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Vancouver Island Backbone

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Hiker on the Beaufort Range

The Route

Map of Vancouver Island Backbone ©API

Hiking Guide to the

Vancouver Island Backbone

ISBN 0-9680766-1-0

Out of Print
available electronically

Route Sections

1-Beaufort Range, Port Alberni to Cumberland ; 55km/32mi B

2- Forbidden Plateau, Cumberland to Augerpoint at Buttle Lake; 36km/22mi A

3- Buttle Lake, Augerpoint to Buttle Narrows; 30km/20mi B

4- Gold Lake, Crest mountain to Gold Lake; 28km/18mi C

5- Victoria Peak, Gold Lake to Nimpkish Road; 31km/20mi C

6- Tlupana Range, Nimpkish Road to Tahsis; 40km/25mi C

7- Woss Lake, Tahsis to Woss; 35km/22mi B

8- Nimpkish River, Woss to Port McNeill; 65km/40mi P


Route Grading

A: For hikers with some backcountry experience. Section follows maintained trails and unmarked routes

B: Section may use trails but mostly unmarked routes in remote terrain. Good navigation and self-sufficiency skills required.

C: Travel through rugged and remote mountain terrain. For experienced hikers, excellent navigation and self-sufficiency skills required.

P: Lake and grade 2-3 whitewater paddling. Suitable for experienced kayakers, canoeists and rafters.

Ferry Routes

Scheduled car ferry services operate on the following routes;

Tsawwassen BC – Schwartz Bay (near Victoria)

Tsawwassen BC – Nanaimo

Horseshoe Bay BC – Nanaimo

Seattle WA – Victoria

Port Angeles WA – Victoria

Tsawwassen is located south of the city of Vancouver and is the preferred port if you are coming from the USA on Highway 99. Horseshoe Bay is on the north side of Vancouver and is the departure point for traffic on the Trans-Canada (#1) Highway. No reservations are required, service is first come- first across.