• kayak expedition through mountains

Desolation Sound & Toba Inlet Sea Kayak Expeditions

Expedition-style 6 & 7 day kayak tours exploring the remote and awe-inspiring passages beyond Desolation Sound towards majestic Toba Inlet

All-Inclusive Multi-Day Sea Kayak Expeditions paddle beyond Desolation Sound into the Coast Mountains & Stunning Fjord of Toba Inlet

About Our Sea Kayak Expeditions

expedition group lined up along shore

About our Sea Kayak Expeditions

We have been running guided sea kayak trips into Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and Toba Inlet since 1995. While all our guests enjoy the peace and relaxation of Desolation Sound, with its idyllic island camps and stunning backdrops, there are always those that look wistfully down the passages and inlets that lead into these distant mountains and wonder what lies beyond.

Our sea kayak expeditions are a journey through Desolation Sound and into these magnificent passages and fjords that make up some of the most beautiful kayaking destinations in the world.

“In the grandeur of their scenery these inlets surpass all the others within this area and must rival in their magnificence all
examples of the fiord type in the world.”

— J. Austen Bancroft, writing for the Geological Society to Canada in 1911, describing Toba and Bute Inlets.

We offer two enticing options for experiencing the full immensity of this incredible coastal British Columbia landscape – all with the comfort and security of a well-planned, fully-inclusive guided kayak tour:

Option 1: 6-day “Desolation & Redonda Island” Loop Expedition
Launching from our private site on Okeover Inlet, this adventurous 6 day tour aims to circumnavigate West Redonda Island north of Desolation, before returning through Desolation Sound to our Okeover base.

Option 2: 7-day “Epic Toba Inlet & Waterfalls” One-Way Expedition

A one-way journey deep into the Coast Mountains, including Homfray Channel and majestic Toba Inlet, with water taxi return on the final day back to Okeover Inlet.

Please Note: Our expeditions are inherently more demanding on guests than our vacation tours. While the paddling distances and times are slightly longer, it is the moving of camp every day and especially the hauling of kayaks and equipment over rocky, steep, and very slippery terrain between the water and camp that requires a far greater level of fitness and coordination. Guests need to be aware they need to be physically capable to help haul kayaks and gear to and from camps and the water, even during low tides.

If you are unsure of your fitness levels – or if you have a pre-existing injury that may impact this ability – it is best to start with one of our camping vacations or Cabana Desolation Eco Resort packages first, before deciding whether an expedition is a good idea in the future.

Picture moment in Toba Inlet on one of PRSKs sea kayak expeditions

Setting the Scene

While Desolation Sound is still a key component of this trip, our sea kayak expeditions are designed for those who are craving a more adventurous immersion into the mountains and fjords of this rugged coastal environment.

As you paddle up these remote passages, relative civilization is left behind and replaced by the remote and the wild. Granite cliffs rise sheer out of the ocean to icy peaks and dramatic mountain cirques formed by hidden glaciers hanging thousands of feet above.

The mountains that flank Toba in particular rise more than 7200 feet above your position at sea level, and the water drops more than 1600 feet to the ocean floor – an incredibly sheer drop from peak to valley in such short distance. The extremely rare, welcoming pebble beaches that reveal cosy wooded campsites are surrounded by seemingly impenetrable rainforest.

Torrential waterfalls, warm lakes, soaring peaks, thick forests, protected coves and bays, sandy beaches and salmon-bearing rivers are just some of the ecosystems that provide essential habitat for countless and diverse species of wildlife.

Bald eagles are ever-present, seals and sea lions aggregate in huge colonies, while transient killer whales hunt them up and down the coast. Deer, wolves, cougars and black bears roam the forest, while in the remotest regions Grizzly bears feed on fish and vegetation along river banks and estuaries.

The pinnacle of a trip into the mountains, of course, is paddling the bright blue glacial fed waters of Toba Inlet and Pryce Channel. These waters provide breathtaking scenery at every new turn, from the impossibly high peaks of Toba to the serene forested valleys of Pryce Channel. The dramatic waterfalls of the narrow fjord crash with a tremendous roar from these alpine lakes and glaciers high above straight into the ocean below, and depending on the time of year, sometimes cascading hundreds of feet into the inlet itself!

