Premier Listings for Desolation Sound Marine Park

Most yachtsmen regard Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park as the most beautiful cruising ground in British Columbia, and one of the premier sailing playgrounds in the world.

Sixty miles of breathtaking coastline, intricate waterways, small islands and numerous attractive bays and coves, nooks and crannies – enough to delight even the most demanding of adventurers.

Only your time and imagination will limit the endless variety of places to discover and activities to pursue in this unforgettable marine park, the largest in BC. One of the prime attractions of these waters is their warmth in summer months, which makes them ideal for swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving.

Camping areas ashore abound, and the forested parkland comprises extensive trails and small lakes. Desolation Sound is a fantastic area for sea kayaking. A virtual absence of development in the 8,449-hectare park area provides visitors with almost total isolation in this protected, wilderness environment. Visitors should be well prepared and self-sufficient. Campers should follow proper backcountry travel procedures to secure food from animals.

The scenery of Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park is less severe than many of the other sheer-sided waterways along the central coast, although just as majestic. Set back from the park to the north, east and south are the snowcapped peaks of the Coast Mountains that soar from the tideline to heights of 2,400 metres.

Desolation Sound possesses a magical magnetism that draws boaters and paddlers from distant shores. Most of those who arrive aboard boats tend to congregate in popular anchorages, such as Prideaux Haven, Tenedos Bay, and Grace Harbour, much as “fifth-wheelers” converge on RV parks. Be a little more imaginative and you’ll find plenty of isolated bays and campsites throughout Desolation Sound’s 60 km of coastline. Safe anchorages in Desolation Sound Marine Park, at the confluence of Malaspina Inlet and Homfray Channel, include:

Grace Harbour
A long and narrow sheltered bay located on Gifford Peninsula in Malaspina Inlet. The inner part of Grace Harbour is completely protected from all winds and seas. There are a few wilderness camping spots at the end of the bay, and a series of hiking trails. Follow the trail at the northern end of the harbour to a small, peaceful, freshwater beaver lake. Facilities include pit toilets and an information shelter.

Galley Bay and Isabel Bay or other bays provide anchorage for cruising boats and landing spots for kayakers wishing to explore ashore or set up camp for the night.

Thors Cove
Thors Cove is outside the Park – with a southeast wind blowing up Okeover Inlet and out Malaspina, this same wind will blow up Lancelot Inlet as a southerly and almost diretly into Thors Cove as a westerly. The best protection in these circumstances can be found in the extreme south end of the cove or directly behind a tiny inlet near the south end.

Theodosia Inlet
The current runs quite quickly through the narrow twisting channel which opens up inside Theodosia. Theodosia Inlet is almost a lagoon – good anchorage is available throughout the Inlet as well as behind this islet.

Wootton Bay
Several temporary anchorages are possible near the head of Wootton Bay with goood protection from the nightime westerly but somewhat exposed to anything from the south or southeast.

Mink Island
Mink Island is outside the park boundaries but is still a very popular anchorages in Desolation Sound. The outer anchorage is fairly deep and completely open to the east. Shallower, more protected anchorage is possible behind a small islet near the head of the cove.

Tenedos Bay
Bold Head shelters this beautiful bay south of Prideaux Haven, in Homfray Channel. Favoured anchorages in Tenedos Bay are inside the island on the bay’s northern shore, or at the head of the bay, near Unwin Lake. A pleasant stroll along a trail leads to Unwin Lake, an ideal fresh and warm water swimming spot. Facilities include campsites, pit toilets and an information shelter. Kayakers and campers can explore nearby Mink, Curme and Otter Islands.

Prideaux Haven
Strategically located as a base for boaters to explore the Sound, this anchorage is an elongated bay dotted with islands, small coves and passageways. Prideaux Haven is one of the most beautiful anchorages in Desolation Sound. This is a marvellous place to explore by kayak, paddling among small coves, inlets and islands. Ashore, interesting tidal pools and marshes will enthral you with an abundance of marine organisms, birds and waterfowl.

Melanie Cove and Laura Cove are favoured anchorages for boaters, although anchorage is available at a number of locations along the shoreline.

