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Clayoquot Sound Sea Kayaking


Sea Kayaking Tours in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia

Situated on the spectacular west coast of Vancouver Island, this is one of the most rugged coastlines of western North America, where rocky headlands collide with the surging Pacific Ocean.

Sea Kayaking Clayoquot SoundWe'll set off from the coastal hamlet of Tofino and quickly leave everything ordinary behind! True sea kayak touring adventure awaits us as we encounter whatever nature provides. Gray whales, attracted to the nutrient rich waters of Clayoquot Sound are often seen. At times, Killer Whales cruise the sound, Porpoises appear suddenly, then are gone again, and good eyes can find Harbour Seals hidden in kelp beds.

You can expect to see Bald Eagles, Osprey patrolling the surf for fish, Oystercatchers, Rhinoceros Auklets, Cormorants, Marbled Murrlets, and a variety of shore birds. Sometimes, paddling quietly along, we will remain undetected by a Black Bear, while it forages on the shore. Other terrestrial animal sightings can include Vancouver Island Mule deer, and coastal Wolves.

Camping in Clayoquot SoundProtected from the surging Pacific Ocean by a series of cedar-crowned verdant islands, Clayoquot Sound is an area of vast diversity and natural beauty. Low tide bares saltwater flats for birding and exposes the inter-tidal zone to bizarre marine creatures.

You'll enjoy long walks on wide open, sandy beaches, where you'll find strange treasures tossed from the sea. Sit in peace in the towering cedar and ancient Sitka spruce rainforest, and allow yourself to be enveloped by its quiet strength. In the evening pull up to a warm campfire, sip hot chocolate, gaze at the star-studded sky, and ponder the true meaning of the universe. Unforgettable. A perfect Canadian west coast experience.

Trip Duration

Sea kayaking in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia4 and 6-day trips.

The Clayoquot Sound sea kayak touring adventures depart from the village of Tofino located at the end of Highway #4, on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

On the final day of our sea kayaking adventure, we return to Tofino between 2:00 and 3:00 pm. This allows time to travel to Nanaimo to board a ferry to mainland British Columbia, or continue on to other Vancouver Island destinations. Please be advised that weather or other conditions could delay our return time, so please plan accordingly.

The distance we paddle each day depends upon the abilities and interests of the group. We plan stretches and snacks as required, and take time at midday to enjoy tasty lunches. Trip Dates.

Trip Suitability

Clayoquot Sound, British ColumbiaIntermediate/Experienced paddlers due to open water paddling, waves and swell. Participants must be comfortable in water and in good enough shape for 4 to 6 hours of daily kayaking, some easy hiking.

The Clayoquot Sound adventures are suitable for active singles and couples. The trip is progressive in terms of skills and is suitable for those with some paddling abilities.

While our trips are not considered to be strenuous or physically demanding, and we do not require a high level of fitness, good general physical condition is necessary.

A primary reason for the popularity of sea kayaking is the ease at which the boat can be propelled and the relatively quick learning curve. Throughout your trip your guides will provide tips to develop your paddling skills to enhance your experience and to avoid poor techniques that can lead to injury, fatigue or frustration.

Trip Accommodations

Wilderness tent camping. Some campsites are within BC Parks where pit toilets are provided, however some sites have no facilities.

Trip Cuisine

We provide all meals on your sea kayaking trip, including regular snacks, and hot beverages. If you have a particular snack food that you enjoy, or are the type of person who needs to snack regularly while active you are welcome to bring along your own personal supply.

We make our best effort to cater to those with food allergies and vegan diets. However we are not able to accommodate special diets that require a strict menu plan (e.g. low carbohydrate diets). If you have any dietary requirements, we ask that you contact us to determine if the menu plans can be adapted to your needs.

What is Provided

Virtually everything you will need for this sea kayaking adventure;

  • professional, certified sea kayak guides
  • all meals, snacks and hot beverages starting with lunch on the first day through to lunch on the final day
  • touring sea kayaks (fibreglass single & doubles) along with all the required paddling equipment and on the water safety equipment
  • all the necessary wilderness kitchen and camping equipment
  • safety equipment and emergency communication equipment
  • all public land and BC Park use permits
  • FUN! Included at no extra cost.

Guest Responsibility

  • Guests are responsible for their own transportation to and from the trip point of departure. Please visit our Travel Planner page for information on transportation options.
  • Accommodations, and meals prior to or after your trip, are not included. A pre-trip information package, which is provided to you upon receipt of your trip deposit, provides local accommodation and dining suggestions. It is advisable to make accommodation reservations in advance.
  • Please check with your health care plan administrator to ensure that you have sufficient coverage while participating on one of our tours. Pacific Northwest Expeditions is not responsible for any medical or evacuation costs should they be incurred for your safety or health during the course of the tour.
  • You will be provided with comprehensive information on suggested outdoor clothing for your trip. Your pre-trip information outlines suggested quantities to bring along to make your trip enjoyable for any weather conditions that could be encountered.
  • To help keep tour costs down, tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads are not included in our tour package costs. However, these items can be rented for a nominal fee from us. We have quality 3-season, 2-person tents, synthetic fill sleeping bags, and Thermo-rest self-inflating sleeping pads. All rental equipment is meticulously cleaned (sleeping bags are laundered) after each use, and replaced on a regular basis. Rental Rates.
  • Each guest will be required to sign a Pacific Northwest Expeditions ' Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, Assumptions of Risk, & Indemnity Agreement’ and complete a ‘Medical Questionnaire Form’, prior to the trip departure date. Any trip participant under the age of 19 years will be required to have a legal guardian sign an Indemnity Agreement.
    To view these documents please visit Terms & Conditions.

Trip Area

To view a larger version click on the map image.

Clayoquot Sound Sea Kayaking Trips Area Map


A Century ago, some 2.3 million hectares of old growth forest covered the valleys of Vancouver Island. Clayoquot Sound contains the largest tracts of the Island's remaining ancient temperate rain forests.

Designated a Biosphere Reserve in 2000 by UNESCO Clayoquot Sound is recognized for its global, cultural, and ecological importance and uniqueness. But only a portion of Clayoquot Sound is protected from industrial activities.

The Biosphere designation is symbolic only, though the goal of the Biosphere Reserve program is to develop "the basis, within the natural and the social sciences, for the sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity, and for the improvement of the relationship between people and their environment globally". We believe that by choosing to kayak in this amazing place, you are making a contribution towards this goal.

Human life existed, likely on the very beaches where you'll set your tent, for centuries before the 'discovery' of the New World. The people of the First Nations, the ‘Cla-o-quahts’ were very powerful and enjoyed a rich cultural life due to the abundance of natural resources. Today the Hesquiaht, Ahousaht, Tla-o-qui-aht, Ucluelet, and Toquaht some of the remaining First People, struggle to protect their fragmented heritage and to find economic viability.

An estimated 20,000 Gray whales migrate annually past Clayoquot Sound between their calving grounds in Baja Mexico and the summer feeding areas of the Pacific Northwest. Yearly there are Gray whales that take up summer residence in the nutrient rich waters of the Sound.

Come experience the “wild coast”.

Pacific Northwest Expeditions
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