• 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 Toba Inlet, a magnificent fjord that cuts 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. This deep blue glacial-fed fjord cut deep into the towering coast mountains, with 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.

Powell River Sea Kayak runs epic 7-day expeditions deep into this premier kayaking destination – check out this incredible west coast adventure!

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

Deep waters of rich, dark green give way to colours of turquoise and blue as you make your way up Pryce or Homfray Channel towards glacial fed Toba Inlet.

Peaks of more than 7200 feet in altitude flank the narrow fjord that cuts through the mountains with a depth of over 1600 feet below sea level, creating some of the most dramatic mountain scenery able to be paddled on the entire west coast of British Columbia.

It seems at times that time stops moving when you are paddling here. A whole day can pass without seeing another soul, just the sound of your paddles breaking the water, occasionally interrupted by  a colony of sea lions hauled out on a ledge, or the roar of an immense cascading waterfall that comes into view suddenly around a bend in the inlet, interrupting your otherwise serene enjoyment of the isolation.

Epic Waterfalls & Secret Beaches

With such dramatic elevation culminating in beautifully developed cirques and hidden glaciers high above, in the spring and summer the fjord is punctuated frequently along your route by powerful and impressive waterfalls that crash down the vertical cliffs and thunder straight into the ocean below, and carve deep canyons and gorges in the otherwise impenetrable rock faces along the way.

Depending on the time of year, some of these waterfalls can spray water hundreds of metres into the inlet. What better time for an ice-cold reinvigorating shower after almost a week at sea, and you don’t even have to leave your kayak to have one!

While the first impression of Toba Inlet 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 tent sites amongst the rainforest. Nothing quite compares to waking early and drinking coffee on a secret beach camp amongst this truly awe-inspiring landscape.

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 bear country, and the big brown ursines 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 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 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 7 day expedition style kayak tour into this pristine and memorable destination, where guides and guests paddle deep into the fjord, spending 3 nights in the inlet itself, and return on the last day via water taxi back to our Okeover Inlet launch site.