We’re always looking for ways to enhance our guest’s experience at Cabana Desolation Eco Resort - from tweaking the menu to include more local ingredients to installing new fireplaces for those chilly shoulder-season evenings - and 2018 will be no exception with many small and large updates in store.


One major addition for 2018 that we can for sure confirm this early in the off-season is the addition of our fifth and final guest cabana at the end of the boardwalk, which will bring our total capacity to a round and even ten guests (12 at a pinch) from next year and beyond.


Like all our cabanas, this new addition will be nestled in the rainforest with incredible ocean views out the front facing windows, and completely handcrafted from locally milled cedar and fir, creating the same rich, earthy feeling as our other accommodations.

 


 

The new - and exciting - detail of this new cabana? This final structure will be a ‘solo-cabana’ - or perhaps a ‘singles cabana’, bonus points for anyone that can help us with a name - designed specifically with the solo-traveler in mind.


Effectively a regular double cabana split in two, both sides of the cabana will have a double bed and their own private shower and sink, and will allow those solo travellers - or indeed friends travelling together - the opportunity to enjoy the privacy and luxury of their own space.

 


 

Construction has already begun - and it’s all hands on deck before the Christmas period to get the shell of the cabana up before the cold really sets in. Adam, Dan and Jan - owner, our cabana cook and one of our guides in year’s past - are leading the construction efforts and proving that we’re a multi-talented bunch up here in Desolation Sound!


Of course, with availability for only two solo guests in this new cabana, availability will be subject to demand, and there have already been bookings for this new cabana in 2018 - so get in quick to confirm your spot for next summer before someone else beats you to it!


If you are a solo traveler or searching for more privacy when traveling with friends and the solo cabana is booked for the dates you are intending to stay, you can of course still stay in a double cabana as an individual for a surcharge. Details are on our website.


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To check availability and book your 2018 Cabana Desolation Eco Resort vacation, click here.


Desolation Sound is a coastal BC summer paradise … yet while many paradise seekers aim to explore this area in July and August to maximize their chances of perfect weather, there are endless reasons that a June - or even May - Desolation Sound escape can be just as rewarding. 


Here are six of our favourites:


1. Off-Peak Rates!

Whether you are joining a multi-day camping tour or spending a weekend at Cabana Desolation Eco resort, if you are kayaking with us before June 25th you stand to receive some juicy discounts.

 

Our Off-Peak Group rates are our best rates, and you only need a group of 4 to receive this discount during these Off-Peak times. That means savings of up to $150 per person for camping tours and up to $330 per person for Cabana Desolation packages!

 

Renters can also save money by kayaking earlier in the season, but please note the off-peak cut-off date for renting kayaks and equipment is May 15th.


2. Pleasantly Comfortable Temperatures

While hot summer days are perfect for swimming and snorkelling in Desolation Sound’s warm ocean waters, paddling in the heat of summer can be a brutal exercise.


June days are typically a little cooler than July and August on the coast - around 4 degrees on average - or the difference between a comfortable day of activity outdoors and a gruelling sweat in the heat!

 


3. A Truly Peaceful Holiday

From avoiding jostling in ferry lineups on the way up from the city to paddling into a serene wilderness, there’s a lot to be said about an early season kayak trip if you’re looking for peace and quiet.


Like all BC coastal communities, Power River and Desolation Sound has its peak tourist season in July and August - particularly within two weeks either side of the August long weekend.


A June visit to Desolation Sound is comparatively quiet. Sure, you get the odd sailboat or small yacht chugging down the inlets or on their way to Prideaux Haven, but it is far easier to get away from it all at this time of year and still enjoy nice long summer days.


Speaking of which…


4. Loads of Daylight

Those long, warm, early summer days are made for kayaking in British Columbia - it’s amazing how much you can fit into them!


Up early with the sun as it warms the outside of your tent, drinking your morning coffee in peaceful silence, a lazy breakfast with family and friends, then into your kayaks for a full day of exploration and adventure. 


