San Josef Bay Beach

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Beaches, Pacific Northwest

San Josef Bay Beach, Vancouver Island
San Josef Beach, Photo By Bud Logan

The Cape Scott Provincial Park is located at the north west end of Vancouver Island and contains many fascinating bays and beaches. One of my favorite bays is San Josef Bay with its sea stacks. Many people visit the bay just to see these formations. The beach is stunning, the first time l came into the bay was incredible, l was very impressed with the sandy beaches that seemed to go on forever. The trail is very good, wheelchair accessible and gentle enough for both little ones and the elderly to easily travel on.

Middens and other remains of settlements serve as evidence that local First Nations have been present in the area for thousands of years. The first European settlers first began arriving in 1897 and began to settle, attempting to build farms in what is now the provincial park. They had a difficult time trying to work the land and left after a few years. They left behind cleared patches and fields that are now semi-wild as well as many place names, including Hansen Lagoon, and Nissen Bight.

San Josef Bay Beach, Vancouver Island
San Josef Beach, Photo By Bud Logan

The sea stacks at San Josef Bay Beach are beautiful. Water surging through the sandy passages at high tide has slowly eroded the softer outer rock, leaving behind only the harder formations. Sea stacks typically form when wave action eats away the surrounding soft rock. They can only be found in San Josef Bay on Vancouver Island.

As part of Cape Scott Provincial Park, San Josef Bay is easily accessible on well maintained trails and board-walks. From the nearest parking lot and trail-head, there is a three km, fairly easy hike that takes you to the bay.

The road in from port hardy is long but fairly well maintained, but please drive with cation as these roads are active logging roads.

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