San Josef Bay

Strathcona District PO Box 1479
Parksville , BC V9P 2H4


The trail to one of the most pristine and memorable beaches on Vancouver Island can be found at the trailhead of Cape Scott Provincial Park. This trail is even and flat enough to accommodate strollers and wheelchairs and is only a 45-minute walk to the bay.

There is a campground nearby on the banks of the San Josef River. If you have a kayak, canoe, or other small boat, then this spot can offer you easy access to this wilderness paradise. At high tide, drop in the boat. Take a picnic, some fresh water, and meander downstream. When the river breaks into the bay, be prepared to feast your eyes. The water from the river runs into the salt water. This mixing over pure white sand makes the bay a beautiful shade of aqua. Take off your shoes and walk along the sand and feel your feet sink ankle-deep as the sand scrunches between your toes.

At high tide, a rock bluff interrupts the mile-long beach. At low tide, this is easy to navigate around or take the trail over the top. Sea stacks, rising out of the shore are also accessible at low tide between first and second beach, as are a number of sea caves.

If you plan on tenting, take the necessary precautions as bears are plentiful and frequent the area. While there are outhouses available, fresh water needs to be brought in, or water from the river may be used if it is well boiled.

If traveling by river, make sure the tide is in before you head up stream to the campground and parking area.

The park is open year-round. There are two small campgrounds located outside the park to the south, less than a km from the trailhead parking area. They include trailer and tent sites. Overnight backcountry fees are collected from June to September. Access depends on weather and snow load. Contact the BC Provincial Park Office to confirm accessibility.
Written By: Cindy Faryon
On: 8/28/2001


Take the Holdberg road from Port Hardy and about 1-1/4 hours later you will arrive at the parking lot for Cape Scott Provincial Park.


Bathrooms | Picnic Area | Swimming Areas | Walking Trails | Wheelchair Accessible


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