Back at camp in the afternoon, the sun is still high in the sky - plenty of time for swimming and snorkeling at camp - and then a cold drink and another relaxing meal with plenty of time to watch the sunset before twilight returns.


The summer solstice is June 21st, and in Desolation Sound at this time of year the sun does not set until around 10pm. It peeks over the Coast Mountains in the morning usually before even the earliest risers in any camp group, meaning there are plenty of daylight hours to explore, or relax, in Desolation.

 

 

5. Potential for Campfires

What could be more satisfying after a long day of exercise than sitting back and warming your feet by the campfire? 


The last few summers in BC have been extremely hot and dry, and total campfire bans have been introduced well before the month of July. Early season paddling increases the chances of paddlers being able to safely and legally enjoy small campfires for warmth and atmosphere in the Desolation Sound area!

 

Please note: Within the provincial parks, campfires are only permissible at sites that are equipped with specific fire rings - at this point these sites are Tenedos Bay and Grace Harbour. Campfires are however permissible at sites that lie outside park boundaries as long as their is no campfire ban in place. Please keep all fires small and manageable, and be sure to put them out completely before retiring to your tents or going out for a paddle.

 

For guests on our guided trips, our private tenures outside the park boundaries mean that we can enjoy campfires in these early season months before any fire bans come into effect!


6. Early Season Wildlife

Many birds, mammals and even invertebrates are migratory - from the long, gruelling journey of the big whales from breeding grounds to feeding grounds, to the relatively subtle shift of certain sea stars deeper in the water column due to the warm summer water - many animals move with the seasons.


Aside from whales such as humpbacks, sea lions are far more likely to be encountered in May and early June before they head north or south to their rookeries. Sea cucumbers and sea stars such as the vermillion star tend to be found deeper in the intertidal zone during the summer. 


Bird life, too, shifts with the seasons. Loons, grebes and certain species of duck are far more common on saltwater during the spring - not to mention the colourful winter plumages of certain waterfowl that fade in the early summer months!


 


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To check availability and book a 2018 Desolation Sound kayak adventure, please follow the links below:

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Compared to hiking, overnight sea kayak trips can be luxurious.


Seriously, you can fit a lot in a sea kayak. On our guided trips we frequently bring - along with clothes, tents, sleeping pads and bags, and group tarps - well, everything but the kitchen sink. 


Two burner stoves, pots and pans of all sizes, 5lb propane tanks, assorted coffee making devices (“Do you want espresso or french press?”) and of course bags and bags of fresh food.


You don’t have to go as far as we do, but what we’re saying is, you don’t need to eat badly on a sea kayak trip. 


While it may be easier to pop into MEC and pick up a whole bunch of those bags of freeze dried Pad Thais and powdered egg breakfasts, with just a little bit of planning beforehand you can whip up all manner of tasty, simple, and damn right impressive meals for your friends, partner, or family with a minimum of fuss.


To get your creative flowing, we’ve included here three relatively easy meals that are sure to win you all sorts of brownie points when you’re in Desolation Sound next summer. 


Breakfast - Savoury Oat and Lentil Breakfast Bowl

Quick, tasty … and healthy. This breakfast is far more exciting than regular ol’ oatmeal, and the veggies add colour and freshness to this hearty breakfast bowl.


Ingredients: (serves 4)

3/4 cup rolled oats

2/3 cup red lentils

3-3.5 cups vegetable broth

2 small shallots diced (or 1 small onion)

3 cloves garlic minced

2 chopped green onions

150g white mushrooms sliced

150g cherry tomatoes halved

2 avocados sliced thinly 

Salt & pepper to taste


Put the oats, lentils, shallots and garlic in a camp pot with the broth and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer without a lid until the lentils and oats become soft and the broth evaporates, about 8 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Meanwhile chop up the mushrooms and the tomatoes and saute briefly in a small pan until the mushrooms become golden brown. 


