• A group of kayakers paddling beneath the huge whitecapped peaks in Toba Inlet

Toba Inlet

Coastal mountains, remote fjords and thundering waterfalls on the west coast of British Columbia

Tour by sea kayak into the remote & awe-inspiring waters of Toba Inlet, deep into the heart of BC’s Coast Mountain range

Remote and wild, the waters of Toba Inlet to the north of Desolation Sound are seldom experienced by the casual kayaker. Deep blue glacial-fed inlets cut deep into the towering mountains. Cliffs rise sheer vertically out of the water to icy peaks thousands of feet above. Any visit to this area is a truly humbling experience.

Launching from Lund or Okeover Inlet, kayaking trips of a week or more can loop around the Redonda Islands into Toba Inlet, and return to Desolation Sound through a different channel – creating a stunning experience in a wonderful and remote area of the British Columbia coast.

Immense Peaks & Breathtaking Views

“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.

The snow-capped peaks of enormous heights that flank both sides of the entrance to Toba Inlet make it seem almost impossible for any body of water to pass through them. Looking at the Coast Mountain range here, you can really get a sense for the feeling of helplessness that Captain George Vancouver – while attempting to find a passage through them in 1792 – must have felt each and every time he was repelled by their enormous size.

Time Stops Still

For the determined kayaker that enters these remote waters, the breathtaking mountain views to be found around every turn as they access Toba Inlet are the ultimate reward.

Deep waters of rich, dark green give way to colours of turquoise and blue as you make your way up Pryce Channel towards glacial fed Toba Inlet. The northern mainland is composed of sheer granite cliffs, occasionally broken up by thin, faint waterfalls. The steep shore of West Redonda Island to the south has deep, forested valleys that cut inland, shielding streams and creeks that flow from lakes high above.

It seems at times that time stops moving when you are paddling here. A whole day can pass without seeing another soul, with the possible exception of a colony of sea lions hauled out on a ledge to suddenly interrupt your otherwise serene enjoyment of the isolation.

Awe-Inspiring Scenery

As you come closer, however, Toba Inlet starts to dominate all scenery and thought. The mountains rise beyond the deep green vegetation to ice capped cliffs and peaks above, drawing you ever closer with each paddle stroke in the impossibly blue water below.

While the first impression of Toba may be that the steep cliffs and towering mountains offer nothing in the way of shelter, small, pebbled, pocket beaches at the mouth of the inlet lead to hidden, sheltered ten sites amongst the rainforest.

Hugging the western shoreline, however, it does not take long for these little nooks and coves to be replaced by sheer vertical cliffs. Cascades of water tumble down ravines choked with vegetation, and in one dramatic spot spilling and crashing hundreds of feet to the inlet below.

Remote & Wild

The final destination for most kayakers on a trip into Toba Inlet is the beautifully remote Brem Bay – where the Brem River Valley cuts a wide swath through the mountains at its back and long, flat beaches offer amazing camping opportunities at the feet of snow-capped mountains.

Located roughly half-way down the inlet, the Brem River is an important cultural site for the Klahoose First Nation, and an equally important feeding sight for local bear populations, who feed season-round not just on salmon but on trout and a variety of vegetation found throughout the rich valley.

Yes, this is Grizzly country, and the big brown bears are often seen at the shoreline, especially where the river enters the sea. Pull your kayak onto the beach and step right beside the impression of a huge paw on the white sand – as a shiver runs down your spine!

Another consideration self-guided kayakers need to have when paddling in Toba Inlet are the inflow and outflow winds that can funnel up and down the steep fjord at great speeds. Understanding of these winds and how they can affect the sea state in the inlet – sometimes creating wind waves of up to 6 feet – is critical.

Visiting Toba Inlet requires remote sea kayaking and wilderness camping. For those guests that want to experience the grandeur of this scenery in safety and comfort, please check out our expeditionstyle kayak tours of 5 and 7 days into this pristine and memorable destination.