Premier Listings for Bute Inlet

The remote and pristine Bute Inlet is a deep fjord located amongst the narrow tidal passages at the northern end of the Strait of Georgia. Carved deep into the mountains of mainland British Columbia’s west coast, the wilderness and mist-shrouded inlet boasts magnificent coastal scenery and abundant wildlife.

Considered one of the grandest fjords in the world, the inlet is surrounded by the rugged coastal mountains that heave out of the emerald waters and rise to heights of nearly 10,000 feet, capped by the Homathko Icefield and numerous other glaciers in the surrounding mountain ranges.

Bute Inlet is 75 km (47 miles) long, with an average width of 3.7 km (2.3 miles) and a maximum depth of 650 metres (2,130 feet). The upper reaches of the inlet comprise steep granite bluffs, numerous hanging valleys, and splendid cascading waterfalls.

The area is the traditional home of the Homalco Band of the Coast Salish people, who lived for thousands of years in several large villages on Bute Inlet and on Stuart Island at the mouth of the inlet.

The first European contact with the First Nations people of Bute Inlet was recorded by the expedition party of explorer Captain George Vancouver during his survey of the Northwest Coast of now British Columbia during the summer of 1792.

There are two main rivers flowing into Bute Inlet, both emptying into Waddington Harbour at the head of the inlet; the Homathko River and the Southgate River. The larger of the two, the Homathko, drains an interior watershed containing several permanent icefields. Runoff to Bute Inlet is highly seasonal, peaking with snow and ice melts in July.

During the Cariboo Gold Rush an ambitious but impractical attempt to build a wagon road from the Pacific coast via Bute Inlet to the Cariboo gold fields was thwarted in the spring of 1864. Led by their Chief Tellot, Natives from the Chilcotin Nation in the interior descended from the mountains surrounding Bute Inlet and killed the crews working to build the road, stopping any further attempt to establish an alternative and shorter route from Victoria to the goldfields.

Today, Bute Inlet is a paradise for photographers, sports fishermen, hikers, kayakers, mountain climbers, wildlife enthusiasts, and experienced backcountry users. A small sawmill at the Homathko logging camp on the Homathko River delta is operated by a few seasonal loggers.

Location: The only access to Bute Inlet is by boat or floatplane. The best departure point for approach by water is Campbell River on the east coast of Vancouver Island. The one-hour boat ride due north navigates Sutil Channel and Calm Channel.

Flickr Album Gallery Pro Powered By: WP Frank

Some of the province’s largest icefields feed the watersheds of British Columbia’s coastal ranges, including one of the largest icefields south of the Arctic Circle, Homathko Icefield, located above Mt. Grenville (3,109m/10,197 ft) and Mt. Queen Bess (3,289m/10,787ft).

Located between Stuart Island and the mainland at the entrance to Bute Inlet are very strong whirlpools called the Arran Rapids, and just to the west, the Yuculta Rapids. These spectacular rapids are generated by powerful tidal currents that race through the narrow channels like rapids in a river, flooding and ebbing at up to 10 to 15 knots. Natives are recorded as having assisted Captain George Vancouver’s men by using ropes from the shore to pull their longboats through the Arran Rapids.

Fifty kilometres inland from the head of Bute Inlet is Mt. Waddington, the highest peak in the Coast Range and the highest mountain wholly within British Columbia, at 13,260 feet. The mountain is named after the English educational pioneer, Alfred Penderell Waddington (1801-1872).

The new and modern salmon enhancement program at the Taggares-Homalco Hatchery on Bute Inlet is operated by the Homalco First Nation, raising and releasing coho salmon smolts into Bute inlet. The program projects that 15% of the released coho will return as mature fish, generating significant economic activity and over 120 jobs in the sportfishing and related tourism industries. The Yuculta Rapids Salmon Enhancement Association operating in the Stuart Island and Sonora Island area also works toward the same goals; the betterment of sports fishing and ensuring the future viability of pacific salmon stocks.

Wildlife: On a visit to Bute Inlet you may encounter bald eagles, cougars, and grizzly bears and black bears feeding along the shoreline and foraging for shellfish. In the emerald waters of the inlet look for otters, sea lions and seals, transient orcas, minke whales, porpoise and pacific white-sided dolphins.

