Gulf Islands Kayak Tours

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Northern & Southern Gulf Islands

Kayaking in the Gulf Islands Map of the northern and southern Gulf Islands 

Those who kayak the Gulf Islands are attracted to their warm temperatures, short distances between Mediterranean-like islands and a varied marine environment. A short drive and a ferry ride away from almost anywhere on the south coast, the Gulf Islands offer an accessible break from urban life. Many paddlers also come here to acquire skills for more extended expeditions in remote areas of the coast.

The Gulf Islands are a unique archipelago of 250 islands situated on the south east coast of Vancouver Island. They lie in the in the Strait of Georgia, a large inland sea about 220 kilometers long, protected from the Pacific Ocean by the great length of Vancouver Island. Nestled in the rain shadow of Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands experience limited rainfall from May to September, and temperatures range from 15 degrees C in the spring to 25 C in the summer. Largely sandstone, with only a thin soil layer and frequent outcrops of bedrock, the shores of these islands are often eroded in bizarre, picturesque shapes.

Kayaking the Strait of Georgia opens the door to a rich marine environment, home to an estimated three thousand species of plant and animal life. These include three hundred different seaweeds, two hundred species of fish, fifteen hundred invertebrate species ranging from octopus to starfish, oysters and clams, twenty-five species of marine mammals-seals, sea lions, river otters, porpoises and even pods of transiting Orcas. Kayaking the Gulf Islands shores reveals small mammals who cruise the inter-tidal world such as mink, otters, deer and racoons, plus over a hundred species of bird life, including bald eagles, great blue herons, ospreys, gulls, cormorants and a wide array of duck species.

The Northern Gulf Islands extend from Lasqueti Island near Parkville, north to Quadra and Cortes Islands near Campbell River, and from Texada Island near Powell River north to Savary and the Copeland Islands near Lund, including Jedediah Island Provincial Park. These islands encompass the DeCourcey Group of Islands including DeCourcey Island, Mudge Island, Ruxton Island and Pylades Island.

The Southern Gulf Islands encompass Gabriola, Valdes, Thetis, Kuper, Galiano, Prevost, Mayne, North and South Pender, Saturna and Saltspring. Salt Spring Island is the largest of the Gulf Islands and is home to Ruckle Provincial Park. Smaller islands include Third Sister Island and Wallace Island, a 72-hectare provincial marine park, located in Trincomali Channel between the northern ends of Saltspring Island and Galiano Island.Half of BC's 30 marine parks are in the Gulf Islands. 

North America: 1.800.255.5057 - UK: 0.800.051.6364 - Australia: 1.800.143.454

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As featured in National Geographic Adventure

From Our Blog

Great Bear Rainforest

Wednesday, March 3 2021

Sorry to report that we're now taking a waitlist on our 10 day Great Bear Rainforest kayak trips. Please take a look at our 6 and 9 day Mothership Adventures of this area, which centre on kayaking. more