Desolation Sound Expedition
A real expedition that takes a dramatically scenic route into the heart of a paddling paradise that should be on every kayaker’s wish list.
June 22 – 29
(* Subject to 5% gst and $25 Environmental protection & Indigenous land use fee)
Why We Love This Trip
Desolation Sound ticks off most of the check boxes of a dream paddling destination: sheltered seas, rugged islands, abundant wildlife, mountain vistas, warm water…We add a twist to this classic kayaking trip and take a less-travelled route through the dramatic Discovery Islands to make a real expedition out of it. Our shoulder-season dates are intended to beat the crowds to this world class destination.
About the Area
Nestled at the foot of the Coast Mountains, Desolation Sound Provincial Park is a series of arbutus speckled island that offers spectacular mountain views, varied shorelines, lakes, and naturally beautiful camping opportunities. Desolation Sound also boasts the warmest waters north of Baja, making for great swimming opportunities…
The warm waters of Desolation Sound support a myriad of marine organisms, both above and below water. We’ll share the sea with seals, sea lions, porpoises, and dolphins, as well as seastars, urchins, and an abundance of oysters. Humpback whale populations, once hunted to the brink of extinction have rebounded dramatically in recent years, and sightings are likely, though not a certainty during summer months.
Most of our trip route falls within the traditional territory of the Klahoose Band, part of the Coast Salish First Nations Peoples. Most of the Klahoose live in a permanent settlement on Cortes Island, but remnants of their historic camps, including pictographs (rock paintings) can be spotted along our route.
Our trip begins with a scenic boat ride to Coast Mountain Lodge on Read Island. Upon arrival, we’ll get settled into our sleeping cabins before taking part in a comprehensive kayaking skills and safety course led by our expert guides. We’ll get comfortable in our kayaks and learn new skills whether we’re new to kayaking or come with experience. We’ll follow the lesson up with a soak in the wood-fired hot tub or creek side sauna, before enjoying a gourmet lodge-prepared meal featuring local seafood and garden grown produce.
Next morning we’ll pack up kayaks and depart on our expedition. We’ll paddle the rugged shores of the Discovery Islands before heading south into Desolation Sound. We’ll spend our final two nights in the heart of Desolation Sound to fully appreciate all that the area has to offer. Along the way we’ll enjoy delicious and healthy lodge-prepared meals and snacks, including Lannie’s famous cookies! There will also be opportunities to catch fish and eat fresh oysters along the way.
Last day we’ll paddle into the tiny outpost of Refuge Cove on West Redonda Island where we’ll be picked up for the return trip to Coast Mountain Lodge. We’ll enjoy one last relaxing evening together before departing next morning back to civilization.
• Trip begins 1:00pm first day, drop-off noon last day.
• Maximum 10 participants with 2 kayak guides.
• Single and double kayaks.
• Moderate: Ambitious, but not difficult for most people.
• Paddling: 4 to 5 hours of kayaking per day (9-16 km (6-11 mi)).
• Sea conditions: mostly calm, rising to max 0.5m, (1.5 ft.)
• Beaches: rocky shorelines; may be slippery when wet.
• All kayaking equipment
• Group camping gear and shelter
• Tent (you choose single or double)
• Therm-a-Rest inflatable sleeping pad
• Dry bags for personal gear
• All meals & snacks
• Professional skills training & guiding
• Boat transportation to & from CME Lodge
• Boat pickup from Desolation Sound
• Personal clothing and accessories (see our packing list)
• Sleeping bag (available to rent)
• Sense of adventure!