Desolation Sound is renowned as a premier sea kayak destination on the British Columbia coast, but few people know that there are a number of great hikes – only accessible by boat in Desolation Sound – that are perfect to break up the paddling.
These Desolation Sound hikes have differing features and difficulties, from forested strolls to freshwater lakes, to uphill slogs to breathtaking vistas. Below are three of our favourites, all easily accessible for kayakers on a Desolation Sound adventure!
- Sunshine Coast Trail to Sarah Point or Wednesday Lake
The Sunshine Coast Trail is gaining in notoriety among hikers in British Columbia, with 180km of trail and 14 backcountry huts along it’s route.
Few people are aware however that the trail starts at Sarah Point, in the SW corner of Desolation Sound, and can be used for a number of distinct day hikes while you are visiting!
The easiest place to access this trail is at Feather Cove, which is at the tip of Malaspina Peninsula close to the entrance to Okeover and Malaspina Inlets. From the easy landing on the beach the trail heads off in two directions – west to a beautiful viewpoint over Desolation Sound (and eventually the trailhead at Sarah Point), and south through sections of old growth cedar and Douglas fir to a number of freshwater lakes that are perfect to jump into on a long, hot summer day.
- Llanover Mountain from Roscoe Bay
A rarely travelled trail – by kayakers at least – is the climb to the peak of Llanover Mountain that is accessed by an easily accessed trailhead in Roscoe Bay. The trail is mostly uphill, easy to follow, and takes from 1.5-2 hours one way.
The views from the top, however, are spectacular! From the viewpoint at the end of the trail you can see right back west over Desolation Sound, the Strait of Georgia, Cortes and Quadra Islands, and the peaks of Vancouver Island way in the distance.
Head there early in the morning to beat the heat, and then paddle over the Black Lake at the head of Roscoe Bay afterwards for a well earned swim in a beautiful freshwater lake before paddling home.
- Unwin Lake from Tenedos Bay
With its location in Tenedos Bay – an easy hour’s long paddle from the Curme Islands – Unwin Lake is a very popular day trip for kayakers base camping in Desolation Sound.
The easy trail from the campsite runs straight and wide through a beautiful, mossy forest. Occasional side-tracks veer off from the main trail and visit the creek leading to the bay. After about 15 minutes the trail meets Unwin Lake, and you can follow it clockwise around the lake and choose a private nook that speaks to you for lunch and a swim in the warm fresh water.
The trail continues further, past great spots for cliff jumping and further away from other visitors. Returning to your kayaks the way you came, another 45 minutes is all it takes to return to your base camp on the Curme Islands.