Cape Scott Provincial Park

Cape Scott Provincial Park is a provincial park located at the cape of the same name, which is the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It was established in 1973 with about 37,200 acres (15,100 ha), and later expanded to approximately 22,294 hectares (55,090 acres).[1] Lanz and Cox Islands Provincial Park, formerly Scott Islands Marine Provincial Park,[2] is offshore, to the northwest of Cape Scott.

Cape Scott Provincial Park
Staircase North Coast Trail
A trail through the forest near Laura Creek, Cape Scott Provincial Park
LocationBritish Columbia, Canada
Nearest cityHolberg
Coordinates50°44′00″N 128°20′00″W / 50.73333°N 128.33333°WCoordinates: 50°44′00″N 128°20′00″W / 50.73333°N 128.33333°W
Area222.94 km²
Governing bodyBC Parks


The park is known for its old growth forest and sandy beaches. The terrain is rugged and the area is known for its heavy rain and violent storms.

The park's highest point is Mt. St. Patrick, 422 metres (1,385 ft) above sea level. The park's largest lake is Eric Lake, at 44 hectares (110 acres).

Most of the park is in the Nahwitti Lowland, a subunit of the Hecate Depression, part of the Coastal Trough.

The former settlement of Cape Scott, which was founded by Danish-Canadian immigrants, is located within the park at 50°47′00″N 128°20′00″W / 50.78333°N 128.33333°W at the head of Hansen Lagoon.[3] Another related settlement in the area is Strandby, named after a coastal village in Denmark and located facing Shuttleworth Bight at 50°50′15″N 128°08′20″W / 50.83750°N 128.13889°W.[4]



The Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations created trails through the area that includes the park, using these trails for trade, to harvest resources, and to visit locations that were considered sacred.[6] Three First Nations reserves are within the park, including the former village of Nahwitti.

In 1786, the area was named "Cape Scott" in honour of David Scott, a merchant of Mumbai (Bombay), who had backed James Strange's maritime fur trade voyage to the Pacific Northwest Coast.[7][8]

From 1897 until 1910, Danish settlers tried to establish a fishing community near San Josef Bay. Due to the harsh climate and lack of governmental support, the community failed and most settlers left the area. Following that, another attempt was made at Hansen Lagoon, similarly failing by 1917. Alfred Spencer, the last resident, left in 1956.

Some artifacts can still be seen in the park, including a three-metre-tall granite tombstone, several corduroy roads, many ruins (that look like anonymous mossy mounds), and rusty farming implements.


Experiment Bight Cape Scott
Backpackers walking across the beach at Experiment Bight

The park is a popular destination for backpackers during the less rainy summer season. A logging road connects the towns of Port Hardy and Holberg to the southern end of the park. The rest of the park is accessible only by foot, helicopter, or boat. A popular backpacking trip is to hike the 16.8 km Cape Scott Trail to Nels Bight, which typically requires 4–7 hours each way and is rated as easy/moderate in difficulty.[6] It is mostly flat, but is often very muddy. Much of the trail consists of wooden boardwalk. The 43.1 km North Coast Trail, which opened in 2008, is an extension of the Cape Scott Trail. It has some very difficult sections in the east, and more moderate terrain in the west.[6]

There are several campsites with pit toilets, metal food caches, and wooden tent platforms along the original Cape Scott trail and the North Coast Trail. For day hikers looking for a shorter trail (less than an hour each way), there is a path out to the beach at San Josef Bay.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "Cape Scott Park". BC Geographical Names.
  2. ^ "Scott Islands Park". BC Geographical Names.
  3. ^ "Cape Scott (settlement - rescinded)". BC Geographical Names.
  4. ^ "Strandby (former locality)". BC Geographical Names.
  5. ^ Environment CanadaCanadian Climate Normals 1971-2000. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Cape Scott Provincial Park North Coast Trail Map and Pocket Guide. Wild Coast Publishing. 2008.
  7. ^ Gough, Barry M. (2011). The Northwest Coast: British Navigation, Trade and Discoveries to 1812. University of British Columbia Press. pp. 78–79. ISBN 978-0-7748-4292-1. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Cape Scott". BC Geographical Names.
  9. ^ Island Nature: Exploring nature on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and beyond

External links

Cape Scott (disambiguation)

Cape Scott is in Victoria Land, Antarctica.

