The 2018 season is in the books, and it was a truly busy and successful season as well.

This summer we had near capacity on our multi-day camping tours, Cabana Desolation Eco Resort ran full-time from late May to mid September, and countless day tours and kayak rentals headed into Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and the northern Strait of Georgia. We want to thank everyone involved for our most successful year yet!

Our classic vacation-style camping tours into Desolation Sound were highlighted by incredible summer weather, great wildlife sightings and perfect days kayaking, swimming, snokeling and relaxing in Desolation Sound. Late summer especially saw the return this year of both transient orca and humpback whale sightings in both Desolation and the Strait of Georgia, while the bioluminescent plankton this summer was a particular highlight on the majority of our tours, with guests swimming and playing in the magical glow of the water right through from May to September!

Our vacation-style tours are enjoyed by all manner of guests - from family groups to honeymoon couples to solo travelers looking for a relaxing yet active Desolation Sound adventure. They're the perfect introduction to Desolation and the BC coast, and it was a joy to watch the many diverse groups come together and make lasting friendships with other guests from Canada, the United States, Europe, Australia and beyond!

One of the best memories of our season was the return to Toba Inlet and the Coast Mountains of BC with a 7-day expedition-style tour around that circumnavigated the Redonda Islands north of Desolation Sound. Incredible weather, immense mountain scenery and some spine-tingling whale sightings capped off a truly memorable week of adventure. The success of this year's trip and the huge potential for more expeditions into these mountains has us planning further adventures in this incredible part of the coast in 2019! (Check out the pictures below and read on for more information).



Finally, the fifth anniversary year at Cabana Desolation Eco Resort saw us reach capacity for the majority of our packages during the peak season, though with a true capacity of only 10-12 guests at a time, this took nothing away from our guests intimate experience of the resort and Desolation Sound! Our cooks Dan and Curtis continued to 'wow' with their fresh, creative cuisine, while our guests kayaked, snorkeled, hiked and paddle boarded and relaxed in this truly special place in Desolation Sound. 

However the work never stops out here in Desolation, and with enquiries for next summer already filling our inbox, we are excited to announce our multi-day camping dates for 2019 are now live!

As alluded to above, there are a number of new and exciting plans in the works for 2019. Some of these highlights include:

  • Our first scheduled camping tour over the May long weekend.

This annual trip usually kicks off our multi-day camping schedule each year, and we're excited to offer a 5-day trip in 2019 that features all the best things about early season paddling: less crowds, great wildlife, and some tasty off-peak discounts!

  • Three 7-day mountains expeditions scheduled over the long weekends in July, August and September.

With the success of our 7-day mountains expedition in 2018 (and the excitement of our guides to go along with it) we are happy to offer three more 7-day expedition-style tours in 2019 that will visit the mystical channels and inlets north of Desolation Sound, including the turquoise blue waters of majestic Toba Inlet! These tours are deliberately scheduled over long weekends to give guests more of an opportunity to take the time needed off work or from other pressing commitments and paddle with us for a week of awe-inspiring adventure.

  • The introduction of specific 5-day expedition-style tours throughout the season.

In addition to the aforementioned 7-day expeditions, we are also offering a number of 5-day expedition-style tours that will aim to explore much of the same area as our 7-day tours, but with a slightly abridged schedule. These tours will aim to move camp every day and give an option for more adventurous touring guests to paddle slightly longer distances and explore this incredible area in more depth than on our regular vacation-style tours. These tours are limited, and after April 1st 2019 will transfer into a regular 5-day vacation-style tour if we don't have the required numbers, so make sure to book early!

Every year our peak season bookings reach capacity earlier than the last, so be sure to read up on our full offerings and book your 2019 Desolation Sound adventure before someone else does today!

Be sure also to check out the savings made with our off-peak and groups rates. Many of our tours this year consisted of past years' guests that came back and brought friends and family, which was awesome to see!

2019 Multi-Day Camping Dates


  • May 16-20 - Expedition 
  • May 16-19 - Vacation
  • May 24-28 - Vacation


  • June 4-8 - Vacation
  • June 11-15 - Expedition
  • June 16-20 - Vacation
  • June 23-26 - Vacation
  • June 27-July 3 - 7 day Expedition


  • July 5-8 - Vacation
  • July 9-13 - Vacation
  • July 16-20 - Vacation or Expedition (whichever books first)
  • July 18-21 - Vacation
  • July 23-27 - Vacation
  • July 28-31 - Vacation


  • August 1-7 - 7 day Expedition
  • August 9-13 - Vacation
  • August 15-19 - Vacation or Expedition (whichever books first)
  • August 17-20 - Vacation
  • August 23-27 - Vacation
  • August 29-September 4 - 7 day Expedition


  • September 9-12 - Vacation​



Early season campfire in Desolation Sound

To celebrate the approaching 2018 season in Desolation Sound, we’re offering a killer travel deal for group leaders that organize a group for a guided Desolation Sound camping trip with Powell River Sea Kayak this summer.

