The Sunshine Coast of British Columbia is split into two portions on either side of Jervis Inlet. Roughly speaking, the southern half between the ferry slips at Langdale and Earls Cove occupies the Sechelt Peninsula, while the northern half between the ferry slip at Saltery Bay and Lund sits on the Malaspina Peninsula. The beautiful coastline is deeply indented at Jervis Inlet, slicing deep into the Coast Mountain Range. Jervis Inlet becomes Princess Royal Reach and Queens Reach, with a branch to Princess Louisa Inlet and the famed Chatterbox Falls.
Jervis Inlet and Desolation Sound to the north are of such fjordic proportions that they attract a steady stream of marine traffic throughout the summer months, when brilliant sun shines on the countless cataracts that cascade down the sheer-sided slopes. Come moodier months, the clouds become ensnared in the snaggle-toothed peaks, making you feel just as pleased to stick to the sunnier coastline.
Jervis Inlet is named after Rear Admiral Sir John Jervis (1735-1823), who was made Earl St. Vincent after his great victory on 14 February 1797 over the Spaniards off Cape St. Vincent.
Location: Jervis Inlet is located on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, northwest of Vancouver. From Vancouver, travellers board a BC Ferry at Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver for the 45-minute ride to Langdale on the Sechelt Peninsula. Highway 101 links Langdale with Earls Cove, 50 miles (80 km) to the north, from where another ferry crosses Jervis Inlet to Saltery Bay (60 minutes). Jervis Inlet is also accessible from Vancouver Island by ferry from Comox to Powell River and a drive south on Highway 101 to Saltery Bay.
A popular recreation destination in Jervis Inlet is Hotham Sound, an isolated and protected warm-water wilderness leading off the north shore of the inlet. Hotham Sound is ringed by steep mountains and walls of sheer rock, with numerous tumbling waterfalls – majestic Pacific Northwest scenery! Hotham Sound is named after Admiral William Hotham of the Royal Navy, Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean in the 1790s. The peaceful Hotham Sound is a favourite destination for kayakers, who explore the sheltered coves and bays, and enjoy wilderness camping amongst the Harmony Islands.
Harmony Islands Marine Provincial Park is located on the east side of tranquil Hotham Sound, off Jervis Inlet. The park includes the southern most of four Harmony Islands, the smaller northernmost island, and most of the inside foreshore. A mile south of the Harmony Islands, boaters can view the impressive Freil Lake Falls, a 1,400-foot cascade down an almost sheer rock cliff-face into Hotham Sound below. The best time to view Freil Lake Falls is in the spring and early summer, when water flows are at their highest.
Saltery Bay Provincial Park comprises two separate waterfront areas on the north shore of Jervis Inlet. The wooded campground and picnic day-use area serves as a convenient base for visitors travelling Highway 101 to Powell River and beyond. Paddlers use the park as a convenient base and departure point for expeditions around Saltery Bay and the shoreline of Jervis Inlet.
Hardy Island Marine Provincial Park is a small Island in Blind Bay at the mouth of Jervis Inlet. Located just off the south shore of Hardy Island, northwest of Fox Island, Musket Island is only an island at high tide. The undeveloped park is the epitome of peace and tranquility, where wildlife like eagles and seals abound. The warm water encourages swimming, and wilderness campsites are provided for overnight campers.
Princess Louisa Marine Provincial Park has a charm and scenic beauty that must be seen and experienced to be fully appreciated. Voted the “most scenic natural anchorage” in the world, the marine park is located in the Princess Louisa Inlet and is accessible by boat or plane only – there are no public roads. Tumbling 45 metres at the head of Princess Louisa Inlet is the beautiful Chatterbox Falls, one of the most visited and celebrated nautical destinations in British Columbia.
Sechelt Inlets Marine Provincial Park is a narrow fjordlike environment on the Sunshine Coast where old-growth forest plummets down the sides of the Caren Range mountains to the ocean. This 155-hectare marine recreation area is a collection of wilderness campsites located north of Sechelt in the sheltered waters of Sechelt Inlet. Skookumchuck Narrows is the entry passage into Sechelt Inlet from Jervis Inlet.
Diving: Saltery Bay is a favourite scuba destination. The shallow offshore waters are noted for a wide variety of marine life. Caverns and offshore reefs attract divers from around the world. An exquisitely sculptured nine-foot bronze statue of a mermaid, known as the Emerald Princess, sits in 20 metres of water, welcoming divers to the emerald sea at Mermaid Cove. The oceanside ramp at Mermaid Cove provides a safe, simple passage for physically disabled divers. Diving on the BC Sunshine Coast.
Boating, Sailing & Cruising: The boating and sailing season in BC is year-round, with coastal waters boasting an abundance of marine life, including sea lions, porpoises and orcas (killer whales), which provide great wildlife viewing and excitement underway. More information on Boating, Sailing & Cruising on the BC Sunshine Coast.