Fishing: The Homathko and Southgate rivers provide world-class fishing for all 5 species of salmon, steelhead, large cutthroat throat and Dolly Varden. With Bute Inlet exposed to the huge number of salmon migrating south down the east coast of Vancouver Island, the area offers world-class fishing, both saltwater and freshwater.

Hiking: The remote Homathko logging camp on the Homathko River delta at the head of Bute Inlet is the starting point for organized multi-day hiking trips into the rugged alpine Coast Mountains. These wilderness hikes traverse granite ridges and snowfields high above the picturesque inlet. The Homathko River Valley provides easier hiking along old logging roads and trails that reward the hiker with magnificent views of the inlet and valley below.

The Homathko River-Tatlayoko Protected Area comprises 17,575 hectares of coastal rainforests and wetlands along the upper reaches of the Homathko River. Unique features of the surrounding area include the spectacular Waddington Canyon on the Homathko River, extensive icefields, the aquamarine Tatlayoko Lake, and valuable wildlife habitat, including the Mosley Creek wetlands and valley migration corridors through the Coast Range. The area is remote and access is difficult, with no trails or roads within the park. Tatlayoko Lake is accessible by boat, and there is a road and a forestry recreation site along the eastern shore of the lake. There are boating opportunities on Tatlayoko Lake, and consistent afternoon thermal winds also create good windsurfing conditions. The Homathko River is considered too dangerous for canoeists, kayakers, or rafters.

Great Bear Rainforest: Seven million acres of ancient rainforest in the Central Coast region of British Columbia, the world’s largest area of unprotected intact temperate rainforest, is earmarked for protection by the government of British Columbia and the First Nations Groups who live there. The Great Bear Rainforest features coastal temperate rainforests, pristine watersheds, rugged shorelines and steep mountainous terrain, ranging from Bute Inlet in the south to the Alaskan panhandle in the north, including Princess Royal Island. This vast and precious area is home to wild salmon, grizzlies, black bears and Kermode (spirit) bears, wolves, eagles and other wildlife.

To the south of Bute Inlet is Campbell River, which bills itself as the Salmon Capital of the World. One of the four main fishing centres on Vancouver Island, Campbell River is a convenient departure point for travel to Bute Inlet.

Also to the south, and a little closer to Bute Inlet, is Quadra Island, the largest and most populated of the Discovery Islands, best known for its natural and beautiful wilderness scenery and its excellent salmon and freshwater sportfishing. Heriot Bay on the southeast coast of the island provides a good boat departure point for Bute Inlet, as does Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island.

Premier Listings

Photo of The BC Oceanfront Real Estate Team Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation and Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation
The BC Oceanfront Real Estate Team Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation and Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation
ROYAL LEPAGE Advance Realty Campbell River 972 Shoppers Row Campbell River BC V9W 2C5 Phone: 250-286-3293Fax: 250-286-1932Toll Free: 1-888-286-1932Cell Phone: 1-250-830-4435 Shelley CellCell Phone: 1-250-287-0011 Ed CellVisit Website

Business Information

It’s a Coastal Lifestyle … Live It!

Specializing in marketing and selling local residential, recreational, unique oceanfront and commercial real estate throughout Campbell River, northern Vancouver Island, Discovery Islands, the Outer Islands and the BC Mainland Coast. Our real estate listings include homes to small oceanfront and lakefront recreational lots, private islands, remote island acreages, fishing lodges, wilderness / adventure resorts and vacation homes, oceanfront / lakefront cabins, marinas, remote & timbered acreages, and development investment properties on the west coast of BC and Vancouver Island – BCO has the Coast covered!

The BC Oceanfront Real Estate Team loves to bring people to the coast and introduce people to the coastal lifestyle. All members of the team live an active coastal lifestyle, and they bring that passion for the coast to all that they do. Shelley and Ed both have their own boats and are very familiar with the many different regions surrounding central and northern Vancouver Island. With a team behind you, you can be sure that someone is always at hand to answer questions and lend assistance.