With this promotion, trip leaders that can organize a group of 6 or more will receive a full 50% off their tour price as a ‘finder’s discount’!

Imagine waking in your tent to the sounds nature and the smell of freshly brewed coffee, kayaking through warm ocean waters with knowledgable and professional guides, and sitting down to gourmet ‘camping’ meals on uninhabited islands in the heart of Desolation Sound.

Now imagine all that with 5 or more of your closest friends and family members, and imagine all that at half the regular price, as a reward for bringing your loved ones together to enjoy themselves in this stunning, intimate setting!

Whether you split the discount amongst the group or take it all for yourself, this is a great opportunity to experience Desolation Sound with your friends and family.

Dates are limited for this opportunity, with most of the dates during our season already filling up fast. As of the time of publishing, the dates available for this promotion are listed at the end of the article.

Off-Peak rates apply for this promotion, adding further value to the sweet finder’s discount!

For your convenience, guests can book individually or as a group or multiple groups, as long as everyone knows each other or knows of each other prior to booking.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact us directly via email at or phone at 604-483-2160 and we will work with you to book your Desolation Sound experience!

Dates available for promotion (as of 9th April, 2018):

  • May 18-21
  • May 26-29
  • June 5-9
  • June 19-23

Costa Del Sol Latin Cuisine on Marine Drive

At Powell River Sea Kayak and Cabana Desolation Eco Resort, we like to consider ourselves foodies - and this is evident by the attention we give to all our meals, whether they are served from the kitchen at Cabana Desolation Eco Resort or from a Coleman stove at one of our campsites.

We know as well that many of our guests are attracted to our tours and resort packages in part because of this attention to the fresh, creative, and delicious meals that we serve. 

Therefore, continuing on this theme, we decided to look at our Top 3 restaurants for foodie guests to check out in Powell River either before you leave on tour with us, or after you return from your Desolation Sound experience.

1/ Coastal Cookery -

Located on Marine Drive, Coastal Cookery serves creative, comfortable meals with a west coast flair using local ingredients in a warm and inviting atmosphere. 

Billed as a place for friends to eat, drink and gather, The Cookery is a local favourite in Powell River at all times of year, and visitors to town during the summer are attracted to its relaxed ambiance, friendly staff, and the great view of the sun setting over the Strait of Georgia from the back deck.

Coastal Cookery also has probably the best drink selection in town, with tasty local interpretations of favourite cocktails, and a constantly rotating selection of craft beer from some of the best microbreweries in British Columbia.

Personal menu favourites include the ‘Salt Spring Mussels’, the tender ‘Beer Can Chicken’ and a trio of ‘Short Rib Sliders’.

2/ Little Hut Curry 

Another mainstay on the Marine Drive scene, Little Hut Curry serves gourmet Northern Indian Cuisine from a cute little house in the centre of town.

The service and attention to detail of hosts Janet and Mohinder are second to none, with a passion for great Indian flavours as well as for customer service and the Powell River area. This includes an appreciation for local artists, many of whom have their amazing artwork displayed proudly inside.


3/ Costa Del Sol -

Costa Del Sol is another funky house on Marine Drive in Powell River that serves Mexican and Latin inspired dishes using local “socially responsible ingredients”.

The restaurant is small, set in an rebuilt 1900’s police station that has been renovated to contain classic Mexican masonry, talavera tile work and latin inspired murals which create a unique and bright atmosphere. 

While it can be popular in the summer months, if you can snag a spot outside on the patio you will be in the perfect position to watch the world pass by on Marine Avenue … and the sun set spectacularly over the Strait of Georgia!

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The days are getting longer, and we’re busy working at Powell River Sea Kayak and Cabana Desolation Eco Resort to be ready for the new season, and to improve upon our incredibly successful year in 2017!

1/ Cabana Building Continues

Now that the temperatures are rising, the work continues on Kinghorn Island to get our fifth and final cabana ready for guests in 2018.