Ladle the lentils and oats into individual bowls and throw the mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado and green onions on top. Serve immediately.



Lunch - Mango Black Bean Salad

This is a classic! You can make this at home if desired for a quick first day lunch, but it is easily put together in the morning while making breakfast to take with you on your daily paddle in a Tupperware container. Hint: completely drain the beans before adding them, otherwise the salad takes on a washed out grey appearance (though it still tastes great).


Ingredients: (serves 4+)

2 cans black beans

2-3 mangos, peeled and diced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 small red onion, chopped finely

1 bunch cilantro, chopped finely

1 cup corn kernels, roasted (optional)

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp cumin

Juice of 1 lime

Dash of olive oil

Sea salt to taste


Roast the corn in a pan until they are golden brown (and throw the garlic in there too while you’re at it) and then throw all the ingredients in a container and you’re good to go!



 

Dinner - Mediterranean Pesto Pasta

This is simple meal that can be switched up and created in almost endless ways with whatever ingredients you choose. Spicy salami or Italian sausage along with the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes gives this a Mediterranean vibe, but can easily be omitted or left out till the end to make it vegetarian.


Ingredients: (serves 4)

Olive oil

400g rotini pasta 

4 Italian sausages, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp chives, chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 can artichoke hearts

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 small can or bottle sun dried tomatoes

1 bunch spinach, chopped

150g olives (optional)

1 200g bottle green pesto


Splash the olive oil and the pepper and garlic in a pot over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. When peppers are soft, throw in the artichoke hearts, and chickpeas and cook for 5-8 minutes, then add the sun-dried tomatoes and reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes more.


In the meantime, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. If you are using them, tae the sausages and fry them up separately so that you can leave it out for any vegetarian paddlers.


Just before the pasta is cooked, add the chopped spinach to the pot with the pesto. Drain the pasta and mix it all together with the sausage. Serve!

 

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For the uninitiated, it’s easy to confuse the two kinds of otter we have here on the west coast: the river otter, and the sea otter. They’re a similar size, they look somewhat similar, and both are found in the ocean (though the river otter spends more time on land, sea otters almost never leave the water).


Not so much in the Strait of Georgia, however, where we sea otters haven’t been spotted (bar a couple of sightings off the coast of Victoria) in over 100 years. Ergo, every otter sighting must be a river otter.


That is until this past June, when whispers of sea otter sightings off Mittlenatch Island and the southern reefs of Cortes Island starting making their way to our ears.

 


 

But first, some history…


You see, the sea otter trade on the west coast, like the beaver trade in the interior of Canada, was one of this country’s first instances of mass resource extraction. Sea otter pelts contain an incredible 1 million hairs per square inch, which made them incredibly attractive, and profitable, to European traders - great for them, bad for the otters. 


First Nations peoples up and down the coast would trap the otters and sell the pelts to the traders, often for minuscule reparations, and in turn the Europeans would return to Europe with the pelts or sell them to Asian markets across the Pacific for incredible sums of money at the time.


By 1930, the sea otter had almost been extinguished from Alaska to California, and had been completely extirpated from BC waters. In 1788, when Captain Cook first bought pelts from natives in Nootka Sound, it is estimated that their population just on the west coast of Vancouver Island was around 300 000.


While sea otters were never as abundant inside Vancouver Island compared to the outside coast, one primary source that attests to their being here during earlier times is the log from Captain Vancouver’s naturalist Archibald Menzies, made during Vancouver’s voyage of 1792 through these waters in an attempt to find the North West Passage. 


Menzies remarked on multiple occasions that the sea otters they encountered both in the ocean and hanging as pelts around First Nations camps were fewer and inferior to those found on the outer coast - but that they did exist - and his account mentions them with more and more frequency as the voyage entered the Johnstone Strait and reemerged into the Pacific Ocean via what we now call Queen Charlotte Strait.