Boaters and paddlers will discover an environment nearer in spirit to the protected waters of the southern Strait of Georgia. What Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park provides that the Southern BC Gulf Islands don’t provide, is an astonishing breeding ground for tasty shellfish, principally oysters. Whoever penned the time-honoured expression “When the tide is out, the table is spread” must surely have been inspired by the nutrient-rich, productive waters of Desolation Sound.

Because of pool tidal circulation, the anchorages of Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park are no-discharge zones; visitors must use holdings tanks or shoreside facilities where available. Boaters should also bring their own drinking water and boil any surface water prior to consumption. The park contains several parcels of private land. Kayakers should note in particular that the land at the head of Portage Cove is private, and there is no access across the Gifford Peninsula at that point.

Many yachtsmen regard the Desolation Sound area as not only the most beautiful and varied cruising area in BC, but equal to, if not better than any other area in the rest of the world. In the variety of spectacular scenery, warm summer climate, abundance of shelter and anchorages, this area is a microcosm of all that is best about salt water cruising in British Columbia.

There are two approaches to Desolation Sound, either from Lund or nearby Okeover Arm Provincial Park at the head of the inlet. A boat ramp is located at each location. Paddlers will find less marine traffic in Okeover Inlet than along the west side of Malaspina Strait.

Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park is located north of Powell River and Lund on the Sunshine Coast, 90 miles (144 km) north of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Nearby Regions & Towns

Park Notices

Premier Listings

Photo of Cabana Desolation Eco Resort
Cabana Desolation Eco Resort
Powell River Sea Kayak 10676 Crowther Road Powell River BC V8A 0G4 Desolation Sound BC Home Phone: 604-483-2160Work Phone: 1-866-617-4444Visit Website

Biographical Info

Cabana Desolation Eco Resort is a comfortably designed, exclusive eco resort located on an uninhabited island in the heart of Desolation Sound, British Columbia’s largest Marine Park. Warm Pacific waters, lively marine wildlife and towering Coast Mountains provide an awesome setting for a truly unique, west coast British Columbia, eco resort experience.

Cabana Desolation captures this feeling, with cozy cabins handcrafted from locally milled Western Red cedar and Douglas fir. Large, screened openings provide a connection with the sites and sounds of Desolation as sunlight warms the rich interior woods.

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Photo of Spirit of the West Kayaking
Spirit of the West Kayaking
P.O. Box 569 Heriot Bay Quadra Island BC V0P 1H0 Home Phone: 250-285-2121Home Fax: 1-888-389-5736Work Phone: 1-800-307-3982Visit Website

Biographical Info

Kayaking British Columbia is the ultimate way to view BC’s abundant wildlife.

We want you to fall in love with kayaking and our unique coast, and our passion shows in everything we do. Choose among several professionally-guided 4-8 day trips for all experience levels around Vancouver Island. ‘Glamping’ basecamp-style with wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or expedition-style paddling from camp to camp and paddling between 100s of islands through the Broughton Archipelago, famous Desolation Sound and the wild Great Bear Rainforest on the Central Coast. Savouring a fresh salmon BBQ in the open air, explore and view fascinating wildlife and wilderness and wake up on remote islands with the sound of the whales. Unique and breathtaking.

Our adventures are for everyone and are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. We take care to introduce you to the sport in a fun and safe manner. All that we ask is that you welcome adventure with an open mind and are able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected. Our groups are small, ranging from 8 to 13 people, depending on the trip, in order to provide you with the best experience possible. We provide everything you need for a once in a lifetime kayaking adventure. We provide high-quality fiberglass kayaks, paddling equipment, camp cookware, eating utensils, and camping gear.

Our guides take care of you for the entire duration of your tour, prepare delicious, organic and local meals, and have extensive training and experience in sea kayaking and in sharing the natural and cultural history of the area.

During the Northern Hemisphere winter, we also offer kayaking trips to the glacier-fed South American wildlife paradise, the Chilean Patagonia Archipelago, and multi-day escapes to sun, sand, remote beaches and the warm crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. Please contact us for all details of these amazing winter getaways!