This new cabana is our solo occupancy cabana - one cabana with two single occupancy rooms for those guests travelling alone, on oddly numbered groups, or with friends and wish to have their own private space while staying with us in Desolation Sound.

Each ‘half’ of the new cabana is equipped with an interior shower and sink, comfortable double bed, and the same amazing view of the rainforest and the ocean through the screened windows facing right out into Desolation Sound.

Further to this work, it was decided that with another cabana it was required to build another bathroom, and so the third flushing eco-toilet structure has taken shape, ensuring that all our guests have easy and convenient access to amenities throughout their stay.

2/ Discovering New Lakes and Trails

Even after close to 25 years operating in Desolation Sound, we’re still searching for ways to improve our offering at Cabana Desolation Eco Resort and on our camping tours, day tours, and for our kayak rentals. Amazingly, even after all these years, we keep discovering new and exciting features of this wonderful area to share with our guests!

Two new lakes - both with varying ease of access from Desolation Sound, were discovered by staff and owners of Powell River Sea Kayak over the Spring Break period.

The first, with the easiest access and within a comfortable paddle from Cabana Desolation, was Hindle Lake, just off the Sunshine Coast Trail about 45 minutes hike south from Feather Cove. Clean, clear and the perfect spot for a picnic lunch on a warm summer’s day, this lake is sure to excite those guests that are looking to experience a freshwater swim on a Cabana Desolation package - something that was always a little elusive for most guests from our base on Kinghorn Island. Well, no more!

The second, a more adventurous day trip from Kinghorn or the Martin Islands is an old trail discovered leading from a pocket beach on West Redonda Island that links up with the back side of Refuge Lagoon. Access to the lagoon from Refuge Cove is no longer possible, but with a little hard work and determination, reaching the lake from Desolation Sound itself - after about an hour’s hike - can lead to one of the best lake-side lunch spots in the area!


3/ Early Spring Paddling

The upswing in the weather over the Spring Break period also affected our guides, dragging some of them out and into Desolation Sound for a quick four day trip of relaxation and exploration (it was on this trip that the back door to Refuge Lagoon was found!)

In addition to enjoying the weather, the mountain views and the wildlife, they were able to hone their skills in preparation for some upcoming Assistant Overnight and Level 2 exams being challenged later this month!


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If you’re looking to rent kayaks and equipment this summer for your Desolation Sound adventure, it is important that you and every member of your group is familiar with - at the very least - introductory level safety requirements.

This includes self- and assisted-rescues, launching and landing techniques, and basic navigational awareness such as reading charts, understanding tides and current tables, and having access to reliable marine weather reports at every stage of your journey. 

Even in the relatively protected waters of Desolation Sound, dangerous paddling conditions can come up suddenly and without warning, putting yourself, your friends and your family at sudden risk of capsize. 

The following videos have been created by Powell River Sea Kayak staff to help illustrate important rescue techniques and considerations. Please note that watching these videos is merely designed to be a theoretical exercise, and a formal lesson in capsize/re-entry is highly recommended for all rental guests.






There are many opportunities for sea kayak lessons in most urban centres in British Columbia, Alberta and Washington State. It may also be possible to book a lesson with Powell River Sea Kayak before you set off, depending on guide and instructor availability. Please visit our lessons page for information.

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In 2013 the sea star population along the entire Pacific Coast from Southern California to Alaska collapsed. 

Species from the ubiquitous purple ochre star to the 24-armed predatory sunflower star and many in between quite literally disintegrated from the inside out. The mysterious epidemic has since been called ‘Sea Star Wasting Syndrome’ by biologists frantically trying to understand the disease, its causes, and its potential long-term consequences for these keystone species of the intertidal zone.

In certain areas, especially from Washington State south to California, sea stars vanished almost entirely from the ecosystem.

In British Columbia, and Desolation Sound specifically, we saw a huge decline in numbers of sea stars as well, though perhaps not to the same degree. 

The numbers of pink and purple ochre stars that were often found in huge numbers clinging to the rocks and cliffs of the intertidal fell drastically, but never completely disappeared from the landscape. 

Leather stars and vermillion stars - both of which were similarly decimated south of the border - continued to be present in Desolation Sound, and the leather stars even appeared to have usurped the purple stars as the most abundant echinoderm in some areas.

However, the sunflower star - the largest sea star in the world and one that preys mercilessly on other sea stars - as well as sea cucumbers and various nudibranchs - almost disappeared completely. In the three years from 2014-2016 not one sunflower star was reported by our guides in the Desolation Sound area.

