Dropped off shortly before kilometre 65, the flat path around Inland Lake offered a chance to slowly ease into our 62km hike. Along the trail are campsites. Since I was the only person there, I moved in. Last September, we finally made it back to hike what is often called the most difficult section of the trail – Inland Lake to Lang Bay, taking in Tin Hat Mountain, Elk Lake and Walt Hill (62km total). The powerful tide changes cause huge waves and whirlpools to form in the Narrows. The day continued as awesome as it started, with wall-to-wall blue skies. Choose between resorts, motels, cottages, campgrounds, guesthouses and even oceanside Airbnbs. window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; Read on to discover our own experience hiking the Sunshine Coast Trail (SCT) plus a comprehensive planning guide so you, too, can organise your own adventure on this magnificent trail! The Northern Sunshine Coast has a large choice and variety of places for hikers to stay before, after or even during their journey on the SCT. Hikers also have the option to park their vehicle in surrounding communities, either in paid parking lots or outside businesses (with prior permission). A common solution is to have two vehicles, one parked at each of the chosen trailheads. In terms of difficulty, the Sunshine Coast Trail is not technically hard. This map, created in 2012, accurately depicts the Sunshine Coast Trail, and the placement of the huts/camping spots along the trail. The SCT offers up fantastic coastal views, wanders along lakes and creeks, climbs mountains, and features rustic huts at multiple points along the way, making it the longest hut-to-hut hike in Canada. The Sunshine Coast Trail isn’t just for hikers; it’s a wildlife route too. Perched just below a logging road, these huge Douglas Firs seemed to reach all the way to the sky. It has 22 vehicle accessible campsites. There has been a lot of trail building going on! Canoeing. The building manager lives next door (the house to the immediate north of the lot) and accepts donations for parking. I love the tremendous amount of info that you’ve packed into this article. For free camping, check out Lois Lake Recreation Site. Magnificent views abound, even on slightly misty days. The Sunshine Coast Trail Guidebook by Eagle Walz is a step-by-step description of all the trails that make up the SCT. It is also possible to organise a supply drop with Sunshine Coast Shuttles. The sunrise is as epic as we hoped and worth every single second of waiting. The initial aim, was to build a long distance hiking trail that would link the remaining old growth in the area. On the upside, the views were open, the skies sunny and we were able to dry out our souls a little. My new guidebook, 105 Hikes in and around Southwestern British Columbia, features select trails in the Sunshine Coast and 20 other regions, including northern Washington. With the SCT being intersected by logging roads in numerous places, there are many access points besides Sarah Point and Saltery Bay. Impressive pit toilet. English program here. But the hut was open after all. The busiest time on the trail seems to be mid May to August. There are paid parking lots in Lund, Mowat Bay, Powell River Government Marina, the Shinglemill Pub and the Lang Bay Store. Sunshine Coast Trail, Powell River. The upturned dirt surrounding the tracks implies that the bear was probably startled and ran off in a hurry. A BC Ferries Experience card offers discounts on all three of these routes. It has huts for shared public use (you don't have to carry a tent), and weaves through o In addition to the orange blazes, there are numerous wooden directional signs, kilometre markers and SCT maps at trailheads. Black bears are more commonly seen than grizzly bears. ; Length: 112 miles Expected Completion Time: 10 days Location: Powell River, British Columbia Trail Type: Shuttle (end-to-end) Huts and Shelters: 14 Overall Elevation Gain: 22,812 feet High Point: 4,232 feet Scenery: Old-growth and second-growth forest. Travelling by road, the North Sunshine Coast (where the SCT is located) is accessible via two vehicle ferries from Vancouver. The 80km distance is twisty in parts and takes about 80 minutes to drive comfortably. and a portion of fish and chips were calling our name. That small section was enough to get Glaspey hooked on trail building. The lower elevation sections, particularly Sarah Point to Inland Lake, can be comfortably hiked almost all year round. Post-lunch, the foliage became mossier, the bridges slipperier and the mushrooms even more numerous. Accessible only via boat or helicopter, Princess Louisa Inlet is one of the most beautiful places I have been anywhere in the world. Within 30 seconds of our arrival to the Tin Hat Mountain hut, we were swallowed by a giant cloud. setTimeout("gtag('event', 'No Bounce', { 'event_category' : 'Adjusted Bounce' })",180000); The Sunshine Coast Trail is an incredible 180km hut-to-hut hiking