Exploring the Islands, Ports, & Gateways of Desolation Sound
Get out and explore! Discover what makes Desolation Sound such a desirable destination for yachters, kayakers, and nature enthusiasts. There are many nearby islands and ports that offer a range of recreational opportunities, shops and eateries, provisions, and bustling art industries.
Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park
With over 60 km of shoreline, several offshore islands, and many picturesque sheltered coves and anchorages, Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park is British Columbia’s largest marine park. Freshwater lakes, hiking trails, waterfalls, and steep forested slopes draw visitors who enjoy swimming, hiking, fishing, self-sufficient scuba diving/snorkelling, and kayaking.
For more information: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/desolation
To the Southwest, Cortes Island is 5 minutes by boat across Lewis Channel to Squirrel Cove and offers fantastic scenery, with beautiful lakes, lagoons, forests, and white sandy beaches. Salmon fishing attracts many visitors, particularly in early autumn when the large salmon congregate to spawn, and charters are available for both fishing and wildlife excursions.
Cortes has a number of shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as a thriving arts and crafts scene – the Cortes Craftshop in Squirrel Cove showcases local artists, potters, carvers, and drum makers. Like Refuge Cove, you can also stock up on provisions and hardware supplies here.
For more information: www.cortesislandtourism.ca
Off the east coast of Vancouver Island, Quadra Island is an idyllic rural community nestled along the Inside Passage. Year-round, visitors to Quadra can enjoy a network of hiking and mountain biking trails, kayaking, fishing, and First Nations cultural experiences.
Find tour providers, art studios, as well as a great selection of restaurants and eateries, everything from waterfront dining and take-out to coffee and vegetarian fare.
For more information: www.quadraisland.ca/tourism
Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” and more recently as an adventure and eco-tourism hub, Campbell River sits on the east coast of Vancouver Island and is a gateway to Strathcona Park, the Discovery Islands, and Desolation Sound.
In addition to its many outdoor activities, such as bear and whale watching, fishing, and golf, Campbell River also offers a busy arts scene and a wide variety of restaurants, ranging from take-out to fine dining.
For more information: www.campbellrivertourism.com
Accessible only by boat or water taxi from Lund, BC, Savary Island is a popular day trip destination for beach-goers who enjoy its many white sand beaches and warm swimming waters. With kilometres of hiking and biking trails, it is, of course, also popular with hikers and bikers, who enjoy the lush growth of fir, cedar, maple, alder, pine, yew, and arbutus trees that cover much of the island.
Services on Savary tend to be seasonal, though there are a few shops, galleries, and eateries available during the summer. There are no public washrooms available on the island.
Powell River is a vibrant seaside community located on BC’s upper Sunshine Coast, about 145 km northwest of Vancouver. The town offers ‘big city’ amenities, including over 50 restaurants, full banking facilities, an 18 hole championship golf course, spas, a full-service hospital, and a wide range of activity providers and shops.
A budding arts scene brings connoisseurs in touch with a stunning selection of arts and crafts, and the area also boasts many different parks and beaches, perfect for swimming, beachcombing, hiking/climbing, and sunbathing.
For more information: www.discoverpowellriver.com
Located about 17 miles north of Powell River, Lund, BC is a quiet village named after a city in Sweden. Located at “Mile 0” on the north end of Highway 101, it is situated at the end of one of the world’s longest highways, which stretches all the way to Chile in South America. The small town is also a gateway to Desolation Sound.
The bustling harbour is home to a fleet of sail boats, recreational and charter vessels, commercial prawn boats, and water taxi services to Desolation Sound. Salmon and cod fishing, as well as kayaking, sightseeing boat tours, and hiking are popular activities. Other services include an eclectic general store, a few artisan shops and restaurants, a pub, and Nancy’s Bakery, famous for delicious breads and sticky buns.
For more information: www.lundbc.ca