitored by Ditidaht Trail Guaridans.
WINDSURFER'S PARK CAMPING
Rustic camping with picnic tables, fire pits and outhouse facility. Maximum stay of 14 days, monitored daily by Ditidaht Campground staff. Reservations are not accepted.
NITINAHT WILDERNESS CHARTERS
Carl Edgar and family have operated the West Coast Trail Ferry Crossing for over 35 years and offer taxi services to hikers utilizing Nitinaht Lake as the mid-point entrance exit for the West Coast Trail. Daily transport 8:30am to the trail, and 5:30 return. Charters are available