route in south-west British Columbia, Canada. First visiting the area back in 2014, the Sunshine Coast Trail has been on our radar ever since. The real challenge of the day came in the last 1.5km with the hill to end all hills. Viewpoints passed with little to see, until we reach the ‘Walt Hilton’ emergency shelter at kilometre `120.5. But finally, our first Sunshine Coast Trail hut appear! Awesome! If you liked this post, PIN or save it for future reference with the below images! This magnificent fjord features huge granite walls and ends with a thundering waterfall. Another option is flying to Sechelt or Comox (on Vancouver Island), but a ferry journey would still be required to get closer to the Sunshine Coast Trail itself. Other supply points on the SCT are Lund (bakery, pub, restaurant), Townsite (brewery, restaurants, convenience store) and Lang Bay (convenience store, pizza). Most of these rustic campsites have outhouses, picnic table and a water source nearby. This site features affiliate links for products and services. Confederation Lake sits at 600m, Tin Hat hut at 1150m but the trail descends down almost to sea level (150m). Some SCT thru-hikers primarily use campsites, others use both huts and campsites, and a few exit the trail at convenient points (Townsite, Lang Bay) to seek accommodation. As well as food, you can inquire about bag storage. The land on which the trail sits is the traditional territory of the Tla’amin Nation, one of the tribes of the northern Coast Salish. Confederation and Tin Hat huts have basements (the latter with a rock floor) that can provide extra sleeping room when necessary. That evening, we took stock of our food supplies and hatched a plan. Most huts accommodate around 10-12 people in the main enclosed sleeping area. gtag('config', 'UA-43280157-1'); Eagle Walz, co-founder and architect of British Columbia's Sunshine Coast Trail, discusses the construction of Canada's longest hut-to-hut hiking trail. Mountain bike lovers will love this! Once on the Sunshine Coast, one main road (Highway 101) links all major communities. Sunshine Coast trails are located in one of the most beautiful places on earth. 9,8 K J’aime. Though steep in places, we moved fast through Suicide Pass and Smokey’s Blue Ridge. One half of the Canadian/British couple behind Off Track Travel, Gemma is happiest when hiking on the trail or planning the next big travel adventure. The varied landscape here has so much to offer, especially in terms of outdoor adventure. The trail itself is marked with bright orange diamond blazes, appearing every five metres or so. A slightly anti-climatic end it may have been but the sun was shining (hooray!) 170 km / 6,000 m total elevation gain, multi day trail event self-sufficient style. His guidebook for the trail, “The Sunshine Coast Trail, 4th Edition, 2013, by End of The Road Press, is a valuable guidebook. Check out our Shop for more outdoor gear recommendations for adventures like this. Click here for a … Here’s a quick breakdown of each SCT hut: All huts have outhouses or composting toilets nearby. I waited for JR near the top, snapping a couple of photos of the view and yelled down that he should hurry. This section will tell you everything you need to know about planning your adventure. The Sunshine Coast is one of our absolute favourite regions of British Columbia. 5K likes. The path weaves along and away from the coast, also featuring lakes, waterfalls, old growth tree groves, creeks, working forests, mountain peaks and panoramic viewpoints. It’s a beautiful section of the British Columbia coastline, starting just north west of Vancouver and sitting directly across from Vancouver Island. function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} Yep, that’s an initial loss of 450m and a gain of 1000m elevation without even taking into account the meandering nature of the trail in general! This rustic campground has 12 vehicle accessible spots and 4 walk-in sites. Off Track Travel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Both. The SCT is marked on both the Maps.me (we used this one) and Hiking Project apps. 555 likes. It’s even more impressive in the rain. There wasn’t a soul to be seen so we had the hut to ourselves through the stormy night. Inspired to go hiking on the Sunshine Coast Trail? The craft drinks scene is thriving on the Sunshine Coast, with four breweries, two distilleries and a cidery. According to the SCT trail website, there are double the amount of markers going from north to south than the other direction. Sometimes, even more frequently. The choice of where to park our vehicle was probably one of the biggest decisions we had to make when planning our SCT hike. Slowly at first, but then the steep switchbacks arrive. Lakes and creeks. The Sunshine Coast Trail is a 180-kilometre back country hiking experience that stretches from Sarah Point in Desolation Sound to Saltery Bay. According to the Sunshine Coast Trail website. Stephen