But a backpacking trip on this rugged and remote trail at the northern tip of Vancouver Island just might be one of the best experiences of your life.
That was my conclusion after a six-day hike in Cape Scott Provincial Park, home of the 43.1-kilometre NCT.
Hiking east to west for 59.5 kilometres, we camped at Nahwitti River, Cape Sutil, Irony Creek, and Laura Creek on the NCT before getting soaked by rain at the Eric Lake campground on the Cape Scott Trail.
From Port Hardy, Cape Scott Water Taxi dropped us off at the Shushartie Bay trailhead, and the North Coast Trail Shuttle picked us up at the Cape Scott trailhead.
If you’re thinking about tackling the NCT, I recommend obtaining a copy of Maria I. Bremner’s excellent guidebook, Cape Scott and the North Coast Trail (Harbour Publishing).
Here’s a look at 10 things you can expect to see while hiking the often-muddy NCT.