Discover Sea Kayaking

on Vancouver Island BC

Vancouver Island is renowned as one of the world’s premier Sea Kayaking destinations. Here you will find secluded beaches, rugged coastal rainforests and thriving marine ecosystems teeming with life.  Hundreds of sheltered inlets and intriguing island chains makes Vancouver Island a paddlers paradise.

Launching from most seaside city marinas will give day paddlers ample opportunity to explore local waters but for sea kayakers looking for more in depth adventure, here are some of Vancouver Islands best kept Sea Kayaking secrets.

Gulf Islands

The Gulf Islands within the Strait of Georgia (Salish Sea) are known for sheltered waters, stunning scenery and a mild climate. This region makes a great introduction to new ocean paddlers or a serene escape for the seasoned kayaker. The Gulf Islands play host to a dynamic variety of wild life including passing whales and are home to one of the last remaining stands of Garry Oak in the northwest. More on the Gulf Islands…

The Broken Group (Barkley Sound)

This archipelago is located in Barkley Sound between Bamfield and Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver island and is home to more than 100 islands. There are many guided seasonal tours available which are recommended for novice paddlers. Exposure to the nearby open Pacific makes this a more technical paddling destination. More on Barkley Sound….

Clayoquot Sound

Launch out of Tofino Inlet for most kayaking trips in this area and experience the wild west coast in relatively safe and sheltered waters. Clayoquot Sound is in the northern section of the Pacific Rim National Park and its southern border goes to the town of Tofino. Clayoquot Sound is home to myriad of diverse ecosystems canopied by old-growth rainforest.  More on Clayoquot Sound…

Discovery Islands

Launching from Campbell River, Quadra Island or Cortes Island gives access to the Discovery Island Group. Some of the northern hemisphere’s most aggressive tidal rapids exist here offering proficient paddlers an adrenaline experience. Guided tours are recommended to access Toba Inlet’s tumbling waterfalls or Bute Inlet’s grizzly bear havens. More on kayaking Discovery Islands…

Johnstone Strait

For the chance to encounter resident Orca (Killer) Whales between June and September launch out of Telegraph Cove and explore the diverse wilderness of Johnstone Strait and the Broughton Archipelago. The nearby Great Bear Rainforest is known to be home to the famous Spirit Bear (Kermode Bear).  More on Johnstone Strait …

Broughton Archipelago

The Broughton Archipelago is BC’s largest provincial marine park named in honour of William Robert Broughton, who captained the second ship of the Vancouver Expedition in 1792. It is a beautiful display of islands and inlets dotted between northern Vancouver Island and British Columbia’s mainland coast near the mouth of Knight Inlet. More on the Broughton Archipelago…

Nootka Sound

Nootka has unreal scenery and here you will feel like you are alone in nature. There are plenty of sandy beaches and rolling mountains in the backdrop as well as lush plants and trees on the shoreline. Overnight camping spots are available here. Keep in mind fresh water is not always available so you will want to have a supply on hand. More on Nootka Sound…

Brooks Peninsula and Kyuquot Sound

Along the rugged northwest coast of Vancouver Island there is an enormity of paddling possibilities for the passionate mariner. This region is the only part of Vancouver Island unaffected by the last ice age making it a singularly epic landscape home to a diversity of rare plant species and geological formations. The unpredictable weather conditions of the area strongly suggest a guided kayaking experience. Small communities like Zeballos and Port Alice are closest but renowned kayak guiding is available for this area with West Coast Expeditions starting from the Comox Valley.