Hui. Jesse from the Sunshine Coast Shuttle picked us up and took us to our starting point on Inland Lake. We came to see the views and we’d just have to ration our food and wait it out. Hikers do have to be aware, however, of two things: For me, these two factors did not dampen my enthusiasm or enjoyment for this trail. It’s not mentioned in my guidebook published 2013, of course. The Sunshine Coast Trail 4th Edition: This 180-km route near Powell River, BC, extends from Sarah Point to Saltery Bay. In theory you don’t need to camp. Alternatively, you can also present the photos at the Visitor Centre and get a generic stamp for each hut. We picked a handful or two and started calling out for bears in earnest. Click here for a larger version. Really! The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada is surrounded by ocean and covered with forests, mountains and lakes. This is the best outdoor adventure vacation value in North America! The flat sections were covered in deep puddles of water. 4.9K likes. I completed 190 km of the East Coast Trail in 9 days in 2009 along with my wife and two hiking friends. We were sad to leave the beauty of Tin Hat but our food supplies were now on the low side. The day passed better than I imagined, however. Reservations are possible on the Horseshoe Bay to Langdale route so I’d recommend doing that if you have a strict schedule. In 1992 a small group of people founded the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society (PAWS) and started building hiking trails that linked the remaining stands of old growth forests in the region’s front country. A step-by-step description of the entire trail can be found in Eagle Walz’s Sunshine Coast Trail guidebook, as well as trailhead directions and elevation breakdown. These trail markers can be spotted on trees, fences, fallen logs, bridges and more. 53 likes. The rocky path led through saddening clear cuts. Squamish To Sunshine Coast Trail Society. See also. Unsecured parking lots can be found on the Sunshine Coast Trail maps on the official website here (marked in blue). I soon felt glad of that easy section around the lake, as the path ascended up through the dense rainforest. JR and Gemma are currently based in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada. The map below shows a closer view of the Fairview section of the SCT. Our instincts were proven right as we discover very fresh bear tracks around one of the blind corners. Experience 180 kilometers of hiking adventure on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. We chose to park our vehicle at the Lang Bay Community Hall. Dirt roads (mostly for logging or recreational use) do criss cross across the local landscape and the path does weave in and out of populated areas, Some sections of the trail do route through or close to working forests. Base your own itinerary on available budget and time, while considering your group’s fitness and experience. I still had the opportunity to see so many magnificent places and truly immerse myself in nature. The Sunshine Coast Trail traverses a wide variety of landscapes, from coastal shorelines, along creeks and lakes, through old growth forests to panoramic mountaintops. We took 2 ferries from Vancouver to get to Powell River where we staged for the hike. The strangest sight had to be a tea party along the trail. He would be the only person we see for the entire six day period! I was glad to see the the Elk Lake Hut, peeking out of the brush. Suggestions above are based on my own experience and research plus recommendations in hut log books. Since the trail goes up and down, start in good condition. Once all stamps are collected, the Visitor Centre will issue you a SCT Certificate of Completion! Experience 180 kilometers of hiking adventure on the beautiful Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. www.sunshine-coast-trails.com provides trail maps and descriptions for the lower Sunshine Coast of British Columbia in order to promote and celebrate our natural world. The Sunshine Coast Trail is a colossal, local, grass-roots achievement that took decades to grow from dream to reality. Even on the Sunshine Coast itself, there can be little confusion about where the Sunshine Coast Trail actually is. We hiked from Inland Lake to Lang Bay in mid September and saw only one hiker (out on a short walk) over six days on trail. Not familiar with the concept of the Sunshine Coast at all? The Sunshine Coast Trail is a 180-kilometre back country hiking experience that stretches from Sarah Point in Desolation Sound to Saltery Bay. It's rugged terrain and includes about 22,000… With the rain returning with a vengeance, we spent much of the next day back in the clouds. Please bring all of the compulsory equipment with you w… Most of the mountains are still shrouded in cloud, however. The SCT Passport is a fun way to record your journey on the SCT (thru-hiking or otherwise). If you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It