Understanding, as we do know, the incredibly important role the sea otter, as a ‘keystone species’, plays in the greater west coast pacific ecosystem, 89 sea otters were reintroduced to the waters off Vancouver Island between 1969 and 1972 from a population that had survived in Alaska.


And over the last 45 years, this small colony of otters has grown to repopulate much of its previous range in British Columbia, with numbers in 2008 on Vancouver Island alone of more than 5000 otters!


However, none have returned to the inside waters of the Salish Sea.

 

 


 

Until… now?


The ‘Wild Ocean Whales Society’ publishes a weekly update of whale, dolphin and porpoise sightings in the Salish Sea (click here to check them out, we recommend it) - and in July 2017 we noticed some very interesting sighting information: sea otters were being observed, by multiple parties, just off Cortes Island!


This is very exciting for us here in Desolation Sound, with these sightings occurring in very close proximity to where we operate our kayak tours in the greater Desolation Sound area! The potential, continual presence of sea otters in the area definitely bodes well for the species in the Salish Sea in the future.


And why not?

With a diet that heavily includes sea urchin, we’ve often said that it can’t be a lack of food that has kept the sea otters from repopulating these waters. The warmer climate and water temperature may have played a role in the slow return and the smaller historical population of these incredible marine mammals (1 million hairs a square inch, remember?) but perhaps the lure of an easy meal is pulling a few of the more adventurous otters towards new feeding grounds.


Either way, we’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on developments of these reports going into next season!


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We may have just wrapped up our final tours for 2017, but already many of you out there are inquiring about dates for 2018…


Well, we hear you, and are pleased to announce that our operational dates for Cabana Desolation Eco Resort and our initial offerings for multi-day camping tour dates for 2018 are now live on our website!


In 2018 Cabana Desolation Eco Resort's opening dates will be weekend starting on Thursday May 24th, and we will be operational right through to Sunday September 16th. To check availability, click here.


Meanwhile, our traditional Victoria Day long weekend multi-day camping trip will kick off the season with a 4-day adventure from Friday May 18th - Monday May 21st. We will be offering 4, 5, and 7 day camping tours throughout the season with the final tour at this point scheduled for September 7-10.


In an effort to maximise the potential of our future guests’ getting time away from their busy schedules, our adventurous 7 day Mountains Tours this year are designed to be inclusive of the long weekends in July, August and September. These tours loop around the Redonda Islands north of Desolation Sound over the space of a week, bringing you up right into the towering Coast Mountains, and the awe-inspiring cliffs and waterfalls of Toba Inlet!


Here are the full list of dates for our multi-day camping tours in 2018:


4 Day Tours

  • May 18-21
  • May 26-29
  • June 14-17
  • June 28-July1
  • July 12-15
  • July 24-27
  • August 8-11
  • September 7-10


5 Day Tours

  • June 5-9
  • June 19-23
  • July 7-11
  • July 17-21
  • July 31-August 4
  • August 14-18
  • August 21-25
  • August 30-September 3


7 Day Tours

  • June 29-July 5
  • August 2-8
  • August 28-September 3


Note: These are our initial dates, and dates may be added or removed at any time as scheduling, staffing, and demand fluctuations dictate. Keep checking our online booking and availability portal for the most up-to-date selections.


Moon Snail in Desolation Sound Marine Park

The 2017 season is in the books - so its time to reflect on the amazing weather, wildlife and people that made this summer on of the best we've had out in Desolation Sound in the last 20 years! 

Sit back and enjoy the following pictures taken by guides and guests in 2017.

Note: We love guest photos! If you're visiting in 2018, make sure to tag your photos on social media with #exploredesolation so that we can find and share your best memories.


The final multi-day tour of the season in mid September was an incredible wildlife experience - with orcas and humpbacks simultaneously putting on a show for our lucky guests on Townley Island. Here a group of orcas passes right past camp and in front of the setting sun. Picture: Erica Cawley.


Smoke from the wildfires in the interior of BC made its way to the coast and hung over the water for multiple days in July and August. Here a bald eagle perches on a bluff on Kinghorn Island in the eery light. Picture: Luke Raftl.


