Sechelt Inlet-old

The Sunshine Coast's Inland Sea

Sechelt Inlet information

Story courtesy of our Kayak Partner, Pedals & Paddles

Sechelt Inlet is a paddler’s paradise and only two hours from downtown Vancouver. While most visitors to the Sunshine Coast follow Highway 101 up the rugged and beautiful east shore of Georgia Strait, surprisingly few are aware of the solitude and natural beauty that awaits them on the Inlet side of Sechelt Peninsula.

Sechelt Inlet is protected from wind and waves that are common on open ocean waters by high surrounding mountains. Mornings and evenings are typically calm and peaceful with lush green mountains reflecting off of the tranquil blue ocean surface. As there are no roads beyond the village of Tuwanek, wilderness and exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities are just minutes away.

Sechelt Inlet is blessed with many sand and gravel beaches, which are the result of alluvial deposits left by streams flowing from high in the mountains. Eight of these river estuaries have been designated Wilderness Marine Parks and offer excellent rustic overnight camping facilities with such “luxuries” as year round fresh water, clear tenting areas and tent pads, outhouses, fire rings, and warm swimming beaches. There are eight designated Wilderness Marine Parks, as well as many unserviced beach areas. Finding a secluded sheltered and easily accessible spot to camp is seldom a problem. Campers on the east shore of the Inlet are treated to spectacular evening sunsets while west shore campers enjoy the warming rays of early morning sun with their coffee.

Novice kayakers and canoeists will appreciate the fact that the shoreline is always close by; the longest crossing being only about one kilometer. This also makes Sechelt Inlet an ideal place for families to paddle and camp. Wilderness Resort is a great destination with its tent cabins and centralized showers/cooking building, or you can rent the Wilderness Resort Main House for your group of up to 8.

While paddling on Sechelt Inlet, you can expect to find an excellent example of B.C.’s West Coast natural beauty. The tall, green mountains with their snow-capped peaks tumble into the clear waters below. Mornings and evenings are typically calm and peaceful, offering a time for quiet reflection. During mid-day, thermal winds often blow from south to north creating a more challenging and active paddling adventure.

As you experience Sechelt Inlet and the various smaller inlets, bays and reaches that are to be found up and down its length, you can expect to be entertained by an abundance of wildlife. Spectacular blue herons grace the shoreline while magnificent bald eagles soar high above in search of food or perch in the trees that line the shore. Curious seals appear out of nowhere and accompany most paddlers while a dozen varieties of ducks and other waterfowl fly, swim and dive for food all along the shore. In the evening, loons glide gracefully over the water as their eerie call haunts the still evening air. With a sharp eye, visitors can observe mountain goats high on steep mountain terrain and occasionally glimpse cougars and bears in the thick shoreline brush. Below the water’s surface, many species of fish and various marine creatures create a complex ecosystem in a near pristine environment.

For those who enjoy dining on fresh seafood, the Inlet offers gourmet fishing. Snapper and rock cod are abundant. Oysters, clams and muscles are available at various locations along the Inlet shore. With a little advance preparation, dungeness crab can be trapped for a tasty evening treat, and with a little local knowledge and some patience, lingcod lie waiting in the deeper rocky grottos.

Dotting the shoreline of Sechelt Inlet are many settings that give this area its unique personality. The occasional derelict cabin from another era, with the inevitable collections of abandoned machinery and sundry household items, serve as silent reminders of the area’s industrial past. These glimpses into history allow for hours of exploration and retrospection. As one continues to explore the Inlet’s bays and reaches you will also encounter the occasional fish or oyster farm, remote wilderness cabins nestled in the tranquil scenic bays and, for the very keen observer, rock paintings, or pictographs, painted by the Sechelt Indians over 150 years ago