More than fifteen islands and countless islets make up the Gulf Island National Park Reserve. They are surrounded by azure waters that are protected from the storms of the Pacific Ocean. Sailing and paddling effortlessly give way to hiking and birdwatching creating an unforgettable holiday of exploration and family fun. Gulf Island is one of eight National Park Reserves, located on the Southern Coast of British Columbia. BC Ferries run service to Gulf Islands.
Whether you are a novice trying to get your footing or a pro looking for a challenge, the Salish Sea will quench your thirst for adventure. Paddle for a couple of hours as you look out for seals and bald eagles. Or take a multi-day tour that will include camping on picturesque islands. Princess Margret Island is an excellent stating point.
2. Whale Watching
When the water warms up and the sun bathes everything in a gorgeous shade of gold, Southern Resident Orcas invade Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Marvel at these gracious mammals from the East Point on Saturna Island. And while you are at it, porpoises, seals and sea lions may also join the show.
Now that you’ve seen the best of the Salish Sea, why not find out what the dry land has to offer? You can start at the shore where secluded beaches and coves will take your breath away before exploring the park’s forest trails. Don’t be afraid to tackle the cliffs, they offer perfect views of the archipelago.Explore Saturna Island from Mount Warburton Peak to Narvaez Bay!
The forested Gulf Islands are laced with lush trails leading to breathtaking views of the panoramic vistas of the Salish Sea! Take advantage of longer daylight hours by starting early. Consider an early morning start and you'll have the trail all to yourself! Always bring extra layers to stay warm and flashlights or headlamps to light the way as needed. And most importantly, enjoy the beautiful outdoors! 😊 Picture by @linky_art #gulfislands #gulfislandsNPR #BC #ExploreBC #HelloBC #britishcolumbia #hiking #hikers #trail #wildlife #nature #naturelovers #naturephotography #wild #conservation #wildlifephotography #photooftheday #travel #travelgram #beautiful #photography #outdoors #adventure #landscape #naturephotography #explorecanada #parkscanada #canada150 #canada #forest
4. The Hawaiian Homestead
Did you know that since the 1800s the Gulf Islands have been home to people of Hawaiian descent? You will have an opportunity to hear their stories and experience their culture when you visit Maria Mahoi’s residence on Russell Island. Her descendants open their home and hearts to us each summer.
Speaking of views, Mount Norman Viewpoint on South Pender Island offers you an unparalleled aerial panorama of the Gulf Islands. It will take you about an hour to work your way to the top but you will know that it was all worth it as you relax on the well-maintained viewpoint.
Dramatic skies overlook Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, which encompasses over 15 islands and numerous islets and reefs in the southern Strait of Georgia. Explore the secluded islands, but fear not, as you shall not be lonely! Sea lions, porpoises and killer whales will accompany you in your many adventures. Thanks for the photo @cdnwanderer #gulfislands #parkscanada #explorebc #gulfislandsnationalpark #gulfislandsNP #canada150 #explorecanada #beautifuldestinations #adventures #exploration #islandliving #Canada
You don’t need to be a birder to fall in love with this park’s birds; there are tonnes of them adorning the sky. If you’d like more than a casual sighting of a rare bird, you can stop by the lagoon on Sidney Island or Georgina Point on Mayne Island where seabirds are in abundance.
People can’t stop talking about the Gulf Islands’ beaches! See what’s all the fuss about! Bring your kids, picnic basket and sunscreen. Spend a summer afternoon on Sidney Spit, Mt. Warburton Pike, East Point, Winter Cove or Roesland! If you are visiting during Canada Day, join for the annual Lamp BBQ at Winter Cove, Saturna Island.
You really must bring your boat to the Gulf Islands, the sunsets are heavenly; the marine life fascinating and you can easily explore some sequestered islets. Island hopping doesn’t get any better than dining, shopping, wine tasting and chatting with the local communities. You could also spend the day hiking along popular trails.
There are mooring buoys at Sidney Spit (Sidney Island), Beaumont (South Pender) and Cabbage Island. You can also go with private operators and guides.
9. Scenic Driving
Who said that you have to walk, to appreciate the beauty of a park? You could always let your car get you to the top of Mt. Warburton Pike on Saturna Island from where you can try and make out as many islands as possible. You could even give them new names!
10. Quiet Reflection
Get away from the crowds and find an islet or reef where you can lose yourself in a book, enjoy the warm summer sun or get your daily dose of yoga. There are endless possibilities in the park, so let your map and kayak or boat lead you to a place you’ll never forget.
More about Gulf Islands National Park Reserve