Sound is located north of Powell
River and Lund on BC's Upper Sunshine
Coast; 90 miles north of Vancouver. Lund is the closest community, town
or city. Captain George Vancouver first sailed these waters in 1792
- and seeing the land and seascape so remote and forbidding, he was
inspired to name it Desolation Sound. Desolation Sound Marine Provincial
Park was created in 1973 and continues to be a popular destination in
BC's marine park system.
Sound Marine Provincial Park:
hectares park is a popular destination for yachters. Located at the
confluence of Malaspina Inlet and Homfray Channel, Desolation Sound
Marine Provincial Park has more than 60 km of shoreline, numerous islands,
small bays and snug coves. Swimmers and scuba divers love the warm waters;
while campers enjoy the forested upland that offers trails and small
lakes and a shady refuge for walk in wilderness tent sites.
can be split up into three major destination anchorages:
Haven: Strategically located as a base for exploring the Sound, this
anchorage is an elongated bay dotted with islands and small coves at
the far north end of the park. A pit toilet is also located here.
Bay: A sheltered bay east of Mink Island in Homfrey Channel. Nearby
Unwin Lake provides a great opportunity for a freshwater swim. Pit toilets,
wilderness camp sites and an information shelter are also located here.
A large sheltered bay located in Malaspina Inlet and surrounded by Gifford
Peninsula. This area provides pit toilets, wilderness camp sites, an
information shelter and an upland hiking shelter.
and warm protected waters teeming with marine wildlife make Desolation
Sound one of the best sea kayaking areas on the B.C. coast.
to this area enjoy meandering through the many inlets, channels, coves
and bays as they explore by sea kayak. The towering mountains of the
Coast Mountain Range create a dramatic backdrop, and the rich sunsets
towards Vancouver Island light-up evening skies.
temperatures reaching as high as 26C (79F), swimming is a popular option
to the Desolation Sound experience. However, perhaps even more enticing
than swimming is the opportunity for up-and-close experiences with the
area's rich and colourful intertidal marine life. Snorkeling in Desolation
Sound is wonderful. With Giant Sunflower Stars, Red Sea Urchins, prickly-looking
Sea Cucumbers, spiny Rockfish, and so much more, snorkeling in Desolation
is a highly recommended activity.
Sound Marine Park is comprised of 5,666 hectares (14,000 acres) of forested
upland and 2,570 hectares (6,350 acres) of foreshore and is one of British
Columbia's largest marine parks. This, in combination with the areas
adjacent to Desolation Sound, makes for one extremely large ocean playground.
For many kayakers a trip to Desolation Sound includes paddling into
the majestic mountains of the Redonda Islands and into Toba Inlet. For
other more laid-back paddlers, paddling Desolation means including some
downtime on the sandy beaches of Savary Island or meandering through
the ragged islands of the Copeland Islands Marine Park, just off of
Lund. For those with a little less time, the "backside" of
Desolation Sound Marine Park includes Okeover, Malaspina, Lancelot and
Theodosia Inlets, all beautiful and sheltered areas to explore by sea
kayak. And, yet another option to include as part of the Desolation
Sound experience is Cortes Island, its secluded lagoons and beautiful
Information & Services
Pacific Coastal Airlines: Enjoy scheduled service from Vancouver's South Terminal to Anahim Lake, Bella Bella, Bella Coola, Campbell River, Comox, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Klemtu, Masset, Port Hardy (float & amphibious aircraft to coastal communities), Powell River, Trail, Victoria, & Will... more
Spirit of the West Adventures: We offer sea kayaking tours to the Johnstone Strait & the largest pods of killer whales on the BC coast – Desolation Sound, Quadra Island, & Campbell River - & guided excursions to explore ancient native villages. Set a course for a one of a kind wilderness a... more
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Located 30km's north of Powell River, on the Sunshine Coast, access
to Desolation Sound is often through Powell
River and then on to staging areas north of Powell River in either
Lund or Okeover Inlet. Powell River
is accessible by ferry from Vancouver (Horseshoe
Bay) and from Vancouver Island (Comox).
option to access Desolation Sound is via ferry from Campbell
River (on Vancouver Island) to Quadra
Island and then on to Cortes Island. From Cortes, launchsites are
located at either Squirrel Cove or Cortes Bay.
Day trips into Desolation Sound Marine Park can be experienced if launching
from Okeover Inlet. Otherwise, most paddlers experience Desolation Sound
over trips ranging from 3-6 days. For those seeking to fully experience
Desolation Sound and the surrounding destinations, at least a week is
optimal, if not longer.
Waters here are mostly protected and rarely rough, except for Toba Inlet.
Good family kayaking.
Anytime from March to October, like many other areas, it's busiest from
mid-June to mid-September.