Waking in the morning and sipping coffee beneath these towering mountains and ancient trees is a truly humbling experience – and one not to be missed.

What to Expect on our Sea Kayak Expeditions?

Expedition tours are rated at Level 3 on our Trip Difficulty Chart. Using the ‘five characteristics’ of our difficulty rating, here is an explanation of what guests should expect on expeditions:

Remoteness
    • Kayaking in Desolation Sound and into the far more remote passages and fjords to the north.
      • Far from population centres.
      • Little, if any, boat traffic.
      • Lengthy waits for any emergency help and care (i.e. nearest hospital).
    • Guests with severe health and dietary requirements that potentially require immediate medical intervention (e.g. anaphylaxis, heart condition, seizure disorder, etc) should know that evacuations will be delayed and instead consider a less remote vacation tour or Cabana Desolation Eco Resort package.
    • As all associated costs arising from evacuations (including travel) are the responsibility of the evacuee, this is something that should be considered.
Duration
    • These tours typically paddle from 4-5 hours (or 8-12 nautical miles) a day, with breaks for lunch and snacks.
      • Guests need a willing and positive attitude to ‘dig in’ if the conditions require it, and an understanding of the true nature of the trip before you reserve.
    • Guests should have the fitness to maintain this amount of paddling over the full 6-7 days of the tour.
      • Common issues may be overuse injuries making it impossible to finish the trip and thus requiring evacuation.
      • Consider selecting a double kayak to help mitigate this risk.
    • Planning, preparing and executing all meals and snacks for 12 people for a 6-7 day tour is certainly an impressive feat. As a result, we are simply unable to adjust our set-menu beyond some of the most common requirements.
Terrain Challenges
    • Landings are progressively steeper, rockier, slipperier, and more difficult.
      • Guests require the ability to carry equipment and kayaks over slippery intertidal terrain with potential hazards such as sharp rocks, barnacles and oysters.
Campsites
    • Tent camping on sites with little to no improvements.
      • Guests should expect tenting on the forest floor or small undeveloped islands. Tent pads should not be expected on any sites on these tours.
      • Guests should expect a mix of digging cat holes, basic outhouses, and thunder boxes when using the bathroom.
    • Guests should expect to move camp every day (or almost every day), weather permitting.
      • This may include early mornings and paddling later into the afternoon than the Level 2 tours. Guests are expected to help set up and take down camp with the guides.
Fitness
    • These tours are suitable for those with a good level of overall fitness and ideally some overnight kayaking experience.
    • Guests with little or no kayaking experience may be suitable for these tours if they are strong and have a good to excellent level of physical fitness.

Although we aim to follow a set itinerary, our guides may need to amend this due to weather, group dynamics, and overall fitness and paddling abilities of the group. Having a positive and flexible attitude is always important.

kayaking near a waterfall

Which Expedition is Right For Me?

We know Desolation Sound and the remote channels and inlets to the north better than anyone, and have created two distinct sea kayak expeditions that offer complete immersion in this incredible landscape in unique and interesting ways,.

Our 6-Day ‘Desolation & Redonda Islands’ loop expedition starts and ends with guests launching and landing at our Okeover Inlet launch site in Penrose Bay. This trip typically aims to circumnavigate West Redonda Island, spending the first and last nights in Desolation Sound itself with plenty of time to explore the more remote Lewis, Pryce and Waddington Channels.

Our 7-Day ‘Epic Toba Inlet and Waterfalls’ one-way expedition launches from our Okeover Inlet base and paddles progressively deeper into the immense coastal mountains. Groups will spend a couple of nights in Desolation Sound before departing north up spectacular Homfray Channel, and aim to spend 3 full days exploring the channels and inlets of the Coast Mountains, with unbelievably turquoise waters, cascading waterfalls, and sheer mountain landscapes. On the final day, guests and guides (and equipment) are picked up by a local water taxi and returned to our Okeover Inlet base.

