Premier Listings: Canoeing & Kayaking: Desolation Sound

Warm waters and wildlife! Desolation Sound with its unusually warm Pacific waters (74F), prolific marine wildlife and spectacular scenery provides some of the best sea kayaking opportunities in the world. Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park possesses a magical magnetism that draws boaters and paddlers from distant shores. Most of those who arrive aboard ‘stinkpots’ 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 more than 37 miles (60 km) of coastline. One of the prime attractions of these waters is their warmth in summer months, which makes them ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

The scenery is less severe than many of the other sheer-sided waterways along the central coast, although just as majestic. Snowcapped peaks of the Coast Mountains soar from the tideline to heights of 7,875 feet (2400 m). Boaters and paddlers will discover an environment nearer in spirit to the protected waters of the southern Strait of Georgia. What Desolation Sound provides that the southern Gulf Islands don’t is an astonishing breeding ground for shellfish, principally oysters. Whoever penned the time-honoured expression ‘When the tide is out, the table is spread’ must have been inspired by these nutrient-rich waters.

There are two approaches to Desolation Sound, either from the community of Lund at the northern end of Malaspina Peninsula or from nearby Okeover Arm Provincial Park Okeover Inlet. A boat ramp is located at each location.

The following provincial parks are located close to Desolation Sound:

From Lund, paddlers can explore Savary Island, with its endless sandy beaches and shallow waters extending out for miles from shore. Copeland Islands Marine Provincial Park is just a short paddle away, and offers many islands to meander amongst and view the wonderful intertidal marine life.

Premier Listings

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 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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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 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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