Cape Scott may also refer to:

Cape Scott Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, Canada

Cape Scott Lighthouse on Vancouver Island, Canada

HMCS Cape Scott, a former Canadian warship

Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott, at Canadian Forces Base Halifax

Cape Scott Lighthouse

Cape Scott Lighthouse is in the northwestern extremity of Vancouver Island near Cape Scott Provincial Park on Cape Scott, British Columbia and is on Department of National Defence property.

Claire Trevena

Claire Trevena is the current Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and MLA for North Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. She was first elected to the Legislative Assembly in the 2005 election and re-elected in the 2009 election. She is a member of the British Columbia New Democratic Party. In the 38th Parliament of British Columbia, she sat on the Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture and the Select Standing Committee on Public Accounts, as well as serving as the opposition critic on the Employment and Income Assistance ministry, followed by the critic on child care, early childhood development, and women's issues. In the 39th Parliament she acted as a deputy speaker before returning to her role as critic on the children and family development portfolio. In the 40th Parliament, she was the critic on transportation and BC Ferries and, in that role, produced a report comparing the BC Ferries system with the Washington State Ferries system and introduced the Provincial Shipbuilding Act in both 2014 and 2015 seeking to have future ferries constructed in Canada.

Originally from England, Trevena has a background in journalism having worked as a Canadian correspondent for British media. After she immigrated, she worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and then as a public information officer for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. After moving to British Columbia with her husband, she started her own business specializing communication strategies. She unsuccessfully filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal after being fired from a job because of her political affiliation. She was an advocate of renovations to the hospitals in Campbell River and Comox, opposing the health authority's plans to replace them with a new regional hospital near Courtenay. In November 2010, Trevena was one of thirteen party members to ask for a leadership convention, resulting in the resignation of Carole James as leader of the BC NDP. She endorsed John Horgan in both the 2011 and 2014 leadership elections.

HMS San Josef (1797)

HMS San Josef was a 114-gun first rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She was captured from the Spanish Navy at the Battle of Cape St Vincent on 14 February 1797 (when she was still named in Spanish San José). In 1809 she served as the flagship of Admiral John Thomas Duckworth.

Holberg, British Columbia

Holberg (pop: 35) is a community on northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The community was established in the early 1900s by Danish settlers who named their new home in honour of Baron Ludwig Holberg, the great Danish playwright.

Holberg is on the long, winding, unpaved road to Cape Scott Provincial Park, San Josef Bay and Winter Harbour.

Nearby Ronning Gardens, an anomaly in the west coast temperate rainforest, was created by Norwegian settler Bernt Ronning around 1910.

Holberg has always been noted for logging and copious amounts of precipitation.

During the Cold War, the Royal Canadian Air Force established RCAF Station Holberg, a Pinetree Line radar base.

Up on one of the roads of Holberg is a small school called San Josef Elementary.

Holberg is serviced by an AM radio station, CFHG 1490. CFHG began operations on April 16, 1963 from studios at CFS Holberg. The station primarily aired the programs of Vancouver CBC Radio station CBU, but it also aired local programs produced by volunteer staff at the station. CFHG, which produced up to 28 hours of local programming per week in the beginning, gradually increased its local programming content to as much as 68 hours a week by 1984. When CFS Holberg closed and was mostly dismantled in 1990 due to budget cuts, CFHG was sold to Western Forest Products Ltd. and became a community-owned full rebroadcaster of CBU. Like other CBC Radio One repeaters on Vancouver Island, CFHG now rebroadcasts CBCV-FM Victoria.

List of Scottish place names in Canada

This is a list of placenames in Scotland that have been applied to parts of Canada by Scottish emigrants or explorers.

For Nova Scotian names in Scottish Gaelic (not necessarily the same as the English versions) see Canadian communities with Scottish Gaelic speakers and Scottish Gaelic placenames in Canada

Note that, unless otherwise stated, province names are not Scottish.

List of lighthouses in British Columbia

This is a list of lighthouses in the province of British Columbia, Canada.

List of protected areas of British Columbia

The following is a list of all provincial parks and protected areas within British Columbia. As of June 2015, there are a total of 1,029 protected areas in the British Columbia Parks and Protected Areas System, covering a total of 14,063,250 hectares (34,751,000 acres), or 14.4% of all lands in the province.

