Nitinaht Lake & Hiking the West Coast Trail: Answers to your top three questions of all time, and more!
Is the wind blowing just right for kite boarding?
Can I bring my dog?
Dogs on leashes are allowed at the Nitinaht Campsite. Dogs are NOT permitted on the West Coast Trail unless they are service pets. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/visit/chiens-dogs
Do I need a campsite reservation?
The campsite is open from May 1 to September 30 each year. Sites are on a ‘first come first served” basis. Reservations are available for group camping and special events only. Book early because things get pretty busy between June and September (peak hiking and kitesurfing/windsurfing seasons).
Our campsite rate is $20/night, and there is a 14-day maximum stay.
Anyone under 19 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Questions? Call the Nitinaht Visitor Centre/General Store 250-745-3999 (May 1 – Sept 30)
Also there are some other reservations you might want to consider making.
- You don’t need a reservation for shorter hikes from the Nitinaht new 3rd entrance to the West Coast. But you DO need to reserve your Comfort Camping experience here: https://westcoasttrail.com/booking/
- Hiking the full 75km West Coast Trail? Reservation details here: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/index
What do I need to bring for camping at the Nitinaht Campsite?
What to bring.
Tent, camping supplies, wetsuit, food. Campsites are equipped with picnic tables and fire pits, are there are communal outhouse facilities. The campsite is monitored daily by Ditidaht Campground Staff.
The gas station / motel in the village has limited supplies and is only open May 1 through September 30. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
What to leave behind.
Your dog if you are planning any length of hike on the West Coast Trail. But you can bring your dog to the Nitinaht Campsite as long as you keep it leashed.
Leave no trace camping. Here are some useful tips. https://www.vancouverislandnorth.ca/about-the-north-island/know-before-you-go/
How do I get to the trail from the Nitinaht 3rd Entrance?
The entry point at Nitinaht Lake is accessible by water taxi from the Nitinaht Lake dock. The boat leaves daily at 9:00AM and returns at 5:00PM. More details on our Getting Here page.
NOTE: You don’t need a WCT reservation for short hikes from the Nitinaht Entrance.
Where can I find more info about the Nitinaht Short Hike and Comfort Camping experience?
Lots of useful information here: https://westcoasttrail.com/faq/
Who should be hiking the West Coast Trail?
Thousands of people hike the West Coast Trail every year, and they bring with them various ages, abilities and hiking experience. Hikers enjoying the 2-3 day West Coast Trail experience from Nitinaht Lake will find the trail accessible to most abilities.
However, the full trail is definitely meant for hikers who are:
- Able to walk long distances through rough terrain with a heavy pack
- Experienced in multi-day backpacking trips
- Prepared to have an isolated wilderness experience
- Have lots of stamina
- Free of recurring knee, back or ankle injuries
- At least 12 years of age. The West Coast Tail is not recommended for children under 12. All party members must be at least 6 years of age – Parks Canada will not issue an overnight permit to children under 6 years old.
What should I bring on my hike?
The West Coast Trail requires all the equipment you would expect to need during a backcountry wilderness experience. Comfort Campers on the 2-3 day West Coast Trail experience will need sturdy hiking books, a sleeping bag, rain gear, food and a backpack to carry it all.
Hikers on the full trail will also need a tent and other supplies. Go to Parks Canada website at http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/activ/activ6a/iv.aspx for a complete list of gear to pack.
Where can I find more info about the full West Coast Trail hike?
Top questions and answers about the trail from the Government of Canada. https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/activ/activ6a/vii