Food at Cabana Desolation is on point - wild, cedar smoked sockeye salmon on the menu! Picture: Jake Forrest.


A rare - but incredibly creepy looking - moon snail found in Grace Harbour during a multi-day kayak tour. These snails are voracious predators that bore holes in the shells of clams to get to their prey inside! Picture: Kyle Watters.


A humpback whale dives during a smoky afternoon in the Strait of Georgia. Picture: Luke Raftl.


 

Where's the pot of gold?! An incredible rainbow following a downpour on a Desolation Sound camping tour. Picture: Jane Paul.


Our camping tours are well known for their incredible food as well. It's amazing what you can bring along on a sea kayak tour - fresh & local ingredients make colourful & creative meals. Picture: Kyle Watters.


Colourful kayaks anchored at a pocket beach on Cortes Island during lunch on a guided Cabana Desolation Eco Resort tour. Picture: Gillian Gibson.


 

Tacky tourist at Cabana Desolation Eco Resort? Nope, this would be Dan Harwood - one of our cooks - coming in for a 5 day shift. 


A Great Blue Heron coming in to land on the beach at Cabana Desolation Eco Resort. Picture: Luke Raftl.


A creative appetizer at Cabana Desolation: ahi tuna, avocado, cucumber, wonton, sesame! Picture: Jake Forrest.


 

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Humpbacks off Hare Point, Malaspina Inlet

 

The first multi-day camping and Cabana Desolation Eco Resort trips for 2017 have enjoyed incredible sunny, hot, summer-like weather in late May on the Sunshine Coast - and it has not just been our guests that have been enjoying the beautiful conditions.


Camping at Hare Point on the first evening of their 4-day tour (and escaping an ongoing northwesterly gale in the process) one lucky group were enjoying dessert in the evening time when the cry went up suddenly.


“Whale, right in front of camp!”


Everyone turned just in time to se the tail flukes of a humpback dive in the narrow channel in front of the point, and then amazingly got to witness a second whale surface and dive in the same manner seconds later.


Diving themselves for cameras, the group sat and watched for 20 minutes or more as the humpback pair slowly made their way into Malaspina Inlet, occasionally breaching partially in the windy, wavy conditions, before they faded out of view.


Two hours later, in the fading light, they returned alongside the far side of the inlet, moving with more purpose as they returned to the more open waters of Desolation Sound.


The sightings of these whales and other humpback and orca sightings in the Desolation area are a continuation of the incredible whale sightings witnessed all winter north of Powell River, and anecdotally seem to indicate a general increase in whale, dolphin and porpoise activity in the area over the last 4 or 5 years.


These incredible encounters experienced early in the season are no doubt a fantastic omen for future tours in Desolation Sound this summer!

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Cliff Jumping in Desolation Sound

 

The incredible weather in late May saw the return of our guided multi-day camping and Cabana Desolation Eco Resort tours into Desolation Sound. 


While some eager kayakers have been renting kayaks and gear from us since April, the guided tours began with our annual May long weekend camping trip, which has enjoyed unseasonably warm, calm, and calm conditions for each of the last three years!

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Cabana Desolation, we are always looking to improve and enhance our guest’s experience, constantly striving to offer the most unique outdoor getaway on the BC coast. 


One of the themes for this year was a desire to focus on creature comforts and enhancing the rich, warm nature of the woods used in the resort’s construction. 


First, we brainstormed some ideas for increasing the physical warmth of the dining area, especially during the early shoulder season when temperatures can still be somewhat unpredictable on the coast.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fireplace was thus constructed for the dining area to provide some real radiant (and perceived) heat, while luxurious sheep-skin blankets have been added for our guests to rug themselves up with a glass of wine in front of the fire on those evenings where the wind cuts through the trees with just a little more bite than usual.


