Stage 11 - San Josef Bay to Port Hardy



Distance: 70 km
Riding Time: 2 hrs





Overview
Once you leave Holberg, stage 11 begins to punish you with rocks and gravel and doesn't let up all the way to Port Hardy where the last thing you'll fight through is 15km of deep soupy gravel. It's a necessary evil brought about from the many hikers travelling this road to Cape Scott.

Special Note
Recommend lowering tire pressure, if you haven't already.

Meetup Location
The Scarlet Ibis in Holberg is a good place to meet, discuss the route, and lower your tire pressure before setting out.

Food and Coffee
Food is available in Holberg at the Scarlet Ibit. Port Hardy offers many food options.

Scenery2 / 5
Aside from a few interesting stops along the way, this road is basically a gravel highway for hikers heading out to Cape Scott. Not much to see, however taking a small side trip off NE60 Rd to NE50 Rd offers some really nice forest roads and logging activity.

Traffic2 / 5
Generally not a lot of traffic, however what traffic there is will generally fall into three classes: the slow distracted camper vans, the aggressive lumbering hiking shuttles, or the rushing logging trucks. Beware of all three. 

Difficulty3 / 5
The route itself is not very challenging, however a lot of care must be taken due to road conditions. The soupy gravel outside Port Hardy makes it especially difficult to maintain front tire control. Ride with care.

Road Conditions2 / 5
One of the worst roads, second only to stage 5. Most of the route is brutal hard packed dirt and rocks that will shake your suspension into submission. And the only change of pace is when you find 15km of soupy gravel 3 inches deep threatening to spill you off your bike.


 Points of Interest
1. Nahwitti Lake
Protected on all sides by trees and hills, this lake is generally free from the wind and will present a glass-like surface. 
 
2. The Shoe Tree
Located between Port Hardy and Holberg. Rumor has it that it started with one hiker nailing a pair of worn out hiking shoes to the tree and now there are hundreds of shoes there, including one particularly odd looking prosthetic leg.

3. Seagate Wharf
The Seagate Wharf is the closest wharf to downtown Port Hardy, and is home to the Canadian Coast Guard vessels stationed in the region. It's a short walk to restaurants, grocery stores and shopping, the Visitor Information Centre and many accommodations.