Swap out skyscrapers for even taller trees with Cove Adventure Tours, an eco-tourism company located in Port Hardy, British Columbia, on the northern end of Vancouver Island. They offer guided hiking tours through an old-growth forest to San Josef Bay and even feature a private option that allows guests to design a tour of any kind, facilitated by skilled guides.
Day hikes to remote San Josef Bay are offered six days a week during the spring-summer season. Be sure to call ahead to book your spots—tour groups are limited to twelve members to keep the guide-to-hiker ratio low, as well as to minimize the impact of tour groups on wildlife.
Minutes into the forested drive to the trailhead, handheld devices lose service and hikers can fully focus on the gorgeous scenery. Tour guides are knowledgeable about the unique flora and fauna found throughout the 45-minute hike along a well-maintained trail. Once you arrive at the bay, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for sea otters and migrating whales, especially in May and June. If the tide is right, you’ll spot anemones, hermit crabs and other small creatures in the tide pools. Groups can relax on the sand or explore the sea stacks and caves along the beach.
Adventurers who crave an experience off the beaten path can work with the guides to find the tour that fits their unique goals and abilities. Past private tours have included stand-up paddle boarding, whale watching, surfing and trips to beaches and bays that are even more secluded and private than San Josef Bay.
In Port Hardy, stay at the four-star First Nations hotel, Qwa’lilas Hotel. Book your guided adventure at coveadventuretours.com. Learn more about Port Hardy and Northern Vancouver Island at vancouverislandnorth.ca.