The best camping near Cape Scott Provincial Park

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Cape Scott Provincial Park adventure.

The rugged northern end of Vancouver Island invites adventurers on a hike through history.  

Popular ways to camp

Top-rated campgrounds near Cape Scott Provincial Park

The best camping near Cape Scott Provincial Park guide



From 1897 to 1907 Danish settlers farmed the area that is now Cape Scott Provincial Park and left behind signs of settlement and a few old roads that have since become hiking trails. Visitors can hike the 23-kilometre Cape Scott Trail, the North Coast Trail (a 43-kilometre extension to the Cape Scott Trail), or the 2-kilometre San Joseph Bay Trail. These rugged walkways are often muddy, but wilderness camping is available at trail intervals in settings ranging from forest tent platforms to beachside campsites. Rustic amenities may include an outhouse, food stash, and water. Cape Scott Provincial Park is the traditional territory of Nahwitti peoples.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for families: An easy 2.5-kilometre hike from the trailhead makes San Josef Bay popular with families and beginners. Sea Stacks and sea caves make the beach fascinating to explore.
  • Best for solitude: Nissen Bight is a beautiful sandy beach 15 kilometres from the trailhead. The beach gets fewer campers than Nels Bight, making it more peaceful and a better place to spot wolves.
  • Best for an extra night: Guise Bay is three kilometres from the end of the trail with a fascinating dune area between Guise Bay and Experiment Bight.

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. A backcountry camping permit from BC Parks’ Discover Camping website is required if hiking between May 1 and September 30.
  2. The 11 designated camping sites at Eric Lake are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

When to go

Cape Scott Provincial Park is open for camping year-round, but most campers visit between June and September. It’s often cold and rainy in this area, but there’s more chance of sun in summer.

Know before you go

  • Port Hardy, the nearest town for supplies and accommodation, is about 60 kilometres away via gravel logging roads.
  • Mobile phone signals are not found anywhere in the park.
  • Dogs are not permitted in most areas of the park due to wolf activity.
  • For dispersed camping, beach spots are recommended. Only some food caches and pit toilets are provided.

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