Finally, a thorough sanding back and re-staining of the entire Cabana Cafe was undertaken to bring out the natural hues and soften the edges of the western red cedar and Douglas fir, enhancing the rich ambiance of the early morning sunrises, late afternoon sunsets, and evening candlelight glow of Cabana Desolation.

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Cliff Jumping in Desolation Sound

 

Desolation Sound is world famous for it’s remarkably warm ocean temperatures, which routinely reach 22 degrees celsius (74 degrees Fahrenheit) during those long, hot summer days of July and August.


As great as cooling off in the ocean can be, however, we know that nothing quite beats a freshwater soak in a warm, clean lake to wash away the salt of a mid-summer multi-day kayaking adventure.


Check out these incredible freshwater lakes easily accessible from Desolation Sound, perfect for a quick dip or an entire day or rest and relaxation.


Unwin Lake

This one is famous - accessed from the pullout in Tenedos Bay, a mere 45 minute paddle from the Curme Islands - Unwin Lake is a popular and attractive day trip paddle from your base camp in the heart of Desolation Sound.


From the campsite in Tenedos Bay, follow the trail for 10 minutes through an ancient temperate rainforest amongst humongous trees, and then choose your path to the left or the right hand side of the lake and find yourself a secluded corner to eat a lazy lunch, swim in the sun, or jump from a shoreline cliff into the warm water below.


The trail from the bay to the lake itself is a wonderful experience, with a number of side paths that snake away from the main trail and bring you to the base of an ancient old-growth cedar or a secret corner alongside a babbling waterfall flowing from the lake into the bay below.


Camping nearby include the Curme Islands, Tends Bay itself, as well as Bold Head at the entrance to Tenedos Bay - all of which are located within Desolation Sound Marine park and include tent platforms, pit toilets, and basic backcountry kitchen and picnic areas.


Black Lake

Another centrally located lake, Black Lake is found at the head of Roscoe Bay on the south eastern corner of West Redonda Island, about 90 minutes paddle from the Curme Islands to the south.


Roscoe Bay itself is a beautiful, narrow fjord that is a popular anchorage in the summer months with sailboats and small yachts. At the head of the Bay is an easy landing at a small campsite with an obvious trail beside a rushing creek to the lake. The trail arcs off to the right hand side once you reach the lake, and splits off in a number of places to reveal secluded places for groups or couples to find some privacy and relax along the shoreline.


Black Lake is probably the warmest of the lakes in Desolation Sound, and another perfect day paddle from a base camp on the Curme Islands. A short portage with empty kayaks is also possible along the flat trail, opening up even more potential exploration and adventure!


Wednesday Lake

Little known to kayakers, but well known to summer hikers of the Sunshine Coast Trail, Wednesday Lake can be accessed via a 30 minute hike from Cochrane Bay in Malaspina Inlet, about 2 hours paddle north of our launch site in Penrose Bay.


Paddle into the small pullout in Cochrane Bay and follow the trail to where it intersects with the marked Sunshine Coast Trail, where you can take a left turn and follow the trail in a southerly direction up and down for half an hour to reach the lake - perfect for a refreshing swim after some physical activity!


Wednesday Lake is warm, clear, and remote - meaning that you will very likely have the entire place to yourselves while you are there, with the possible exception of the occasional through hiker on the trail.


The lake is most easily accessed as a day trip from the campsites at Grace Harbour or Hare Point, about 30 or 40 minutes paddle from each, and is often used by kayakers as a great way to stretch the legs and embrace a different form of exercise during a sea kayak expedition in Desolation Sound.

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Long, hot summer days call for a warm sandy beach and a nice cool breeze coming in off the ocean. Despite the preponderance of rocky coasts and granite slabs on the wild west coast, there are many places in Powell River - often remarkably free of people - where warm yellow sand meets gently lapping waves, perfect for families, couples or the solo traveler looking to unwind.

Willingdon Beach

It might be said with some accuracy that Willingdon Beach is the central hub of summer life in Powell River, with all the unique aspects of this beautiful part of the world radiating from this popular summer beach like spokes on a wheel.