After much debate, researchers now believe that unusually warm sea temperatures off the west coast made the sea stars particularly vulnerable to a virus that has been affecting the invertebrates in much lesser numbers for decades. The result, mass die off.

Five years on, how are things looking now?

Anecdotally, sea star numbers in Desolation Sound seem to be on the rise.

Clumps of ochre stars look to be expanding, and the number of visibly diseased and dying purple stars are much reduced. At the height of the epidemic whole swathes of the species could be seen disintegrating at a time, today you are far more likely to see colonies of healthy, strong ochres clinging valiantly to the rocky coast.

Research is also concluding that the worst of the die-off may have passed.

While numbers are not anywhere near their height of pre-2013, in most areas up and down the west coast populations are rebounding slowly.

This is incredibly important not just for the species itself, but for the entire intertidal ecosystem. Ochre stars are known as a ‘keystone species’, one which has a disproportionate effect on other organisms within the system. In areas that the ochre star has vanished completely, blue mussels - the ochre stars main food source - have taken over all the available real estate and crowded out most other species in the mid-intertidal. When ochre stars are present, they can keep the mussels at bay, and other species - from snails to limpets to habitat providing algae - can thrive.

There have even been sightings on our Desolation Sound Tours of juvenile sunflower stars, which goes to show the incredible resilience of a natural species, even in the face of catastrophic hardships.

We look forward to seeing more and more of all species of sea stars in a balanced marine ecosystem in years to come!

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While Powell River is fast gaining a reputation as being an outdoor adventure seeker’s paradise, there are other sides to the town’s renaissance in recent years that all visitors to this beautiful region should embrace and discover. In this edition we look at the arts and festivals on the northern Sunshine Coast that come alive during the summer.


Powell River is home to a large community of musicians and artisans - which should not be all that surprising when you consider the laid back vibe and natural beauty that surrounds the area year round.

Take a stroll up the shopping district of Marine Avenue before or after a meal at one of the town’s fine restaurants and hop into one of many of the area’s galleries, boutique clothing shops and used book stores.

Stores to look for include Artique - an artist’s cooperative that showcases the artwork of dozens of local artists - and Thick, a local clothing store with a huge reputation that stocks items bearing the artwork of a local screen-printer that showcases the Powell River area’s best natural assets and adventures.

The cafes of Basecamp, 32 Lakes and River City Coffee are also great places to view the work of Powell River artists while you sit an enjoy a fresh cup of locally roasted coffee!


Summer time on the Sunshine Coast is a time to celebrate - so it is no surprise that the cultural and music festivals in the Powell River area are incredibly numerous and popular!

  • The Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA) is held every June in Powell River, designed to prepare young musicians from all over the world for a career in music performance. Young and talented musicians are billeted in Powell River over 2 weeks and perform a number of concerts and performances for the public, culminating on opening night with the ‘Celebration of the Senses’ at Willingdon Beach.
  • International Choral Kathaumixw is a biannual event in which 1200 international singers, conductors and choir members descend on Powell River for a five day choral festival. Concerts, vocal competitions , conductor’s seminars and social events take place all over town.
  • The Blackberry Street Festival celebrates the ubiquitous and delectable blackberry, which grows wild and in abundance in Powell River during the summer months. This all culminates with a street party on the Friday night in which all kinds of blackberry themed foods, desserts and drinks are available.
  • The Sunshine Music Festival occurs every year on the Labour Day long weekend at Palm Beach, 15 minutes south of Powell River, with a focus on local Canadian musicians in a kid friendly atmosphere. The beach side setting is a beautiful place to enjoy great Canadian music as well as artesian markets, food vendors, and more.
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The many experiences of Cabana Desolation Eco Resort have been written about and covered on our website - kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, or simply ‘Chill & Immerse’ in Desolation Sound away from the cares and worries of city life.

However there are a few ‘outside the box’ adventures that - to the best of our knowledge - have yet to be fully explored by guests out at our island eco resort. 

Therefore, we’ve put our thinking caps on and dreamed up the 3 Best Experiences that Cabana guests could have, but are yet to happen:

1/ Climb Station Island

Station Island lies right off-shore from the Cabana Point, and is a common and popular destination for paddle boards and snorkelers. 

The island rises sharply out of the ocean into a steep dome with a gently rounded top. Eagles are often perched high up in trees on the bluffs looking out over the water. Seals lie in the sun on the shore, perched sometimes inelegantly on the rocky cliffs above the sea.

