San Josef River is best known as the starting point for hikes into the Cape
Scott Park. But the 28 km of River from the Cape Scott Park Trailhead to
San Josef Bay also has some awesome fishing.
There are resident Cutthroat trout along
with good runs of both summer and winter Steelhead and runs of Coho,
Chinook, Chum and pinks in the fall.
The trail from river park
leads to one of the most beautiful beaches on Vancouver Island This trail
is well maintained and flat
enough to accommodate wheelchairs and is only a 45 minute walk to the bay.
There is a park on the banks of the San Josef River and if you have a kayak,
canoe, or other small boat, then this spot can offer you easy access to this
wilderness paradise. At high tide, drop in the boat and head down to the bay,
fishing as you go.
When the river
breaks into the bay, be prepared to be amazed. The sandy beaches are pure white,
the water is an incredible blue and the scenery is just beautiful.
A rock bluff splits the 1.5 km long beach. This is easy to navigate around at
low tide, but at high tide you can take the trail that goes
over the top. The sea stacks, rising out of the shore between first and second
beach are something to see and hike around, as are the sea caves located in the park.
If you plan on tenting, beware of the bears as they are plentiful the area when
the salmon are spawning. While there are outhouses available. Water needs to be
ether brought in or boiled from water collected in the river.
To reach the trailhead by
boat, make sure the tide is in before you head up stream to the campground and
There are two small
campgrounds located just outside the park to the south, less than a km from the
trailhead parking area. They include trailer and tent sites.