Kayaking the Jervis Inlet B.C., Touring and Information
Paddling Jervis Inlet
When paddling to Princess Louisa Inlet, getting there is half the fun. People talk about Jervis Inlet like it’s only the road leading to the paradise of Princess Louisa Inlet but those dreading the journey should rest assured, paddling Jervis Inlet won’t be like a mind-numbing drive through Nebraska. It’s more like paddling through Utopia on your way to heaven and there will be plenty of delight in the days you spend here.
Jervis Inlet slices through the Coastal Mountain range, narrowly zigzagging over 80 km through stunning granite-walled cliffs and forested mountains. This inlet is the deepest of British Columbia’s Inlets reaching depths of over 720 meters of 2,400 ft. So don’t even bother trying to race your friends to the bottom. Only fish and American and Canadian Naval submarines doing testing here have seen the depths of this place. There are three main reaches making up the zigs and zags to this inlet, all of them named after a member of the British Royal Family. They are Prince of Wales Reach, Princess Royal Reach and Queens Reach.
As you head out of Egmont towards the first of these reaches, Prince of Wales Reach, you may see Freil Falls cascading into Hotham Sound towards your north. If you get the chance, take it in. This is one of Canada’s tallest waterfalls and a majestic preview to the dozens more you will enjoy within Princess Louisa Inlet. You will also pass Goliath Bay quickly after exiting Egmont. Keep paddling into the inlet and you will then come to Vancouver Bay.
Much of the land in Vancouver Bay is owned by logging corporations but some of it has been leased back to the native Sechelt Band. The Sechelt people generously allow travelers to camp on their land here, near the bank of the Vancouver River, provided you have previously checked in at the band office in Sechelt. There is also a treatment center for native youth in Vancouver Bay that is private property and not open to travelers. Those stopping to camp here might want to take in one of the trails that head up the Vancouver River.
Continuing on into Jervis Inlet, you will come to Princess Royal Reach. Paddling by the walls throughout the inlet, you may see testaments to the Sechelt Band’s ancient area presence in the form of petroglyphs. Much of the land in Jervis Inlet has been the historic home of groups within the Sechelt First Nations. At the end of Princess Royal Reach, you will find Patrick Point across from Deserted Bay. This is where you meet Queens Reach, which will lead you on to Malibu Rapids and the Princess Louisa Inlet.
As you paddle throughout the inlet the impressive mountains rising on either side of your boat will amaze you. Unfortunately, these cliffs do bring a couple difficulties that paddlers should be aware of. First of all, there are few beaches and places to stop. It is important to keep this in mind and stop when you can, as paddlers sometimes will have to continue for long stretches before finding convenient break and campsites. Also, the steep walls here provide a great prop for the wind and its tricks. The water can change from calm to choppy very fast and a leisurely trip can turn into a workout in a matter of minutes.
Learn more about Kayaking the Jervis Inlet with Kits Kayaking Tours