Kayaking Clayoquot Sound

Clayoquot Sound is in the northern section of the Pacific Rim National Park and its southern border goes to the town of Tofino. Like Barkely Sound, Clayoquot Sound is right on the edge of civilization, so day trips to a beautiful archipelago are easy and don’t require days of planning. Kayak rentals or half and full day guided trips are available should you decide that is the best option. The weather is very similar to Barkley Sound, although you may see more fog. Make sure to bring a GPS and warm clothing.

Once prepared, this is a picturesque place to go on Vancouver Island. If comparing to Barkley Sound, it is hard to say which one is better or more popular. Tofino gets about 6 times the visitors as Ucluelet and therefore the activities will get booked more often. Both places are worth exploring and and will fill your senses with wonder and beautiful landscapes.

Park Passes:

As part of the Pacific Rim national park, make sure you get your park passes at an information centre. Clayoquot Sound is protected as part of the UNESCO Clayoquot Biosphere.


  • Clayquot Sound is best for intermediate to advanced paddlers.
  • The outer coast of Vargas and Flores islands requires excellent kayaking skills. If the seas are above 2 m (6.5 ft) and/or the wind is blowing more than 15 knots kayaking here will be treacherous.
  • Fog is likely during mornings, but can happen any time of day.
  • The south side of Flores Island has some nice white sand beaches
  • A hike up Mt Flores is a great option for windy days.
  • For beginning paddlers a guide is recommended

Possible Wildlife:

Humpback Whales, Gray Whales, sea otters, river otters, Stellar Sea lions, California Sea Lions, Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons and many other sea birds. It is also possible to see boiling patches of bait with salmon feeding  below.