FATMAP by Strava

Day 4 North Coast Trail

Vancouver Island

With minimal inland trails, this section is almost entirely coastal with a great potential for wildlife sightings.

Hiking Difficult

13 km
230 m
234 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
0 m
High Point
28 m
Day 4 North Coast Trail Map

Day 4 on trail is another very remote but scenic day on trail. You truly are out in the wilderness here, with minimal people and plenty of wildlife, there is a very high chance you will see more bears than people on this section of trail.


After a short walk on the beautiful beach at Shuttleworth Bright, you begin the only significant inland trail of the day. This inland trail starts out as a muddy swamp, but that doesn't last too long and you will soon find yourself at the 2nd cable car on trail. The views going over the river here are awesome, but beware, the bears like this area too, so make plenty of noise in this area, as it's not a good place for a bear encounter.

On the other side of the river, the forest slowly opens up and you get to enjoy the old-growth forest as you make your way back to the beach. This is actually a really enjoyable inland section and not too difficult compared to some of the other inland sections, so it won't be long before you are back at the beach.

Once you are back on the beach, it's almost entirely coastal the entire way to Laura Creek, this is a great section to spot wildlife. You will see plenty of bald eagles and may encounter sea otters, whales and bears. Most bear sightings on the North Coast Trail happen on this section of trail, so keep your eyes open to spot one, you may also spot wolf tracks on the beach too.

Laura Creek is a really nice campground, you get great views on the beach here and the tent pads in the forest offer some protection from the elements if there's bad weather. This is a slightly easier day compared to what you will have encountered so far. However; even though it's mainly coastal hiking, it is on rocky and uneven terrain that makes it hard to walk on.

If you wanted to cut a day off this itinerary, then this is a good place to do it by continuing onto Nissan Bright. That is a difficult section of trail though, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you are short on time.



Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

between May and October


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area