Desolation Sound Kayak Vacations

Vacation-style 3, 4 & 5 day guided kayak tours designed to help you immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Desolation Sound

Join one of our multi-day Desolation Sound camping tours, where warm ocean waters, prolific marine wildlife & stunning mountain scenery create the perfect west coast ‘glamping’ vacation

About Our Multi-Day Kayak Vacations

Introducing Desolation Sound

Touring by sea kayak through the warm Pacific waters of Desolation Sound is a unique, tropical-like experience in British Columbia. The unusually warm Pacific waters reach temperatures of 21 Celsius (74F), making activities such as swimming and snorkeling an enjoyable and unforgettable part of the adventure.

Colourful marine wildlife, schools of fish and larger marine mammals add to the excitement. Each summer, pods of transient killer whales and humpbacks ply Desolation’s rich waters in search of food. Clusters of small islands and islets provide idyllic areas to relax and the towering Coast Mountains create an awesome and dramatic backdrop, reminding visitors they are in British Columbia after all!

Desolation Sound’s mild and moist winters help feed the temperate rainforest vegetation and towering conifers. These cool and wet conditions give way to Desolation’s warm and dry summers, which reach pleasant temperatures between 20 and 30 Celsius (70-90F).

The unique combination of awesome mountain scenery along with the dry summers, lush rainforests and warm Pacific ocean temperatures makes Desolation Sound a truly unique destination in British Columbia and Canada, and the perfect destination for a sea kayaking vacations.

Guests laze and relax in the sun on one of our kayak vacations

What are Kayak Vacations?

Our Desolation Sound kayak vacations have evolved to provide experiences that fit this area's relaxing and engaging atmosphere. Our kayaks are a fun and healthy way to explore and connect with nature – and to access idyllic sites for rest, relaxation, good food and swimming or snorkeling over colourful sea stars, spiny red sea urchins and spiky sea cucumbers.

The kayaking is certainly wonderful, and the varied shorelines provide interesting routes through nutrient rich waters teeming with marine life. Tours are not rushed – there are no deadlines and there is no bucket list to achieve, and time is taken throughout to enjoy and absorb each wonderful aspect of the experience.

Ultimately, to simply be in this awesome setting; to feel relaxed yet stimulated and to be away from busy lifestyles, is what touring with us is about.

Finally, we know that part of a great vacation is not having to worry about all the details: the food, the planning, the gear. We provide all the equipment for our tours, from the fresh and creative meals, to the high quality camping and paddling gear, to the expert local knowledge, which means you can relax in total comfort, knowing that we have everything covered.

Kayaks in the water near Kinghorn Island on one of our Desolation Sound camping tours

Interesting Routes & Idyllic Island Camps

Perfect kayaking vacations involve more than just being in a nice environment. Route planning and campsites play a key role. The routes we choose are interesting, following diverse shorelines and providing unique viewscapes around each corner.

To ensure our guests receive the desired experience on each tour, Powell River Sea Kayak has privately licensed and exclusive Desolation Sound camping locations. Located within comfortable paddling distances from our main location on Okeover Inlet, each site provides unique paddling experiences and the means to explore Desolation’s wonderful features. When in camp, captivating views, wave swept shorelines, glacially carved granite and west coast vegetation combine to create the perfect ambiance to chill and immerse in Desolation’s unique environment.

Interacting with marine wildlife is another essential element, and our guests are led over intertidal zones and amongst the key islands, islets and shores with the most abundant sea creatures for viewing.

Each of our tours is catered to our individual guests and their diverse interests and abilities, as well as the time of year and prevailing weather conditions to ensure everyone is comfortable and inspired.

A Pink Star found by a snorkeller on on of our Desolation Sound kayak tours

A Relaxing & Engaging Experience

Much of our best feedback comes from guests whose experience with us is both engaging and relaxing. To achieve this, tours are carefully designed to provide a comfortable balance of exploration by sea kayak along with activities such as swimming & snorkeling in the warm waters, exploring the idyllic islands we use for camps, and enjoying good food and relaxing in the wonderful atmosphere of our Desolation Sound camping tours.

