While the majority of our multi-day tours are 4 or 5 days in length - giving our guests a nice balance between an active and a relaxing kayak vacation - we often get asked as guides what lies beyond Desolation Sound, down the passages and waterways that lead north right into the heart of the Coast Mountains.
Inevitably the conversation turns to whether we run guided trips into these remote regions, and what these trips entail compared to the 4 and 5 day offerings that are so enjoyed by our guests year after year.
The answer, of course, is that we do run longer trips ‘into the mountains’, and our guests - and our guides - love them!
The Desolation, Mountains & Islands Loop is a 7 day, all-inclusive guided camping tour that starts and ends in Okeover Inlet, passes through Desolation Sound, and loops around the massive landmasses of the Redonda Islands immediately to the north, paddling through such remote and enticing areas such as Homfray Channel, Pryce Channel, and the enchanting turquoise waters of Toba Inlet.
From Desolation Sound the tour moves on into Homfray Channel, right in the shadow of the towering Coastal Mountain range. Our camp in this area is often right beneath the iconic Mount Denman itself - that unique, tooth-shaped peak that stands out so drastically in photos of Desolation Sound.
At this point, civilization has been left well behind, replaced by the remote and the wild. 7000 feet peaks rise almost straight up our of the deep, wide channel. The steep banks are clothed in thick, impenetrable rainforest that provides essential habitat to eagles, murrelets, deer and black bears. Water cascades down rugged valleys and spills into the ocean in a couple of wide, open bays that are perfect for camping - the only real places to pull out and rest in this rugged landscape.
Eventually, the water takes on a lighter, bluish hue and we approach the pinnacle of the tour - Toba Inlet. Here we are literally paddling right into the Coast Mountain range, underneath towering waterfalls that crash into the sea and pulling up for lunch on sandy beaches next to salmon bearing streams that feed a healthy population of Grizzly Bears in the spring and the fall - even the possibility of viewing one of these magnificent creatures from a kayak is enough to send a chill up the spine!
We return to Desolation down either Waddington or Lewis Channel, each of which provides unique, rarely experienced paddling for novice kayakers.
What to Expect?
Compared to our 4 and 5 day Desolation Sound Tours, these trips are obviously more remote in nature.
We break camp almost every day - though we do usually plan one base camp at the mouth of Toba Inlet so we can explore the waterfall and the Brem River in one day, weather and group dynamic can always lead to changes in plan for the safety of the group.
Total paddling time per day is again more than our Desolation tours, but not by a huge amount. While our Desolation Sound tours will usually average around 4 hours of paddling time each day (not including a break for lunch), our Mountains tours are more likely to run to somewhere between 5 and 6 hours of paddling between camps. As before, the days are usually broken into two sections with lunch in between.
Finally, though not a hard and fast rule, the Mountains tours tend to have more of a ‘group effort’ kind of feel - with everyone pitching in to help where they can, be it moving boats, hauling gear, setting up camp and even helping your tireless guides was the dishes in the evening!
To read more about this exciting tour with Powell River Sea Kayak, check out the tour page on this website.
In 2018 we are running three Desolation, Mountains & Islands Loop trips - minimum participants pending - over the long weekends at the beginning of July, August and September. To check availability and book now, head to our booking screen and select the dates that work best for you.
Finally, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about any of our tours, rentals and Eco Resort accommodations. Give us a call at 604-483-2160 and we will be more than happy to help!