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 Kayaking the Clayoquot Sound British Columbia, B.C.

Clayoquot: Ready to launch

By the fire

Clayoquot Sound

Clayoquot beach shot

Clayoquot Sound British Columbia B.C. Kayaking and Information


Paddling the Clayoquot Sound

Within the confines of Clayoquot Sound, paddlers have the opportunity to kayak hundreds of nautical miles through an endless maze of offshore islands. This is an area where we encourage beaching your kayak and taking a walk; Coastal Temperate Rainforests blanket about 265,000 hectares of mountains, valleys and islands here, making the Clayoquot Sound home to one of the planet’s most rare ecosystems. The Clayoquot Sound has been nicknamed “ Hawaii of the North” and the “Eighth Wonder of the World”; every stroke of your paddle will be validation for these nicknames. No matter what you chose to call this place, we can guarantee you will crave its pristine rainforests, sandy beaches and deep inlets once your gone.

The Clayoquot Sound is among the earth’s most biologically productive places because of its Coastal Temperate Rainforests. This type of ecosystem covers less than 0.2% of the earth’s surface so any walks here will be on uncommon ground. The rainforest of the Clayoquot Sound is part of the largest remaining tract of temperate rainforest in the world. This stretches along hundreds miles of North America’s Pacific Coast, from Oregon to Alaska. Approximately 44 percent of this stretch of forest has been lost to logging, development or other activities. This sad percentage is what makes Clayoquot’s intact, pristine forests so unique.

Within the temperate rainforest, plants, trees and wildlife are able to flourish. Exploring the rainforest you are likely to observe ancient cedar and fir trees as well an and abundance of animals including black bears, elk, cougars, wolves and bald eagles. It’s easy to get lost for days on a walk in the woods here, there is much to see but let’s not forget, the marine ecosystem of the Clayoquot Sound is equally productive and the best way to explore it is by kayak.

Paddling in the sound is usually fairly easy as the majority of the water is protected from the open ocean by an archipelago of Clayoquot’s forested islands. Rugged coastlines and expansive sandy beaches will meet the water which is the perfect habitat for many species including orcas, grey whales, humpback whales, Dungeness crabs, wild salmon, sea otters and sea lions. The inlets here are deep and forested mountains may rise steeply on either side of your boat. This all adds up to a nice vacation photo album so don’t forget to pack your cameras.

If you get chilly while paddling, a good idea might be to paddle towards Maquinna Provincial Park in the northern end of the sound where you will find Hot Springs Cove. Here you have hot springs in their natural state. Hot water bubbles up from the depths of the earth here to make a series of Jacuzzi-like rock pools. If you don’t mind the intensity of the heat, there is even a waterfall that will provide one of the most exhilarating showers you’ve ever taken.

The Clayoquot Sound is a massive dream for kayakers who can come and celebrate its 3,500 sq. kilometers of land and water. While there are countless islands within the sound’s glacier-carved passages, there are three large islands that have long been home to the areas native population. These islands are Flores, Vargas and Meares Islands and on them you will find evidence of ancient aboriginal life as well as modern First Nations villages.

Learn more about Kayak tours of Clayoquot B.C. with Kits Kayaking Tours

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