Both of these amazing adventures offer unique perspectives of this fascinating and memorable part of the British Columbia coast, and complement each other for those that wish to return year after year.

Landing a group near Toba Inlet on one of PRSKs sea kayak expeditions

Let Us Take Care of Logistics

Preparing food, setting camps, planning routes, reading charts, interpreting weather; these stressful yet incredibly important activities can often take a casual paddler out of their comfort zone, especially when entering more challenging and remote areas of the coast. Our guided trips into these mountains are designed to take these worries out of your hands and allow you to soak in every sight and sound and truly experience this incredible landscape.

All our guides are fully-trained and certified sea kayak guides, and have extensive experience kayaking in these waters – and beyond – over numerous years and in all conditions.

Amongst these mountains it seems impossible at times to find even a rocky beach for lunch, let alone a suitable place to put up tents and spend the night. With over 25 years of experience in this area, we know the best spots, and will lead you to hidden campsites nestled snugly beneath ancient forests.

Furthermore, we have access to private tenured sites throughout this area for all group sizes, guaranteeing the most comfortable camps in the most convenient locations, exclusively for our guests.

Should I Paddle a Single or a Double Kayak?

On all our 6-day expedition camping tours, at least 2 double kayaks will be used. On our 7-day expedition camping tours, at least 3 doubles will be used.

If the majority of guests indicate that they prefer single kayaks, the doubles will still be brought on the trip and guests will take turns paddling a double kayak throughout the duration of the tour.

Double kayaks provide greater stability, and are very useful on longer days to help tired paddlers maintain pace with the group. If you are inexperienced or in any way unsure of which type of kayak to choose, we highly recommend selecting a double kayak for your camping tour.

A fresh and colourful breakfast served on one of our sea kayak expeditions

Creative Meals in Remote Environments

At the heart of our guided trips is the comfort and satisfaction of our guests. Providing healthy, delicious, creative meals in an inspiring and safe environment has been the cornerstone of our philosophy for decades, despite the remote locations we paddle into!

In spite of the challenges associated with wilderness kayaking trips, our guides spare no luxury, using local ingredients wherever possible to create healthy and hearty meals far removed from typical camping fare. In season fruits and vegetables, as well as locally sourced meat and seafood, provide the backbone of our meals, leaving our guests more than satisfied after a long day of exploration and exercise!

However there are certain dietary requirements that are very difficult to cater for in these remote camping environments. For some, a surcharge will apply to the tour price, while other very restrictive diets may unfortunately unable to be provided.

Route Considerations

Our sea kayak expeditions can be expected to move camp every day and paddle 2.5-3 hours at a time, before and after lunch. Distance covered may be anywhere between 8-12 nautical miles a day.

Our routes are flexible and dependent on many factors, including weather, time of year and group dynamic and abilities.

Typically a 6-day expedition tour will aim to circumnavigate West Redonda Island, while the 7-day one-way expedition paddles deep into Toba Inlet via Homfray Channel, before being picked up for a water taxi return to our Okeover base.

Whether looping or one-way, guests start and return (either via kayak or water taxi) to our private launch site in Okeover Inlet, meaning there are no bus or van transports required. Simply drive in to our launch site just north of Powell River and return once your adventure has concluded!

Book Now & Check Availability

Thank you for your interest in our multi-day sea kayak expeditions!

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. Taxes and gratuities additional. Click here for currency converter.

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Our Rates

We only run a handful of our sea kayak expeditions each summer. Book now and start looking forward to your remote adventure into this amazingly rugged landscape!

Prices in Canadian Dollars. Taxes and gratuities additional. Currency converter.

Taxes, rates and policy information.

Expedition Kayak ToursPeakOff-PeakOff-Peak Group (4+)
6 Day Loop Expedition$1795$1625$1565
7 Day One-Way Expedition$2495*$2315*$2225*

* For tours with less than 8 people, rates will be $100 extra per person due to fixed motor vessel transport costs.