List of provincial parks of Vancouver Island

The list of provincial parks of Vancouver Island contains the provincial parks located on the island, which is part of the province of British Columbia, Canada. This includes parks from the seven regional districts of Alberni-Clayoquot, Capital Regional District, Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Mount Waddington, Nanaimo and Strathcona. The parks are run by BC Parks under the jurisdiction of the British Columbia Ministry of Environment.

North Coast Trail

The North Coast Trail is a 43.1 km wilderness hiking trail in Cape Scott Provincial Park on northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

Port Hardy

Port Hardy is a district municipality in British Columbia, Canada located on the northeastern end of Vancouver Island. Port Hardy has a population of 4,132 at last census (2016). It is the gateway to Cape Scott Provincial Park, the North Coast Trail and the BC Marine Trail, located on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. The community has access to spectacular wilderness adventures, such as kayaking, caving, world-class scuba diving, nature viewing, surfing, unique saltwater rapids, fishing and camping.

Port Hardy's twin city is Numata, Japan.

Ronning Gardens

Ronning Gardens, located in a remote location near the northwest tip of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, were established by Norwegian settler Bernt Ronning around 1910. Over the years, Ronning planted nearly 5 acres (20,000 m2) with many species of trees, shrubs and flowers collected from all over the world.

After he died in 1963, Ronning's garden was reclaimed by the temperate rainforest of northern Vancouver Island. However, some years later the property was purchased and the new owners began restoring the gardens.

Scott Islands

The Scott Islands are a group of islands located off the northwestern point of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Sea Otter Cove

Sea Otter Cove is a remote place near the north-western end of Vancouver Island which has been part of Cape Scott Provincial Park since 1973. It is north of Mount St. Patrick and San Josef Bay. On land, it is surrounded by forest, and only accessible by boat or a rough hiking trail.

It was named by Captain James Hanna in 1786 after his vessel, the Sea Otter.

At the mouth of the cove is a group of small islands called the Helen Islands. As is common on the west coast of Vancouver Island, there is a high annual rainfall.

Danish immigrants established settlements in the area in the early 20th century, but the environment and isolation proved to be insurmountable. (A proposed road to connect Sea Otter Cove to the nearest communities was never built.) The last residents left in 1925.

According to Don Douglass, among boaters,

Because Sea Otter Cove has a worse reputation than it deserves, it is frequently avoided.Margaret Sharcott wrote this description of her 1954 visit to Sea Otter Cove:

Just above the beach, the dark evergreen forest was almost black in the rain mists that hung over the whole cove. Above the beach, in the shadow of those sombre trees, were the remains of two old boat-houses, their rotting cedar poles and shakes black with the moisture of this wet land. Farther along, a tumble-down house leaned on its ancient foundations. Although the original clearing around the deserted farmhouse was dotted with young fir trees, I could still recognize the fruit trees that had been planted so long ago. Bits of fences and rotted scraps of board from wind-flattened out buildings protruded from the matted tangle of brown, withered grass, wild blackberry vines and encroaching brush.

Vancouver Island Spine Trail

Vancouver Island "Spine" is developing from a concept whereby a 700 kilometer hiking trail will be created from the southern tip of Vancouver Island running from Victoria up to the top of the island at Cape Scott Provincial Park. The trail will be accessible to hikers five months of the year, with some sections available much longer. Various sections will be available for non-motorized multi-purpose, where permitted.

The hiking trail project is being developed by the Vancouver Island Spine Trail Association (VISTA) a non-profit society with charity status under the Canadian Revenue Agency #(CRA)852516251RR0001.

Current board of directors are listed at the official website.

VISTA is a part of 'Hike BC', the British Columbia wing of the National Hiking Trail (NHT). Other NHT significant trails include The Alexander MacKenzie Heritage Trail, (also known as Nuxalk-Carrier Route or Blackwater Trail) a 450 km forested trail located in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region of British Columbia.

Climate data for Cape Scott Provincial Park
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.9
Average high °C (°F) 6.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 4.9
Average low °C (°F) 2.8
Record low °C (°F) −8.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 323.2
Average rainfall mm (inches) 310.9
Average snowfall cm (inches) 12.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 24.2 21.0 23.5 21.1 18.9 18.3 16.3 16.9 16.6 23.3 24.5 24.6 249.3
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 22.8 20.4 23.0 20.9 18.9 18.3 16.3 16.9 16.6 23.2 24.4 23.9 245.8
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 4.3 3.2 3.2 1.9 0.13 0 0 0 0 0.31 1.2 3.2 17.5
Source: 1971-2000 Environment Canada [5]

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