This year we’ve made it our mission to say yes to opportunities and experiences. A few weeks ago I had mentioned to my sister-in-law that we wanted to visit San Josef Bay. Up until a few weeks ago I had never even heard about this gem on Vancouver Island, but exploring the pictures on google I knew that we had to make this trip ASAP.
The Trek to San Josef Bay is just that, a trek. But I promise you, it’s worth it and more.
I live in Campbell River, British Columbia which is central Island. San Josef is a 75 km’s drive from Port Hardy.
For us, it was about a 4.5 hour drive each way and then a 2.5 km hike to the beach and then another 1-1.5 km hike on the beach.
At the end of the day, we were exhausted but our hearts were full.
This isn’t the opening to the beach as we thought. This is after we had walked on the beach for a 1 km. Isn’t it stunning? it opens up to a beautiful little bay.
So, without further ado, I want to walk you through the trek, what to bring and how to be prepared with littles.
The Trek To San Josef Bay
We made sure our vehicle was full of gas. Although there are gas stations along the way, they are far and few. We also made sure we had a cooler packed full of food and drinks. There isn’t any fast food along the way.
Once you get to Port Hardy, you turn onto a logging road ( Holberg Road ). The actual logging road only totals 69.6 km’s from the turn off, but they feel much much longer as they’re not paved and the pot holes are pretty epic. Max speed you can go is between 40-50 km’s an hour. Both ways it took us over 1.5 hours.
This photo above is taken from the trail. You will pass over a few of these older bridges. The actual trail is muddy and has lots of elevation, but few roots. I would recommend bringing a jogging stroller on this trail. I struggled in a few areas with our jogging stroller, but the trail spans about 2.5 km’s and is a decent hike in. our five-year-old was struggling to make the full hike back and fell asleep as soon as we got to the car!
There are two outhouses. One when you start on the trail and one at the end the trail. None of use used them though and we opted to use the bushes. ( much cleaner and safer during Covid if you ask me )
On the hike we saw this massive tree slightly off the trail that we had to get a photo with.
Once you get to the beach, there is sand for days & not a ton of rocks which is nice. If it’s raining, like it was when we were there, there is also trees draping over the beach for some protection from the rain. There are also caves to sit inside as well.
We took so many photos and we honestly didn’t do San Josef Bay justice. It felt like a tropical oasis far far away from home. Like we had escaped to The Big Island in Hawaii.
But it cost much much less. A full tank of gas and a cooler of food!
This trip was one-of-a-kind and I hope it is always imprinted in our kids minds. I hope after reading this blog you make the trek out to San Josef Bay as it was such a treat!
Quick recap of what we learned:
-Bring lots of food and snacks
-Transitional Clothes as it went from being quite cold, to being warm
-Bring a stroller or wagon – something to bring blankets, food etc
-Bring your own toilet paper + hand sanitizer
-Bring an extra tire due to the logging roads
-Bring a camera as you will want to document your trip
Have you ever been to San Josef Bay? What was your experience?