To achieve this balance, our vacation-style kayak tours limit the amount of camp movement. With privately licensed, island-based camps, we are able to provide varying experiences that radiate in different directions, thus limiting the need to move camps in order to gain new perspectives. In fact, guests often enjoy our camp locations so much they often do not want to leave!

With that said, some camp movement is part of the adventure, and with a few different camp options, we often do use a couple of sites for guests to experience. At the end of the day - or the end of the tour - our guests certainly do enjoy the ease of the tour, the relaxed pace, and the engaging experiences.

Whether you're watching the sun set over the ocean, participating in interesting conversations over a hearty meal, or learning about the unique natural environment you are paddling through, our vacation-style Desolation Sound kayak tours are designed to find the perfect balance between relaxation and adventure!

Meals on our Desolation Sound kayak vacations are created from fresh, local ingredients.

Great Food, Quality & Organisation

Serving healthy, creative meals (and fresh coffee) in an inspiring backcountry environment has been a cornerstone of our philosophy for two decades in Desolation Sound, and our feedback and testimonials over the years have been a testament to this passion!

Despite the difficulties sometimes associated with food and wilderness kayaking trips, we take immense pride in the food we serve on all our tours. Using local ingredients such as in season fruits and vegetables (often personally picked from the orchard and berry patches at our Okeover location) and locally sourced meats and seafood (sometimes harvested on the trip itself) our guides work incredibly hard to provide all our guests with tasty, creative, nutritious meals to fuel your adventure.

We can even work with you to try and accommodate any food allergies or sensitivities that you may experience, allowing you to relax and enjoy each evening at your own time and pace.

Comfort on water and on land go hand-in-hand, and our equipment - from the kayaks to the safety gear - are all of the highest quality. Our tents and Thermarest sleeping pads are of equally comfortable standards, ensuring that each of our guests is well rested (as well and well fed and well treated) for each day of exploration. Our vacation kayak tours are a true 'glamping' experience!

Route Considerations

Our vacation-style tours are focused on a relaxing yet active exploration of Desolation Sound. Groups usually paddle 1.5-2 hours at a time, before and after lunch. Distance covered may be anywhere between 4-10 nautical miles a day.

These tours will often make two base camps in the Desolation Sound area over the 4 or 5 day duration of the tour and aim to find the perfect balance between immersing in the beautiful environment and moving camps to explore different areas.

That said, with the right conditions and group dynamic, or due to weather considerations, some vacation-style tours may elect to move each day if the guide feels it will benefit the comfort and enjoyment of the group's vacation.

Thank you for your interest in our multi-day Desolation Sound kayak tours!

To check the availability for certain dates and tours, follow these simple instructions below:

  1. Select a single date in the calendar within the date range that you are interested in.
  2. The individual tours taking place on that date will list themselves below the calendar with their price ranges and spots available.
  3. Click on surrounding dates in the calendar to view other tours taking place around the same timeframe.
  4. Click on the individual tour to be taken to the booking page.
  5. If you can't find anything that quite fits your needs, please email us and we will be happy to attempt to sort something out for you personally.

Upon submission, we will review your reservation. In rare cases, we may need to suggest an alternate date, and will provide details at that time.

It is your responsibility to be familiar with our policies for multi-day tours before booking. Please read our complete rates and policies page. Our pre-trip planning page is also a great way to help you plan and prepare for your kayaking adventure.

All prices are in Canadian dollars. Click here for currency converter.

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Our Rates

After running tours into Desolation Sound since 1995, it is normal for our trips to book-up months in advance. Book now and start looking forward to your kayaking-vacation!

Prices in Canadian Dollars. Currency converter.

Taxes, rates and policy information.

Pre-Trip Information.

Vacation ToursPeak AdultPeak ChildPeak Group (8+)Off-Peak Adult/ChildOff-Peak Group (4+)
4 Day Desolation Tour$975$845$895$895$845
5 Day Desolation Tour$1145$995$1045$1045$995

We run three unique kinds of vacation tours:

  • Group tours (these are reserved for getting your own group together of 8+)
  • Family-focused tours (if you don't have a group and your children are under 12)
  • Open tours (children must be 12 or over)

All three kinds of vacation tour can be viewed and selected in the calendar at the reservation screen!