Based in Canmore, Alberta, Nick Fitzhardinge Photography offers a diverse range of professional photography services throughout the Canadian Rockies. Whether it is working with commercial clients, teaching photography in remote wilderness locations, or capturing special moments of you and your loved ones, we deliver world class imagery, unique experiences and exceptional service.

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WEST COAST TRAIL BACKPACKING PHOTOGRAPHY ADVENTURE

HIKE THIS BUCKET LIST BACKPACKING TRAIL WHILE ELEVATING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY ALONG THE WAY!

Experience a guided backpacking adventure of the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island with a professional photographer to help you capture it all (2025 Dates TBD in December)

  • COST
  • $ 1725

    + GST (5%) / $ CAD
  • * 2025 Dates TBD (6 nights/7 days)
  • ** Maximum group size: 6 + guide.
  • *** We accept all major credit cards, debit cards, PayPal & more.
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  • LEARN & IMPROVE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY

    For complete beginners and advanced photographers alike, we cater to you.

    This trip will involve you learning more each day and by the end expertly capturing the Vancouver Island landscapes that we come across. I’ll always be working with you and your camera gear so that you will walk away a better photographer, get bucket list shots, and be inspired for your future photography shoots as you will have taken another step forward technically and creatively.

  • EXPERIENCE THE WEST COAST TRAIL WITH A CERTIFIED GUIDE

    Have confidence that you are with a professional guide who has your safety and enjoyment top of mind.

    We are fully certified with two professional guiding associations in Canada, the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) as a Hiking Guide, and the IGA (Interpretive Guides Association) as a Professional Interpretive Guide.

  • WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

    Some testimonials from past guests:

    – “Nick is incredibly knowledgeable about both photography and the surroundings we’re shooting in, which helped me connect more with the landscape. I learned so much in just a few days. He works with you and the style you like to shoot in and gives you tips and composition ideas. He ensured everyone in the workshop was safe and comfortable as well. I hope to do another workshop with Nick again!”  –  Ti-An

    – “Spending a few days with Nick in the Banff area were days well spent! We loved Nick’s patience and knowledge, never once making us feel inadequate, whether it was with our cameras or our physical ability to go places. His gentle reminders about technical use of our gear, and pointing out amazing compositions were all appreciated. Nick is not just knowledgeable about photography, but we also learned so much about the area, the geography and history. Within hours of meeting Nick, I felt safe, as if my own son was taking me on a vacation. I would not hesitate to book another tour with Nick and take my love of photography and the outdoors even further”  –  Sheryl

    View more testimonials here.

2024 WEST COAST TRAIL: VANCOUVER ISLAND

(6 night/7 day wilderness photography adventure: 2025 Dates TBD)

What to expect

A wild remote Vancouver Island adventure that has become as equally world renowned for it’s challenges as for its natural scenery. One of the most epic trails you will ever do, quite simply the hike of a lifetime! Beach camping, waterfalls spilling into the ocean, diverse land and marine life, old growth forest & what feels like a massive obstacle course (approximately 70 ladders, 130 bridges & 4 cable car crossings) that you can only shake your head at in disbelief sometimes. The trail was originally built in 1907 to facilitate the rescue of shipwreck survivors and it passes through the territory of the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht, and Pacheedaht First Nations, who have long used this coast as a travel corridor.

A moderate-high level of fitness is required. Walking distances of between 7 – 16km per day with sometimes awkward uneven trail, rocks, ladders, rivers, cable car crossings, mud as well as many ups and downs to negotiate. You will need to be able to carry your camping gear, food & camera with you for the full 75km. It is going to be something you will remember forever! Our group size is limited to 6 participants to keep our impact low and to maximize the experience, both with regards to photography and your enjoyment.

Participants will need to bring their own gear, along with food for the duration of the trip. Packing recommendations will be provided. It is a great way to unplug, get off the grid and connect with the outdoors since there is no cell reception for 7 days!

I am a licensed guide in Pacific Rim National Park with current first aid and advanced wilderness first aid certifications & have taken prior coastal backpacking trips on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, including this one. We have emergency response devices and an emergency response plan to execute if necessary. This backpacking trip is suitable for those with a moderate-high level of fitness and prior experience backpacking although we are here to guide you safely through every step of the way (including with pre-trip preparation if you are newer to backpacking or if you have any concerns at all).

A minimum number of 2 participants is required and if this is not met we reserve the right to cancel the trip and a full refund will be provided.

Pricing includes your West Coast Trail permit, shuttle bus reservation, the two ferry crossings on the trail, National Park entry fees, a meal at the famous crab shack, 6 nights of beach camping, 1v1 photography instruction throughout the trip, and a professional ACMG/IGA Hiking Guide.

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What to Bring

A detailed list will be provided to you. This will include camera gear, clothing/hiking gear, & food ideas. All of it will need to fit into your backpack so camera gear will be minimized for this adventure to keep things as lightweight as possible.

Start/Finish Time

We will meet in the Port Renfrew area in the evening prior to our first day on the trail. We will be on the shuttle bus the following morning taking us to the North end of the trail to start. We will finish in the Port Renfrew area 7 days later.

Locations

The entire West Coast Trail! All 75km (47 miles) of it. We will be camping in pristine camps, often on the beach and by waterfalls spilling into the ocean with nearby old growth forest. We will also visit a combination of Fairy Lake, Botancial Beach & Avatar Grove prior to the trip to photograph these amazing locations in the Port Renfrew area, time permitting.

 

FAQs

Where do we meet for this on day 1?

We will meet in the Port Renfrew area at a predetermined location in the afternoon/evening on the day before the trip. Those that want to photograph the Fairy Lake bonsai tree or other cool locations will have the opportunity after we’ve met up!

Where can I get food on this trip?

You will need to bring all food with you. We will provide recommendations on what to bring. Camp stoves & gas will be pooled among the group to keep the weight as efficient as possible. A meal (lunch) at the famous crab shack along the trail is included in the trip price.

What happens in the case of poor weather?

The West Coast Trail Photography Adventure will go ahead regardless of the weather conditions. Your photographs will look interesting in all types of weather and some of the most creative and unique photos come from the most improbable conditions! Bring weather appropriate clothing – which we will advise you on. The trail gets very muddy and May offers mixed weather with temperatures in the 8-15 degree C range.

What wildlife is it possible to encounter on the West Coast Trail?

Black bears, whales, river otters, sea lions, wolves, cougars & abundant bird life including bald eagles and ravens all call this area home. It is a bio-diverse region and sightings are common throughout despite hikers using the same area. We will take precautions and carry bear spray during the trip.

Is this a backpacking trip or a photography trip?

Both! Although we advertise this as a photography adventure it is truly a wilderness backpacking experience first and those with less interest in the photography side of things are equally welcome. Photography opportunities and learning will be incorporated into the flow of the trip mostly once settled into camp. We also find that great photo ops are great interpretive moments or good times for a break, snack & water out on the trail too!

Will I need to sign a waiver to participate?

Yes, we will bring it for you to sign when we meet on the first day of the trip. A copy will be provided in advance prior to you booking as well.

What is the cancellation & refund policy?

There are no refunds, trip insurance is strongly recommended if you foresee any issues which would prevent you from joining after you’ve signed up. See our terms & conditions.

Questions? Special requests?
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