However, there is at least one clear path that we have determined to the top of the island, and we can only assume that the view upon reaching the summit would be well worth the strenuous summer hike up there!



2/ Snorkel Beneath the Southern Cliffs

The Cabana Point and the cliffs beneath Station Island are perhaps the two most convenient and popular places for guests to snorkel when staying at Cabana Desolation. Both are located close to the resort and offer easy access for snorkelers to view all manner of intertidal life such as sea stars, sea cucumbers, urchins, chitons and aggregating green anemones.

However, perhaps the best snorkeling found in the entire Desolation Sound area is found beneath the cliffs on the south western shore of Kinghorn Island. At low tides this environment is home to all the above mentioned creatures, as well as huge colonies of giant plumose sea anemones, leather and vermillion sea stars, and even the occasional nudibranch grazing beneath the weeds!

These cliffs can be accessed by kayak in about 15 minutes from Cabana Desolation and with a small amount of forethought and planning present an awesome potential half-day adventure. Pack your snorkel gear in the hatch of your kayak and paddle round to the cliffs, before jumping in and checking out the marine life right up and down the length of the cliff.

Paddle over with a friend and take turns minding the kayaks, or tie your boat to your ankle and take it with you as you explore. Getting back in is the fun part, and an opportunity to practice your self-rescue skills!

For the especially adventurous, taking a paddle board round instead of a kayak could turn the activity into a full-day expedition! Continue on your way after your snorkel by completing a circumnavigation of the island and discover eagle’s nests and curious seals before returning to the resort the long way.


3/ Paddle Board Amongst Magical Phosphorescent Plankton

A highlight of our Cabana Desolation packages in recent years has been the magical light-show that occurs in the ocean on the darkest of nights produced by minuscule phosphorescent plankton.

This phenomenon lights up the water when disturbed like stars in the night sky, and often surprises Cabana guests with its abundance and brightness. 

The bravest souls take the opportunity to don a wetsuit and swim amongst the lights, yet a fantastic way to experience this wonderful event without the need for submersion in the middle of the night is to grab a paddle board and hit the water!

Every stroke of the paddle emits a sharp burst of light, while a trail of stars are left in your wake. If you’re lucky, a seal may swim beneath you, its body illuminated in the depths below!

Desolation Sound is full of intriguing history, rich in culture, and breathtakingly beautiful. 

Naturally there has been many words written about it, from George Vancouver’s 1792 journal to more modern accounts of hippies and draft dodgers. Then, of course, you have the deep well of oral myth, history and belief handed down by generation after generation of indigenous Canadians over thousands of years.

For those guests of ours that like to read up about a destination before they travel, or even during while traveling itself, here is our list of the top 3 books written about Desolation Sound to pack neatly into your dry bag and bring on your kayak adventure.

1. Adventures in Solitude: or What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck by Grant Lawrence
In the 1970’s, a Vancouver based property developer named Lawrence bought a large parcel of land adjacent to Grace Harbour in Okeover Inlet with the intention of subdividing the land and selling pieces of paradise to nature-starved city dwellers, making a tidy profit in the process.
In reality, it proved more difficult to move the raw land than he thought, and while the sales did start to happen, the clientele that moved in and settled next to the Lawrence family cabin were a little less straight edged than initially desired.

What followed - especially for Lawrence’s son Grant, the author of the tale and current anchor on CBC radio - was a series of transformative life experiences that unfurled themselves every summer during family vacations to Desolation Sound. 

In a hilarious and rolling fashion, Grant tells the story of his progression from bright eyed young city boy learning to fish and survive in the woods under the tutelage of his hippie philosopher teacher Russel, to a reluctant and dismissive young musician that had little time for the outdoors. 

Finally, the tales come full circle during adulthood, and Grant rediscovers his love for Desolation Sound and the Canadian wilderness, returning to his family cabin and his eclectic neighbours again each summer with old friends and a new family of his own.

Adventures in Solitude is a fairly quick read that links a lot of old history in the area, from Vancouver’s voyage to tales of hippie communes and draft dodging Americans, with outright hilarious personal tales of his own adventures in his summer paradise in Desolation Sound.
2. Desolation Sound: A History by Heather Harbord
This one is for the history buffs. 
Heather Harbord’s exhaustive history of Desolation Sound and the surrounding inlets, islands and passages covers everything from indigenous settlers and their culture through to European discovery and the present day.

