On This Page
Raft Cove Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
December 12, 2018: Capital Road upgrades June 2019
Capital Road upgrades will be occurring on the San Josef Main FSR during June 2019. The access road will be closed to public and industrial traffic and there will be NO ACCESS to or from the Raft Cove Parking area and trailhead during the following periods:
- June 3 – June 7, 2019
Please plan your trip accordingly, and thank you for your cooperation during this capital road upgrade.
As of February 28, 2017, the Raft Cove Provincial Park backcountry campground will offer backcountry registrations via our Discover Camping Backcountry Registration System.
About This Park
Isolated Raft Cove Provincial Park on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island is wonderfully scenic, attracting wilderness adventurers on day hikes or backpackers carrying in overnight gear to set up camp on the long crescent shaped sandy beach.
This undeveloped, rustic park features a long spit and sandy bay at the mouth of the meandering Macjack River, rocky headlands and a wild coastal environment. Visitors should dress warmly and bring good rain gear at any time of the year, as Raft Cove is extremely exposed to the Pacific weather systems that pound this rugged coastline. Waterproof clothing is a must if you hope to stay dry.
Wilderness camping on the beach is popular at this park, as is surfing, fishing and hiking. During low tides, long shore walks over rock and beach can be made north or south of Raft Cove, at the edge of the pounding Pacific surf.
Access to the beach from the road is via a rugged 2-km route that cuts through coastal old-growth forest of hemlock, western red cedar and Sitka spruce. This unmaintained route has some challenging sections and is extremely muddy in areas.
Special Features: Raft Cove has an estuary at the mouth of the Macjack River, which offers visitors the chance to see river otters and waterfowl.
Established Date: Established Date: March 8, 1990
Park Size: 787 hectares (444 ha upland, 343 ha foreshore)
- Access to this park is by active logging roads. The chance of encountering loaded logging trucks while traveling these roads is highly likely. Logging trucks have the right of way; vehicles must yield to logging trucks and use pullouts when possible.
- Be bear aware and practice wildlife safety.
- Surface water is extremely limited in this park, so be sure to bring drinking water with you. Any water found in streams in the park must be boiled, treated or filtered prior to consumption.
- Exposed coastline is hazardous – be wave and weather wise. Show respect for surf and waves. Watch for unusually large ‘rogue’ waves that occasionally hit the beach. These waves are capable of pulling a person into the water. Keep children away from the surf.
Know Before You Go
- The first 300 metres of the Raft Cove Trail fall outside the park boundary and hikers should use caution when traversing this portion of the trail into the Cove.
- Surfers should be aware there are extremely dangerous undercurrents in this location.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
- Park Map
- Topographical Maps are available at local sporting goods stores and other outlets. For this park, see topographical map #102-1/9.
Nature and Culture
- Conservation: Raft Cove contains features characteristic of the Nahwitti Lowland Landscape such as rounded hills, poorly drained areas, rugged coastline and western hemlock and western red cedar forests. Other park features include a river estuary and a long spit and crescent-shaped sandy beach.
- Wildlife: Raft Cove is home to a significant population of black bears, who forage along the creek beds and beach in the park. Wolves, cougars, Black-tailed deer, raccoons, river otters, red squirrels and a variety of bird species can also be found in the area.
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
Backcountry (beach) and walk-in camping is allowed, but no facilities other than simple pit toilets and food caches are provided.
Please practice “Leave No Trace” camping ethics.
This park is accessible year-round; however, fees are only collected from May 1 – September 30 when backcountry services are provided.Payment must be made via the BC Parks Backcountry Registration System. Although the system does not reserve a campsite, the system provides visitors the convenience of prepaying for their trip and not having to carry cash. Cash payments for backcountry camping opportunities are not available at this time.