Desolation Sound

Warm ocean temperatures & stunning mountain scenery on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada

Powell River Sea Kayak is the Desolation Sound sea kayak company, running sea kayak tours, resort accommodations & rentals into this incredible destination on the west coast of BC since 1995!

Desolation Sound, BC is a scenic five hour journey from Vancouver. It is located at the end of the road on the northern Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.

Desolation is framed by the peaks of the towering Coast Mountains and the untouched temperate rainforest. The unusually warm and sheltered waters offer a relaxing yet engaging experience.

Long summer days, idyllic islands, endless shores and diverse wildlife make Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park a world class kayaking destination. It is also a great place to simply relax and immerse yourself in the best that coastal BC has to offer.

Warm Waters & Wildlife

The warm waters of Desolation Sound Marine Park – sheltered from the open Pacific Ocean – can reach summer temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit) in certain areas – creating tropical-like swimming and snorkelling conditions!

Pulling your kayak onto a long flat beach or secluded cove is the perfect opportunity to dive right in. Better yet, don your snorkel gear and discover an entire unseen world just below the surface –a unique experience for the west coast of British Columbia. 

Sea stars of infinite colours, from pink to purple to yellow to blue, come together in huge colonies. Also common in these waters are fierce-looking spiny urchins in red, purple and green, as well as slug-like sea cucumbers, beautiful painted anemones, fragile nudibranchs and schools of fish. 

Meanwhile, deer and black bears roam the thickly wooded forests. Bald eagles watch for prey from above. Seals sunbathe on rocks at low-tide, their healthy populations enticing pods of transient orcas, while larger whales – such as humpbacks – are drawn to this area by the abundance of plankton and other important microscopic animals that live in these rich waters year round.

Calm & Protected

Desolation Sound – from the open crossings to the narrow inlets – offer some of the most-sheltered and relatively safest kayaking conditions on the British Columbia coast. The protective shadow of Vancouver Island, as well as the deep waters carved by glaciers in ages past, allow you to explore the area in your own time and pace, without pounding surf or swift ocean currents to take you out of your comfort zone.

The shoreline shifts at every turn, offering new and unique perspectives with the rise and fall of the tide. The water is so clear and nutrient rich that you are constantly struck by the incredible diversity of marine life that exists in this natural aquarium.

Uninhabited islands and tranquil coves are scattered throughout. Countless nooks, bluffs, ledges and pocket beaches present the perfect stage for a comfy camp chair and a good book. Of course, visitors should be aware that Desolation Sound is still subject to challenging conditions like all marine environments, and appropriate experience is always required for self-guided trips.

Chill & Immerse in Desolation Sound

Early risers can perch on a granite ledge with a fresh cup of coffee, the sound of the ocean gently lapping the shore, and watch in serene contemplation as the sun rises over Coast Mountain peaks. Set up a base on one of the many comfortable island camps with panoramic views, or hop between them one by one to experience each new break of day from a different and unique perspective. In the evening, watch the sun set behind the Discovery Islands and the blue-tinged peaks of Vancouver Island beyond.

Nowhere else in British Columbia can you find yourself swimming in the near-tropical waters of an uninhabited sandy beach in the morning, exploring the rocky pools and shorelines of your own personal island in the afternoon, before settling down to a meal of freshly caught seafood under the stars at night. Yet just a short paddle separates the expansive beaches of Savary Island from the Copeland Islands Marine Park, a haven of protected islets with abundant marine life that offers perhaps the most spectacular sunsets on the coast.

Towering Mountains, Rainforest Trails & Refreshing Lakes

The peaks and valleys of the Coast Mountains frames many a spectacular family photograph. The dominating spire of Mount Denman, rising 7000 feet above the shimmering waters, is an iconic image of any experience.

Ancient trees tower over meandering trails, winding through virgin rainforest that extends right to the shore. The Sunshine Coast Trail – an epic 180km hike that begins in Desolation – touches the coast here in a number of places and provides easy access to short hikes leading to panoramic views.

Numerous freshwater lakes exist throughout the area. Easily accessible by sea kayak, they are a wonderful and inviting feature after an active morning on a hot summers’ day. Winding trails go deep into the rainforest before poking out onto a mossy ledge, where the clean, cool water beckons below. 

The awesome natural landscape of this area rewards you in every direction. From the sheer size and scope of the mountains and the forest to the sight of waterfalls – like Cassel Falls in Teakerne Arm on West Redonda Island – tumbling into the ocean from far above, everywhere you look brings the promise of new and exciting adventures. 

Powell River Sea Kayak is the company to experience this wonderful destination. With experience in this beautiful area since 1995, our friendly and helpful staff are passionate and supremely knowledgable about all that Desolation Sound has to offer.

We offer four great options to experience Desolation:

  1. Rent a kayak from one of two locations – Okeover Inlet and Lund – on the very doorstep of Desolation Sound.
  2. Take a 7 hour guided day tour into the marine parks.
  3. Join one of our all-inclusive multi-day guided tours and experience Desolation Sound – and beyond – in all its entirety.
  4. Experience Desolation in complete comfort with our wildly wonderful Cabana Desolation Eco-resort! All-inclusive packages are available for those seeking guided or unguided kayaking, or simply to relax and experience the uniqueness of this hand-crafted luxury accommodation in the heart of Desolation Sound.

Please contact us and we will happily work with you to plan your perfect BC west coast experience.