How do you access the Sunshine Coast Trail?
There are over two dozen entry points to the trail via highway and logging roads. Thanks to a new mapping project, as of 2015 you will find lots of highway signage to indicate highway entry points to help you find your way.
What are the accommodations/camping options like?
You are allowed to camp in the numerous designated areas along the trail. Most of the campsites have an outhouse, a picnic table, and some even have basic shelters and fully winterized huts, which are open to everyone on a shared-use basis and can accommodate up to 12 people. You cannot book huts ahead of time – they are on a first-come, first-served basis for sleeping (but it is expected that the other hut facilities will be shared, regardless of how busy the huts are). There are many off-trail B&Bs, motels and hotels nearby, which is a favourite way to access the trail on day trips with drop-off and pick-up options.
Are hikers allowed to have campfires?
Campfires are allowed as long as there is not a Provincial or regional fire ban in effect. Use existing fire pits and dead wood only, please. Ensure that your campfire is completely extinguished before leaving a site.
Is there cell phone coverage along the trail?
Reception on the trail is sporadic, especially in valleys where coverage is blocked by the mountains. It is best on slopes facing Powell River or the Salish Sea.
What type of clothing should I bring?
Never leave home without proper rain gear and footwear; you are on the coast and in the mountains where weather can change dramatically without warning.
How difficult is the trail?
Most of the trail is moderate with some short sections of difficult terrain. The trail was designed to be family friendly, but cumulatively it is a challenge even to the most seasoned experts.
What about safety at night?
The huts have sleeping lofts that can be closed at night to keep the critters out.
Are there toilets along the trail?
Pit toilets can be found at each of the huts and at various locations on the trail.
Where can I get water along the trail?
There is access to water along most of the trail via creeks and lakes, except some high mountain summits. If you are going on a multi-day hike and will need access to water other than what you can carry, please inform yourself about water access in the area you are visiting. The best way to do this is by getting a copy of the SCT guidebook. You are advised to boil your water or use a purification system.
What is the weather like?
Weather can be changeable and is driest during the months of July, August and September. Be sure to keep hydrated, especially on hot days.
What wildlife might I see?
Bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes, elk, deer, racoons, frogs, many species of birds, from eagles to marbled murrelets, plus sea mammals like otters, seals, dolphins, sea lions and whales are just a few of the creatures you may encounter along the way. Be aware and travel with care and respect. Bear bells are available at the Powell River Visitor Infocentre (4760 Joyce Avenue).