Coastal Mountaineering

exploring BC's coastlines and mountain ranges

Discovery, Desolation, & Sunshine

Sea-kayaking trips in the Discovery, Desolation, and Sunshine Coast areas of British Columbia, including Bute and Toba Inlets, the Redonda Islands, and Texada Island.


Paddling through Prideaux Haven in the Desolation Sound Area while leading a six-day guided tour with CME. Mount Denman rises behind. June, 2019

Stretching from the Sechelt Peninsula in the south to the working Thurlow Islands and Hardwicke Island in the north, the Discovery, Desolation, and Sunshine area offers world-class paddling in protected waters with stunning scenery, abundant wildlife, and amazing cultural history.

The Sunshine Coast area includes the Sechelt Peninsula, Jervis Inlet, Nelson Island, Texada Island and the coast up to Lund. It is the traditional territory of the Se’shalt and Sliammon First Nations.

Desolation Sound falls within the traditional territories of the Sliammon, Homalco, and Klahoose First Nations; and encompasses the area of coast stretching from Lund north to Cortes Island, the Redonda Islands, and Toba Inlet.

The Desolation Sound region is one of the most popular areas for sea kayaking in SW BC – and for good reason. Numerous islands, deep channels, and strange currents trap ocean water and allow it to warm up, meaning Desolation Sound has the warmest water in North America north of the Baja Peninsula. Combined with the stunning backdrop of Mount Denman, the peaks of Toba Inlet, and BC’s highest island peak – Mount Addenbroke – a paddle through Desolation Sound is a classic British Columbia trip.

There is strong evidence of First Nations occupation throughout the area in the form of shell middens, and the local Sliammon First Nations still rely on the abundant marine life of Desolation Sound to harvest tradition food sources. Due to the popularity of the area with boaters, the local First Nation has worked to protect many of the culturally significant sites from damage. As a result, camping in Desolation Sound is quite different from the rest of the province: rough beaches lead to well maintained tent platforms at numerous locations around the Sound. The area is extremely busy in summer, so make sure you plan a trip for the shoulder seasons.

The Discovery region is the traditional territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw, Comox, Homalco, and Klahoose First Nations. This region stretches from Cortes Island in the south to Hardwicke Island in the north. The Discovery region is stunning. It has one of the highest concentrations of tidal rapids in the world, with six rapids surrounding Sonora Island.

It also includes the massive Bute Inlet, which could have an entire section for itself. The foothills of the Coast Mountains end in the Discovery Islands, and many of the islands here are the tallest in BC.

Anthony regularly leads week-long trips through the Discovery and Desolation regions, venturing into Bute Inlet, and the length of Toba Inlet. Check it out at Coast Mountain Expeditions.


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