Premier Listings for Von Donop Marine Park

Von Donop Inlet is a long, narrow sheltered anchorage on the northwestern tip of Cortes Island in the BC Discovery Island, entered from northern Sutil Channel.

This undeveloped marine wilderness is a joint venture between the Klahoose First Nation band and BC Parks. The wilderness Ha’thayim Marine Provincial Park encompasses numerous lakes (Robertson and Wiley), estuaries, Von Donop saltwater lagoon, and the old-growth forest the Coast-Salish people call “Ha’thayim.”

Lush forests of Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and western red cedar, with scattered patches of Sitka spruce, lodgepole pine, big-leaf maple and red alder that characterize the southern British Columbia coast are well represented around Von Donop Inlet. The old-growth forest between the inlet and Robertson Lake and Wiley Lake and the mature second-growth forest along the outlet of Robertson Lake are part of the area’s mosaic. Undergrowth, in the form of red huckleberry, salal, Oregon grape and other shrubs and shade-tolerant ferns and flowering plants contributes to this forest’s natural diversity.

Ha’thayim was named Von Donop Inlet by Captain Daniel Pender of the Royal Navy, who conducted extensive hydrographic surveys in the area from 1860 until 1879. The name commemorates Victor Edward John Breton Von Donop, a midshipman, who arrived aboard HMS Charybis at Esquimalt in 1862. Charybis, a ship of 21 guns, had been dispatched to Canada from China at the time of the American Civil War when it seemed possible that hostilities might break out between Great Britain and the United States. Since it was first surveyed, this quiet inlet has contributed to the economy of British Columbia. Evidence of past logging and settlement is inconspicuous, as much of the area is being reclaimed by nature.

Wilderness camping is permitted in Ha’thayim (Von Donop) Marine Provincial Park and the area is popular with cruising boats seeking remote tranquility in this beautiful area. The park features a number of secure anchorages providing protection from the elements. Von Donop Inlet is located at the southern terminus of the scenic Inside Passage. This mostly sheltered route has been popular with boaters for thousands of years. Today, yachts and kayaks have replaced hand trollers and dugout canoes as the methods of travel through the western route of Discovery Channel, where Ripple Rock made passage sometimes treacherous, or through the eastern approach through Yuculta Rapids.

Opportunities for wildlife viewing, kayaking in the park’s sheltered waters, wilderness camping (no fees), hiking and exploration exist in this rugged 1,277-hectare park, which features reversing tidal rapids, steep-sided fjords, and tidal flats within its boundaries. There are no designated hiking trails in the park, although a rough route does exist from the bay to Squirrel Cove, outside the park (approximately 5 km).

The park is home to Flying squirrels and Douglas squirrels, as well as river otter and mink. Harbour seals are often seen in the inlet, and during the winter months, Steller’s and California sea lions are present. Killer whales occasionally pass through Sutil Channel, but rarely enter Von Donop inlet. Ha’thayim contains excellent shellfish, including butter clams and littleneck clams. Check with the Department of Fisheries in Campbell River for recent information on harvesting and Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) regulations. Other forms of sea life present include jellyfish, sea sponges, cucumbers, octopus and turnicates. Nearby waters are noted for salmon and rockfish.

Seabird populations increase during the winter months in the park. During spring and summer, visitors can hear the calls of varied thrush and Swainson’s thrush, a variety of flycatchers as well as yellow-rumped Townsend’s and black-throated grey warblers. Bald eagles are often seen soaring above the inlet.

No facilities are provided, aside from one pit toilet located at the far end of the bay. However, farther down the inlet there are picnic tables ashore. Visitors should bring their own drinking water, as potable water is not available in the park. The park does not have a boat launch. The nearest boat launch is located at Whaletown on Cortes Island, approximately 15 km south of the park. A boat launch is also located at Heriot Bay on neighbouring Quadra Island.

Ha’thayim (Von Donop) Marine Provincial Park is located on Cortes Island in the Discovery Islands of British Columbia, between Vancouver Island and the mainland of BC. Access to the park is by private boat only, from Heriot Bay on Quadra Island and Whaletown on Cortes Island. Boaters can reference marine chart #3538.

Nearby Regions & Towns

Park Notices

Premier Listings

Photo of Classic Yacht Charters
Classic Yacht Charters
101 – 5170 Dunster Road Nanaimo BC V9T 6M4 Phone: 250-668-2220Visit Website

Business Information

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.

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: 250-285-2823Fax: 250-285-2823Visit Website

Business Information

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!

Return to top.
Photo of Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
685 Heriot Bay Road Quadra Island BC V0P 1N0 Phone: 250-204-0420Visit 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 Discovery Islands Lodge B&B Kayak Inn
Discovery Islands Lodge B&B Kayak Inn
Lodge & Kayak Base: Quadra Island BC Mailing Address: Box 25 Read Island Surge Narrows BC V0P 1W0 Phone: 250-285-2823Fax: 250-285-2823Visit Website

Business Information

Rustic but comfortable oceanfront accommodation near wilderness parks, trails, lakes and sea kayak paradise. Affordable single, double and family rooms; kitchen facilities; wood-fired sauna. Multi-day kayak expeditions; marine park tours; canoe & kayak rentals. Whales, seals, & porpoise right out front! One of Canada’s top 50 places to stay recommended by National Geographic Traveler.

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

Business Information

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.

Return to top.