provides hikers with the opportunity to experience Powell River’s breathtaking back country with its rich fauna and flora. There are no bridges connecting the Sunshine Coast to the rest of the British Columbia. We stopped at misty Coyote Lake for a snack, where the motionless surface blended perfectly with the milky sky. It is available in paper format at Tourism Powell River. There are also some paid campgrounds accessible along the SCT. Programme en français ici : à venir. Hey there! The Shingle Mill pub is located just off the trail at kilometre 50. It soon becomes clear that the cloud wasn’t going away anytime soon. The rain was on and off, offering teasing, misty views at ‘Vomit Vista’ and heavy showers during lunch at Fiddlehead Farm (thankfully, there’s a shelter). 1. There is a limited BCTransit service from Saltery Bay to Lund, via Powell River. An equipment check will be carried out at registration and on the start line. I’ve written the following advice with multi-day and thru-hikers in mind, but day hikers will find a lot of relevant information here too. "If you want a good workout in a beautiful natural surrounding, and want to see gorgeous views of the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland then I would highly recommend tackling this walk." With the help of the BOMB Squad (the Bloody Old Men’s Brigade), the volunteer run PRPAWS continues to maintain and enhance the SCT and huts. A grand vision that reached its culmination with the creation of 14 handcrafted backcountry huts, linking each section together. The Sunshine Coast Trail website is a great resource with maps, information about the trails, huts, and how to get Powell River/Sunshine Coast. There is a locally owned gear store called Powell River Outdoors. The climb was tiring in places but the glint of Confederation Lake didn’t take too long to appear. Our final day was mostly downhill, an almost literal comedown. The path of the SCT actually travels right through here. The Sunshine Coast Trail is kept in very good condition. As well as tent campsites and showers (extra $2), this campground has a reservable cabin available for $50/night. And what a well built and maintained hut it was, with an incredibly pretty outlook of the still lake. We are Jean Robert and Gemma, a British-Canadian couple who love to explore beyond the beaten path by foot, road and paddle. If budget is a concern, I’d recommend joining the, If this is your first multi-day hike, I cannot emphasize enough to practice first and find, We were unsure how busy the SCT would be in September so brought our tent with us. Raise a glass to. In this context, that means active or dedicated logging areas, Rieveley Pond to Haywire Bay camping (24km) or Townsite, Powell River for resupply (18km), Townsite, Powell River or Haywire Bay to Confederation Lake (23/17km), Confederation Lake to Tin Hat Mountain (14km), Tin Hat Mountain to Elk Lake (20km or 13km if you take shorter route like we did), Sarah Point to Powell River, staying at Manzanita and Rieveley Pond huts (3 days, 50km), Inland Lake to Lang Bay, staying at Confederation Lake, Tin Hat, Elk Lake, Walt Hill (5 days, 62/70km), Fiddlehead Landing to Lang Bay, staying at Tin Hat, Elk Lake, Walt Hill (4 days, 56km), Lang Bay to Saltery Bay, staying at Golden Stanley, Mount Troubridge, Rainy Day Lake (3 days, 43km), Manzanita – Partially open with closed sleeping loft, kilometre 16, Rieveley Pond – Partially open with closed sleeping loft, kilometre 33, Inland Lake West – Small closed hut, kilometre 65, Anthony Island (Inland Lake) – Small closed hut, kilometre 67, Confederation Lake – Fully enclosed, winterized hut, kilometre 74, Fiddlehead Landing – Partially open with closed sleeping loft, kilometre 81, Tin Hat Mountain – Fully enclosed and winterized, kilometre 90, Elk Lake – Partially open with closed sleeping loft, kilometre 110, Walt Hill – Fully enclosed and winterized, kilometre 123, Golden Stanley – Partially open with closed sleeping loft, kilometre 145, Mount Troubridge – Mid-sized, fully enclosed and winterized, kilometre 158, Mount Troubridge Emergency – Small and insulated, kilometre 159, Rainy Day Lake – Partially open, kilometre 169, Fairview Bay – Fully enclosed, kilometre 173. Campsites, both paid and free, are marked on the Sunshine Coast Trail website maps here. Sunshine Coast Trail, Powell River. Sunshine Coast Mountain Bike Trail Challenge - August 8+9, 2015 Inland Lake West, Anthony Island and Fiddlehead Landing huts are all located slightly off the main trail route. Sunshine Coast Trail . We loved the Old Courthouse Inn, located in the Townsite district. From our finishing point at kilometre 134, we needed to walk 2km along the (wide) Dixon Road to Highway 101 and then a very short 100m stretch north to get back to the hall. In 1992 a small group of people founded the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society (PAWS) and started building hiking trails that linked