Located on the edge of the Westview neighbourhood, Willingdon Beach is where the ocean and the forest meets the cultural and artistic centre of Powell River. To the south lies Marine  Avenue, the commercial centre of town with cafes, restaurants, nightspots, art galleries, book stores, health food stores and more. To the east and north lies the rainforest and a seemingly endless network of trails to explore. While to the west in the long afternoons the sun sets slowly over the rugged spine of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Georgia.

The beach itself is popular with families due to its protection from northerly winds and the expansive grassed area behind it that is perfect for picnics and extended afternoons, while the Wililngdon Beach Trail follows the coast to the north along an old 1910 rail bed once used to carry logs to the wharf at the Powell River Company Mill. At many points along the 1.2 km stretch there are educational and interpretive signs that teach the visitor about the area’s history, the unique flora and flora found on the west coast, and the usage and usefulness of long retired logging equipment, which is displayed beneath old growth firs, cedars, spruce and maples.

Festivals converge on Willingdon Beach in the summer months, and many guests find themselves swept up in such celebrations as diverse as the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy (PRISMA), the International Choral Kathaumixw, Sea Fair, Powell River Blackberry Festival, and Powell River Logger Sports, which all take place on the beach with the stunning backdrop of the Salish Sea.

Donkersley Beach

For those craving seclusion, Donkersley Beach is located about 15 minutes south of Powell River, and offers long sandy shorelines with stunning scenery and incredible views south down the Strait of Georgia between Nelson and Texada Islands - a unique perspective among Powell River coastlines

At low tide the flat sandy beach at Donkersley extends way out. Huge games of frisbee take place along the shore, skimboarders throw down tricks along the smooth wet sand, and kids sit and build massive sandcastles that could stand the test of time - or at least until the tide begins its return crawl up the beach. The sandy nature of the beach allows families to stretch out and explore to their heart's content, with less worries about barnacle encrusted rocks and steep cliffs plummeting into the ocean.

As the tide rises, too, the warm sand heats the incoming water to bath-like temperatures, transporting you far away with just a little imagination to much warmer climates.

Savary Island

No discussion of beaches in this region would be complete without mentioning stunning Savary Island. And when we say beach here, we mean the whole island!

7.5 km long and 1 km wide at parts, Savary was named ‘Ayhus’ by the Coast Salish people, the ‘double headed serpent’, and from above it certainly looks like it, twisting and turning just off shore from the town of Lund, 30 minutes drive north of Powell River. A water taxi runs every hour and makes the 15 minute crossing from Lund to the government dock on the northern shore, and from here you can rent bikes or walk the sandy, almost car-free streets in exploration.

South Beach is the most popular beach destination on Savary, easily accessed by crossing the shortest length of the island after hopping off the water taxi. Huge fields of driftwood line the high tide line of the beach, which are creatively put to use to build makeshift shelters with which to avoid the summer heat, while skim boarders, kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders drift up and down the coast in the ebbing and flowing tide.

On the western edge of Savary, Indian Point is another popular beach with long expanses of sand stretching out further and further from the shore at low tide towards the distant, snow-capped peaks of Vancouver Island on the horizon.

If you're looking for a bit of isolation on your beach-side vacation however, Duck Bay in the middle of the southern shore of Savary is almost continuously vacant no matter which time of year. This large bay is protected from the ocean by a reef of erratic boulders - remnants of the island's formation as a glacial moraine - which keep the power boats out and the atmosphere serene.

At low tide you can even walk right out to many of the these boulders and search amongst them for all kinds of marine and bird life, from sea stars and cucumbers to beached seals and bald eagles.

Away from the beaches you can find funky cabins nestled in the forest and some unique dune-based ecosystems not seen anywhere else on the BC coast, including some monster arbutus trees. Savary is truly a special place, whether you’re lying on the beach or escaping the sun, and a must-visit destination for those with an extra day or two up their sleeve.