Return to top.
Photo of The Flow Wilderness Retreat
The Flow Wilderness Retreat
Maurelle Island Discovery Islands BC Mailing Address: Box 706 Quathiaski Cove Quadra Island BC V0P 1N0 Phone: 250-287-0946Toll Free: 1-888-435-2925Visit Website

Business Information

The Flow Wilderness Retreat is located on the wilderness Maurelle Island, just east of Quadra Island in the Discovery Islands, surrounded by emerald green waters offering some of the finest kayaking in the world. Our central location allows us to explore three unique provincial marine parks and return to our luxury base camp each evening.

Enjoy a fresh shore lunch at a different scenic location each day. Relax after a day of adventure with our cedar-wood-fired hot tub, hot showers, hammocks and your private, cozy, cabin accommodation. Three-course gourmet meals with wine are served each evening on our seaside patio overlooking the islands of the Surge Narrows Marine Park.

Water-taxi pick up from Campbell River on Vancouver Island or Heriot Bay on Quadra Island can be arranged through our office with Discovery Launch Water Taxi. Kick back, relax and enjoy a scenic cruise through the enchanting archipelago that is the Discovery Islands.

Return to top.
Photo of Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
685 Heriot Bay Road Quathiaski Cove Quadra Island BC V0P 1N0 Phone: 250-285-9453Toll Free: 1-855-485-9453Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

Business Information

Wildcoast provides memorable kayak vacations for adventure travellers that combine spectacular scenery, scrumptious food, and abundant wildlife encounters, including whales, dolphins, bears and eagles. Kayak with Killer Whales at our Orca base camp in Johnstone Strait, or take one of our kayak expeditions to Desolation Sound or the Discovery Islands. Our top-rated service caters to both local and international clientele. All kayak tours are fully inclusive and no kayaking experience is required. Only have a day? Visit our storefront for paddleboard and kayak Rentals or Day Tours in the stunning vistas surrounding Quadra Island.

Return to top.
Photo of Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours
Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours
Moorage & Office: Discovery Harbour Marina #1 – Dock E Campbell River BC Phone: 250-287-2667Toll Free: 1-877-909-2667Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

Business Information

Mailing address:
1561 Galerno Road
Campbell River, BC
V9W 5N6

As Campbell River’s largest tour operator, we offer excursions on and off the water. With a spacious 14-passenger van, we run Guided Hikes, Winery, Distillery, and Brewery tours. We also have 7 marine vessels that include Zodiacs and covered boats, meaning we have something for all comfort levels!

Grizzly, Whale, and Wildlife tours are available ranging from 3 hours to a full day where you can expect to see Humpback Whales, Orca, Dolphins, Porpoise, Eagles, Sea Lions, Black Bears, and Grizzly Bears!

We are the only company on Northern Vancouver Island that is Carbon Neutral, and protecting the environment is something we deeply care about. For every guest that joins us, 1 square metre of old-growth forest is protected. Join us to create memories that last a lifetime! Boasting 6 consecutive years with a certificate of excellence, you can expect to have a fantastic experience with us!

Return to top.
Photo of Bluewater Adventures
Bluewater Adventures
# 3 – 252 East First Street Vancouver BC V7L 1B3 Phone: 604-980-3800Fax: 604-980-1800Toll Free: 1-888-877-1770Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

Business Information

Explore BC and Southeast Alaska with Bluewater Adventures aboard our 70′ yachts sailing the BC Inside Passage, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Gwaii Haanas National Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Vancouver Island. You’ll see whales, Grizzly, Black and Kermode bears, and experience ancient native villages and Haida culture, primeval forests, wilderness, and amazing coastal wildlife.

Return to top.
Photo of Coast Mountain Expeditions
Coast Mountain Expeditions
Kayaking Base: Quadra Island BC Mailing Address: Box 25 Read Island Surge Narrows BC V0P 1W0 Phone: 250-285-2823Toll Free: 1-855-485-9453Visit Website

Business Information

In 1987 we built our off-grid kayaking lodge in the Discovery Islands with a dream of crafting life-changing multi-day sea kayaking experiences. We still live where we paddle, and our passion for exploring our remote corner of British Columbia has only grown stronger.

Guided trips combine skills instruction, wilderness adventure, and meals prepared from our own garden produce, local sea foods, and home baking. Our kayaking tours explore sheltered routes amid marine parks, abundant wildlife, and rainforest islands – all with spectacular views of the highest peaks of the rugged Coast Mountains.

Return to top.