desolation sound BC

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desolation sound BC

Post by george »

I am partial to the Desolation Sound area in British Columbia.

The area is along the mainland coast about the center of Vancouver Island, just across from Campbell River.

This is a popular boat cruising destination but it is ideal for kayaking as there are thousands of small islands that make ideal camp sites. With a kayak it would be easy to stay away from the crowded cruising anchorages.

The area is surrounded by 6000 ft mountains and is heavily forested.

Tdes inside Vancouver Island enter from the north and south and converge at this location. This means currents are mild although tidal changes are large at 18 ft. In addition the area is sheltered by the mountain ranges and waves are not usually a problem.

THis area is also known for warm and dry summers, it lies in the rain shadow of a Vancouver Island mountain range. In the summers the high tides and lack of current means salt water tends to stay in the same location and becomes baked by the rocks, making it swimmable.

IF that is not good enough there are several easily accessible uninhabited large freshwater lakes. In the summer these lakes warm up and are very pleasant for swimming. Portage to the lakes is pretty short, half a mile or less.

There are no roads or power lines into this area and as a result the area is very sparsely populated and sees very little development. The road ends only a couple miles from the sound so you don't have all that far to paddle before you find yourself in Northwest paradise. With a kayak it is very easy to find complete wilderness privacy.

Temperatures in the summer in the eighties, cooling down pleasantly at night into the 60's and not humid. Usually no mosquitoes. The only potential danger would come from bears in some locations, staying on small islands should minimize the risk of a bear encounter

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Re: desolation sound BC

Post by KerryOnKayaks »

Thanks for that wonderfully detailed information on the area. I've been itching to get back to that area of BC since my last trip there in 2012 -- I had hoped to do some kayaking then on the Vancouver Island side of the strait but broke my left arm at the shoulder in a hiking accident the first day of the trip which put the kibosh on all paddling plans. The area that you describe sounds fantastic. I'm going to look into the options for a trip there and see if I can convince some fellow paddlers to join me this coming summer. I'd done a little coastal kayaking closer to Vancouver city on a previous visit but nothing that remote.
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Re: desolation sound BC

Post by Rob »

It is a wonderful place.

Only downside is you need to bring in your own fresh water, or get it and filter/boil it from the waterfalls/streams in the area.

I want to go back too. Didn't get enough time to explore last time I was there.

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