Sea Stacks point the way to second beach.

San Josef Bay – Vancouver Island Beach Paradise!

I visited San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park on Vancouver Island along with my husband, our two children as well as my father in the Summer of 2012.  It was one stop on our three week road trip on Vancouver Island.  Our home town is in Victoria, BC on the very south tip of Vancouver Island, so our hope was to get to explore our home island and to go as far north as possible.  So for us, San Josef Bay represented the most northern point that we could venture as a family with young children.  It is true, one can hike further north, to the very tip but that is for the more adventurous.

Getting There

San Josef Bay in Cape Scott Provincial Park is a hike-in park at the northwestern tip of Vancouver Island. The trail head for San Josef Bay and Cape Scott is located 64 kilometres west of Port Hardy and can be reached by active logging Roads. Be prepared for the unexpected, yield to logging trucks, and be bear aware!

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Seen Alongside the Logging Road to San Josef Bay.

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Along the Trail

Once you reach the parking lot, the trail to San Josef Bay is a family friendly 2.5 kilometres from the trailhead, taking about 45 minutes one way.  The trail can accomodate a jogging stroller for those hiking with small children. In fact, we shared the trail that day with a couple families who came equipped to stay for a few nights with their children. Much of their camping equipment was hauled into camp using kids wagons!

Some scenes along the trail:

A pedestrian bridge on the trail to San Josef Bay.

A pedestrian bridge on the trail to San Josef Bay.

Lichen resembles a staircase.

Lichen resembles a staircase.

Dad gives a sense of scale to the trees along the trail.

Dad gives a sense of scale to the trees along the trail.

Arriving at the Beach

As we arrived at San Josef Bay, we were taken with the sheer vastness of the vacant beach. Our young son ran far ahead of us as towards the Pacific Ocean.  The tide was low, so it was a long run to the water for his short legs but he got a huge head start and we had a hard time catching up. 

My son heads for the surf!

My son heads for the surf!

The mostly vacant  beach at San Josef Bay!

Dad enjoying the beach at San Josef Bay!

Tidal pools provide hours of enjoyment for children!

My children playing contently in the tidal pools.

My children playing contently in the tidal pools.

My son sees himself in the tidal pools at San Josef Bay.

My son sees himself in the tidal pools at San Josef Bay.

Sea Stacks and Sea Caves

San Josef Bay first caught my attention as I researched our trip due to the awesome sea stacks which are accessible at low tide and are located between first and second beach. After waiting and planning the trip for many months I was filled with awe and emotion at first glimpse of the sea stacks. The wild trees growing atop them left me wondering how they can grow despite little soil, and the wild west coast storms!

First glimpse of the sea stacks.

First glimpse of the sea stacks.

Sea Stacks point the way to second beach.

Sea Stacks point the way to second beach.

San Josef Bay

My daughter provides some scale as she digs in the sand between sea stacks.

My daughter provides some scale as she digs in the sand between sea stacks.

Sea caves accessible during low tide provide an opportunity for exploration.

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Vancouver Island Beach Paradise

Our day at San Josef Bay went by far too quickly. We often talk of our adventure there hoping to return. We had the beach to ourselves for a great portion of the day which is almost unheard of. It is peaceful, awe inspiring and somewhere easily enjoyed as a family!

Rocky Shores

San Josef Bay Reflections

Thank you for taking a look! Prints and cards available at my Website.

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