WCT Day 5 – Cribs Creek to Tsusiat Falls

Well today is a real big day.  We have a suspension bridge, crab and salmon for lunch, a boat ride, a cable car, a really nice campsite complete with falls and a marriage proposal.  That’s a lot to pack into a day – don’t you think?   So in order to get all of that done, we were up at 6 and doing our usual morning routine.  Head for the bathroom, pick up the food from the bear cache, get snacks and drink crystals out for use during the day – and get the water on for tea and coffee.

This morning we have eggs (powdered) with added bacon and a side of hashbrowns along with our coffee, tea and hot chocolate.   That is a good way to start the day after the sunset and phosphorescence show of last night.  Before we leave though, need to filter and treat our water bottles.  We actually each have a Katydyn water bottle that has a virus filter in it.  You can buy them at MEC, Wilderness Supply in Winnipeg www.wildernesssupply.ca/ , Valhalla Pure Outfitters or other good outdoor stores.  It needs to have the VirusStat filter though or it does not kill bacteria.  Best thing about this water bottle is that you can pretty much scoop water from anywhere and drink through the spout with no worries.  On top of this we each carry a 1 litre Nalgene for flavoured water during the day, and water for cooking, tea, coffee and hot chocolate when we stop in the evening.

To get to Nitinat Narrows by noon we have about 10 kms to hike.

It is advised that we stay off the beach between Cribs Creek and Cheewat due to tide levels.  The first while we can stay on the beach as it is early morning and the tide is out.  We will only have to go inland to bypass Dare Point and the rocky shoreline, than can come back to the beach.  Sweet

As we were leaving the site in the morning we saw a few early risers – of the bird variety.


Shore bird = not sure what kind

Immature bald eagle

Morning sunrise view after tide was out

Morning sunrise

Walking along the first section of beach was quiet and peaceful once the tide was out.  The views were nice,

View along the beach

the sand was smooth,

Beach cleared of any evidence of yesterday's hikers

the crabs were fiesty,

A small crab looking to fight

had some slippery walking,

rocks with seaweed on them can be quite slippery

as well as some better walking

some higher, dryer walking

and now it is time to leave the “beach” and head inland

waves crashing along shoreline

but as we were leaving the beach (around KM 39), we found some very interesting fossils



the inland trail had some really good views of the coast as it is not far from the cliff edges

the trail itself is in pretty good shape.  there are some slightly wet areas, but not much in the way of deep mud.

trail through hedge

some good trail hiking

As we come off the inland trail (around KM 37), we have a short stretch of rocky ground

rocky stretch coming off inland trail

followed by some real nice sand beaches (about 1.5 kms long).  This is the area we were warned about during orientation that is frequented by bears who have bothered some hikers.

a really nice long beach walk - didn't see any bears though

At the end of the beach we head off onto the inland route.  This part of the trail (about 4 kms) crosses Ditidaht Tribe Reserve Lands.   There is a sign as you enter that says


Ditidaht Tribe Reserve Lands sign

The trail from here to Tsuquanah Point is maintained by the Ditidaht Tribe and Parks Canada.  After walking the beach (one of the nicest we have walked on so far) the trail is a real treat. The woods are quiet and peaceful, the trail wide and well maintained and no ladders.

trail through Ditidaht Tribe Reserve Lands

Around KM 36 we reached the suspension bridge over the Cheewhat River.  A much more solid structure than the last one.

Cheewhat River Suspension bridge

coming off the bridge there are a few sketchy, slippery boardwalks

Sketchy, slippery boardwalk

nice scenic views,

places to sit,

large trees

many roots,

more good sections of trail,

tunnels through trees – I really like these – they make you feel like a Hobbit,

nice boardwalks,

COUGAR tracks – on the trail,

and of course NITINAT NARROWS and CRAB – woo hoo! (for me anyways) – salmon if you are not partial to crab

Nitinat Narrows - Dean and Leane at table

what a crab looks like when served

What a crab looks like afterwards

Nitinat river

Your taxi just left

well that gets us to lunch time – a busy day already

Now for the afternoon.  We are going to Tsusiat Falls today which is another 5.5 kms.  Should be an easy afternoon right?   Not so fast – there are more hills, bridges, ladders, roots and of course boardwalks in all states of repair – or disrepair.  So here we go!

We show our Permits to our water taxi driver, his dog jumps in to join us and we head across the short channel to the north side of Nitinat Narrows.  Nice greenish-blue water but not drinkable – too much salt still in it.

Immediately after stepping off the boat we are met with a pretty steady climb (to wear off the lunch no doubt)  including boardwalks that go uphill with slats for grips

boardwalk needing some repairs

some fabulous views,

scenic trails,


and rocky points,

rocky point along trail

The trail continues through an Indian Reserve between KM 30.5 and KM 29.5.  Access to the beach in this area is prohibited and the trail returns to the beach at KM 29.5.  This is about 2 kms from Tsusiat Falls.

The walk is pretty much normal until we get to the top of the ladders to get down to Tsusiat Falls.   They look like this

looking down the ladders from the top towards Tususiat beach

first good view of Tsusiat beach from platform

Tsusiat Falls beach and campsite

Tsusiat beach to north

and to the south

the campsite here is split in two by the river coming over the falls.  You can camp on this (south)  side of the river (which is where the ladders will be next day) or take off your shoes, head across and camp on the far side.  This is where the bathrooms and bear boxes are.   We stayed on this side as we figured we would prefer to get ready in the morning and head out rather than get ready, cross through the water, put our boots back on and then go up the ladders.

home for the night

and now the main attaction – the Falls

supper tonight is Red Thai Curry – a bit spicy as the cook added in too much of the Red Curry Paste (all of it actually) – hoo wee this one will be remembered

Just after supper Dean asked us for a favour.  Could we hold his camera, point it at him and Leane, and take a picture when he proposed in front of the falls?   She sure wasn’t expecting that – she kept trying to turn to face the camera to get her picture taken, and he kept turning her back to face him – I think she got it when he went down on one knee.

Following supper we sat at the fire with some others and chatted for a while, until the sun decided to set with another spectacular display.   Can it get any better than this?  This is a compilation of some of the shots each of us took.

and with that Day 5 ends.  I would say that was a good day, packed full with everything you could possibly want.  Good night.

About trailsandtrips

I am a consultant in the forestry and environmental fields and spend my recreational time in a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
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