Discovery Islands Explorer

A fun-filled paddle through the heart of the Discovery Islands with lots of time to play, explore, and relax.


4 days
3 nights


No 2024 dates.



(Suitable for nearly everyone)


$1290 cdn*

(* Subject to 5% gst and $25 Environmental protection & Indigenous land use fee)

Why We Love This Trip

This short kayaking tour packs a heaping serving of everything that makes the Discovery Islands special. Secluded paddling routes through forested channels, abundant wildlife, a tranquil swimming lake, beach camping – it has it all! Because paddling days are shorter than other trips, this trip is perfect for those who are new to kayaking or just want more time to relax and explore on-shore.

About the Area

Nestled between the Coast Mountains and shores of Vancouver Island, the Discovery Islands are a maze of interlocked channels and forested islets. Sheltered from wind and ocean swell, the seas are remarkably calm, making it an ideal place for kayak touring. Bordered to the north by strong tidal rapids, the islands boast nutrient rich waters and are home to a spectacular variety of marine organisms – including colourful intertidal critters. A variety of sea birds, as well as seals, porpoises, dolphins, porpoises, and sea lions share the waters that we paddle. Humpback whale populations, once hunted to the brink of extinction have made a spectacular return to the Discovery Islands, and sighting are likely, though not a certainty during summer months. The sheltered water of the Discovery Islands mean that paddlers can expect mostly calm seas on this trip.

The islands form a boundary between the traditional territories of the Kwak’waka’wakw (Kwakiutl) and Coast Salish First Nations peoples, at times during this trip we paddle in the traditional territory of the Klahoose, Xwemahlkwe (“Homalco”), and Lekwiltok regional bands. Little remains of their original settlements in the islands, but observant paddlers will spot shell middens and pictographs (rock art) along the shorelines.

Trip Itinerary

Our trip begins with a boat pickup from Heriot Bay on Quadra Island. We’ll take a relaxing boat ride to Coast Mountain Lodge, keeping a keen eye out for wildlife along the way. At the lodge, we’ll get settled into sleeping cabins and then hit the water! We’ll enjoy comprehensive kayaking skills and safety lesson before relaxing in the creek side sauna or wood-fired hot tub. We’ll cap things off with a gourmet lodge-cooked meal featuring local seafood and organic produce from our own garden.

Next morning, we’ll pack kayaks and depart on our trip! Our trip will be a circle route with minimal overlap, meaning you won’t paddle much of the same shoreline twice. We’ll stop to camp in beautiful spots and will have the opportunity to swim in a warm, secluded lake. During our two nights out, we’ll be well fed with lodge-prepared meals, healthy snacks, and Lannie’s famous cookies. We’ll also have the opportunity to catch fish and forage for shellfish.

Our final day is a full day of paddling as we follow the shoreline of Read Island back to Coast Mountain Lodge. After unpacking kayaks, we’ll return to Heriot Bay by boat and hopefully spot a humpback whale or two!


Trip Details

• Trip begins at 1:00pm first day, finishes mid-afternoon last day.

• Maximum 10 participants with 2 kayak guides.

• Paddling: 3 to 4.5 hours of kayaking per day (9-12 km (6-8 mi)).

• Single and double kayaks.

• Sea conditions: usually calm, rising to max 0.5metre (1.5ft).

• Beaches: low sloping sandy gravel or medium boulders; may be slippery when wet.

What’s Included

• 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 CME Lodge

You Provide

• Personal clothing and accessories  (see our packing list)

• Sleeping bag (available to rent)

• Sense of adventure!



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More Information

We’d love to answer any more questions you might have about this tour, and are also happy to chat if you’d just like to get to know us. We’re looking forward to sharing our island home with you!

(250) 285-2823

…the care, commitment and attention to detail for each trip (planning, equipment, fabulous food!, and really interesting local information) is exceptional. It is clear that they are experts at running high quality wilderness tours that make you comfortable experiencing a back-country trip

Back again with Coast Mountain Expeditions with higher expectations which were predictability exceeded

As a family we are well and widely traveled – we have been to Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, Africa… and the ultimate holiday was right here in Canada.