Each chapter focuses on a specific area of Desolation Sound, meaning that you can bring the book with you and use it as a reference material, flicking the pages to learn about the history of each place you paddle during your trip. 

And what a history! Learn about the most famous residents of the Sound, such as Joe Copeland at Portage Cove, the old Confederate Army colonel that used to meet the Union Steamship when it made its rounds playing the bugle and decked out in his complete army uniform, or Phil Lavigne in Prideaux Haven, who moved to the area in the early 20th Century after having “supposedly killed a man” back in Quebec, and lived there until his death in 1946.

The later chapters touch on the newcomers to the area in the last few decades, focusing on the Okeover and Malapina Inlets where our office and base of operations is located. While nowadays the residents are mostly retirees or oyster farmers, Penrose Bay was once the homestead of Nancy Crowther, the famous Cougar Queen of Okeover Inlet, who is said to have shot over 20 cougars in her lifetime protecting her livestock and way of life before modern times!

3. The Curve of Time by M. Wylie (Capi) Blanchett
This British Columbia classic is one of the most famous and beautifully written accounts of life on the BC coast in the years of the first half of the 20th Century.

Moving to Vancouver Island in the 1920’s from Quebec, Capi found herself a widow with 5 children when her husband died tragically in a boating accident. 

Instead of packing it in and returning to Quebec, Capi instead embraced the wild west coast, taking her young family each summer on extended sailing trips up and down the coast in their 25 foot boat. She chronicled their adventures in a series of intensely beautiful vignettes that eventually came together to form The Curve of Time. 

The tales that Capi tells, from adventures over a period of some 15 years, all blend together into a timeless and almost dream-like story that draws the reader right into the landscape and the personalities of the time. You really get the sense of adventure that this young family lived each summer, from the concerns and cares of the mother to the wide eyed delight of the children at discovering for themselves the unique and wonderful nature of coastal British Columbia.

While the stories in The Curve of Time take place up and down the inside of Vancouver Island and into the remote Central Coast, much of the adventure occurs in an around Desolation Sound and the Strait of Georgia. The family meets old Phil Lavigne in Prideaux Haven, searches for seahorses in the Salish Sea, and experiences haunting visions at abandoned cabins on Quadra Island to the north.

The Curve of Time is a must read for anyone visiting Desolation Sound, and for indeed for anyone interested in life on the British Columbia coast back when it was still regarded by the rest of the country as the ‘wild west’.



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Cabana Desolation is located in the heart of Desolation Sound - and for most paddlers, the vast majority of the area’s features, lakes and hikes are accessible on day trips from the resort.

One destination in the Sound that is accessible to just about everyone, however, is the funky, historic boardwalk village of Refuge Cove. 

The village is found on West Redonda Island, comfortably within an hour’s paddle of the beach on Kinghorn Island, and many of our guests - both guided and unguided - choose to spend a relaxing half or full day exploring the unique and charming community.

First settled in 1913, the hamlet became a popular settlement and a school opened the following year, quickly followed by a general store and post office, thus making refuge Cove the social and commercial hub of Desolation Sound.

Settlers would sell fruits and vegetables through the store to the marine traffic that plied the route up and down Lewis Channel, transporting loggers, cannery employees and the mail service, among other things, up and down the BC coast.

Socially, in the 1950s the cove had a population of over 50 people living on float houses, boats, barges and cottages on the shore, and on Saturday nights people would flock to Refuge Cove from other corners of Desolation Sound for dances and social gatherings.

All this changed in 1958 however, when the dynamiting of ‘Ripple Rock’ off Campbell River (with the largest non-nuclear explosion in the world at the time) made Discovery Passage the preferred route for traffic. By 1971, the population of Refuge Cove was just six people.

Today, Refuge Cove has undergone a renaissance of sorts, and the summer months bring in all manner of tourists in the sailboats, yachts and kayaks. The store does a roaring trade, as does a coffee shop, bookstore, and gallery with gift shop that showcases the work of local artisans and artists. 

Standing on the boardwalk and closing your eyes, you can feel yourself stepping back in time to the heyday of Refuge Cove, rubbing shoulders with burly gyppo loggers, fishermen, hippies and draft dodgers before the old way of doing things slowly changed and the modern world started creeping in.

And being just a short paddle from Cabana Desolation, Refuge Cove is a great opportunity for our resort guests to experience not just the physical beauty of Desolation Sound and the BC coast, but also get a feeling for some local history and culture of this fascinating landscape.

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