the remaining stands of old growth forests in the region’s front country. Our original plan was for a five day, four night trip, averaging no more than 15km a day. For the most part, it is a two lane highway. It was frustrating, but such is the unpredictable way of nature. It is exhilarating to watch, especially if any kayakers are trying to surf the waves! www.sunshine-coast-trails.com provides trail maps and descriptions for the lower Sunshine Coast of British Columbia in order to promote and celebrate our natural world. The outlook here isn’t quite as panoramic as Tin Hat but the lake studded backdrop is still stunning. Most hikers walk some 10 to 15 km per day. The 360 degree views we were promised were gone, just like that. Ferry times vary depending on the season and don’t necessarily line up. For thru-hikers or groups with only one vehicle, there are other solutions: The Sunshine Coast Trail may well be the best signed path we have ever hiked. There are also section maps available for the Avenza Maps app. Another one of a kind attraction on the Sunshine Coast is the tidal rapids at Skookumchuck Narrows. The main backpacking season for the entire Sunshine Coast Trail is May to September. “Walz tricked me into extending an existing trail,” Glaspey writes in the foreward to Walz’s The Sunshine Coast Trail guidebook. A freshly made hot (or cold, it’s your choice) breakfast is included for all guests. The Sunshine Coast Trail is a 180km (with around 6000m total elevation gain) hiking route from Sarah Point to Saltery Bay, travelling through both public and private lands. As Event Organisers we are often asked why ‘Compulsory Equipment’ is included as part of some of our events. A stream heralded the start of the end, said to be around 3km from the hut itself. They can be a bit tricky to start, operate using pellets only (bring your own to guarantee stock) and require constant attention. The Final Agreement treaty, in effect from 2016, included 8,323 hectares of settlement land, some of which the Sunshine Coast Trail travels through. With such huge choice in overnight accommodation (huts, campsites, paid lodging), there are many ways to structure a multi-day trip or thru-hike on the Sunshine Coast Trail. Terrain: Moderate to strenuous. Ripe blueberries started to line the twisty trail. JR immediately goes for a swim in the pristine lake while I sunbathe on the dock. Sunshine Coast Art Crawl. With the temptation of a short day in mind, we decide to take a short-cut through an older route of the SCT (Option A, if you’re using the guidebook). And then, the climbing begins. Sunshine Coast Trail Sunshine Coast Trail Access Powell Forest Canoe Route Portage on Canoe Route Campsite Shelter or Hut Park or Protected Area Elevation contours at 200 metre increments Visitor Information Centre, 4760 Joyce Ave, Powell River 1-877-816-8669 MAP LEGEND 0 1 2 4 KILOMETRES 6 8. No problem. A map of the Sunshine Coast Trail can be picked up at the Powell River Visitor Information Centre. To receive stamps, hikers must take a photo of themselves in front of each of the huts (Golden Stanley and Mount Troubridge Emergency Shelter excepted). Though the trail maintenance is excellent overall (better than any other backpacking trail we’ve ever been on in BC), be prepared for downed trees on the trail after storms. It felt never ending at times, not helped by the red kilometre markers disappearing for a time. Prior to this point on the SCT, the blueberry season had been and gone. A Guide to Hiking the Sunshine Coast Trail, British Columbia The Sunshine Coast Trail is an incredible 180km hut-to-hut hiking route in south-west British Columbia, Canada. Attracting hikers from around the world, this epic hiking trail now boasts 14 huts with one more planned next year, making it Canada’s Longest Hut-To-Hut Hiking Trail – and the only free one. On return to Powell River, hikers then go to each corresponding business and receive a unique stamp. The weather forecast was pretty poor but the lack of life anywhere does make me think that September, in general, is a great time to hike the Sunshine Coast Trail! With days of rain already, the streams and waterfalls were bursting with water and the soaked ground was almost bouncy in places. BCTransit operates a limited year round service along the South Coast (Langdale to Half Moon Bay) and also on the North Coast (Lund to Powell River, Lang Bay and also to Saltery Bay on request). The trail is located on the Upper Sunshine Coast in Powell River, British Columbia. It’s a must-have if you’re going to hike the SCT. The 14 shared use huts are free and are filled on a first come, first served basis. The trail is a hut to hut system about 110 miles long. The origins of the Sunshine Coast Trail go back to 1992 when a group of local enthusiasts formed the Power River Parks and Wilderness Society (known as PRPAWS or just PAWS), a non-profit volunteer organisation. 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