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Photo of Coast Mountain Expeditions
Coast Mountain Expeditions
Kayaking Base: Quadra Island BC Mailing Address: Box 25 Read Island Surge Narrows BC V0P 1W0 Home Phone: 250-285-2823Work Fax: 250-285-2823Visit Website

Biographical Info

Lodge based multi-day sea kayaking tours in the Discovery Islands, off Central Vancouver Island. We operate in and around the Discovery Islands, Desolation Sound, and mainland inlets. View marine parks, wildlife, BC’s highest mountains, glaciers and waterfalls. Watch grizzly bears from your kayak, paddle with seals, dolphin, and porpoise. Incredible marine inter-tidal life. No experience necessary. We are Canada’s longest operating sea kayak company, now entering our 28th year. Recommended by National Geographic as one of Canada’s top places to visit. Join us for an adventure of a lifetime!

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Photo of Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
685 Heriot Bay Road Quadra Island BC V0P 1N0 Home Phone: 250-204-0420Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

Biographical Info

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.

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Photo of Misty Isles Adventures
Misty Isles Adventures
P O Box 137 Manson’s Landing Cortes Island BC V0P 1K0 Home Phone: 250-935-6756Visit Website

Biographical Info

Misty Isles Adventures is Cortes Island’s only sea kayaking outfitter and sailing charter vessel offering guided day paddles, kayak mothership trips, kayak instruction and sea kayak rentals. The 43-foot schooner Misty Isles departs Cortes Island for day sailing and sightseeing explorations of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and mainland inlets. Longer multi-day trips are also available.

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Photo of Classic Yacht Charters
Classic Yacht Charters
1-5765 Turner Road Nanaimo V9T 6M4 Home Phone: 250-668-2220Work Fax: 1-888-284-7735Visit Website

Biographical Info

Craving a change from the ‘everyday’? Dreaming of running away to sea? Welcome aboard our historical ‘Mission Ship’. Design your private voyage into BC’s coastal playground. Indulge your interests: fishing, clamming, rowing, kayaking, whale watching… Cruise in comfort and safety with our Coast Guard licensed Captain and crew. Discover how your chef turns meal times into taste extravaganzas.

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Photo of Bluewater Adventures
Bluewater Adventures
# 3 – 252 East First Street Vancouver BC V7L 1B3 Home Phone: 604-980-3800Work Fax: 604-980-1800Work Phone: 1-888-877-1770Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

Biographical Info

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.

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Campbell River Whale Watching
Moorage & Office: Discovery Harbour Marina #1 – Dock E Campbell River BC Home Phone: 250-287-2667Work Phone: 1-877-909-2667Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

Biographical Info

Mailing address:
558 Thulin Street
Campbell River, BC V9W 2L1

Campbell River Whale Watching invites you to experience some of the most spectacular Orca Killer whale watching and wildlife viewing in the world. You can take a Grizzly Tour, go Orca Whale Watching, see Bald Eagles, and experience the life of seals and sea lions on an adventure tour of a lifetime.

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Photo of Sea Kayak in Desolation Sound
Sea Kayak in Desolation Sound
Kayaking Base: Penrose Bay on Okeover Inlet Desolation Sound BC Mailing Address: Powell River Sea Kayak 10676 Crowther Road Powell River BC V8A 0G4 Home Phone: 604-483-2160Work Phone: 1-866-617-4444Visit Website

Biographical Info

Located adjacent to Desolation Sound Marine Park, Powell River Sea Kayak is the premier sea kayak company for Desolation Sound, providing unbeatable knowledge, service and convenience for experiencing British Columbia’s largest Marine Park – a unique experience of warm Pacific waters, towering Coast Mountains, marine wildlife and stunning scenery.

Powell River Sea Kayak offers guided day tours, snorkeling, all-inclusive multi-day tours, and a well-stocked kayak rental fleet. Launch kayaks from Powell River Sea Kayak’s waterfront site on Okeover Inlet, once home to the “Cougar Lady”, and explore Desolation Sound Marine Park. For even more destinations, another option is to launch from our second location in Lund, or join us at Cabana Desolation Eco Resort in this awesome west coast British Columbia setting.

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