Sea Kayaking Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia
3-Day Lodge Based Sea Kayaking Tour
Vargas Island is located in the heart of Clayoquot Sound. Our three-day lodge based tour of Clayoquot Sound begins at the picturesque village of Tofino, which is situated at the end of Highway #4 on the western shore of Vancouver Island. The distance we paddle each day depends upon the strength and desire of the group. We plan stretches and snacks as required and take time at midday to enjoy tasty lunches and explore ashore.
Meet at launch point for 8:00 am. Once everyone is assembled, we load gear into the kayaks, provide some paddling instruction, and discuss safety procedures.
Then into the kayaks, and once everyone is comfortable, off we go!
Clayoquot Sound is the gem of the West Coast, and you will quickly see why.
The rugged landscapes of fjords and islands are covered with temperate rainforests. Hidden in the twisting shoreline are some of the earth’s most beautiful beaches. The air is fresh and sweet. We'll be exploring the coastline together as we make our way to Vargas Island.
There are many routes to choose from each with a suitable beach to pause for lunch. Upon our arrival at the Lodge, Neil Buckle, owner of the secluded Vargas Island Inn, and Larry the right hand man, will greet us. Long-time residents, Neil and his late wife Marilyn, hand built this rustic, waterfront lodge with timber milled from their land. This peaceful space, each room with a view, is ours to enjoy for a few days.
We like to start the day with a hearty breakfast out on the deck where we can enjoy the morning sun and discuss our plans for the day. Whatever course we decide upon you can be sure, you will encounter many of the wonderful things nature has to offer.
The rocky shores, rich waters and extensive sand flats of the area provide shelter and food for many species of resident and migratory birds. Commonly seen are bald eagles, great blue herons, and all kinds of sea birds while rare sightings may include Tufted Puffins, King Eider, or Brandt Geese. Many marine mammals are also attracted to the nutrient rich waters of the Sound. We may be thrilled to spot resident Gray Whales, Dall's Porpoise, Harbour Seals, and Pacific White-Sided Dolphins or even the occasional pod of Orca (killer whale).
You'll enjoy lunch on any one of the pretty beaches, and you may decide to poke around the shore or explore tidal pools. Literally the sky is the limit, build a fort, practise yoga, bring a sketchbook-it's up to you. During the course of each day we will introduce new skills such as paddling strokes to add to your repertoire.
After our return to the Lodge, you may be interested in a hot shower before dinner. Most of the evening tends to be devoted to eating and talking around a roaring fireplace, but there is also the luxury of a soothing wood fired sauna on the beach not to be missed!
Awake to the smell of freshly brewed coffee! After breakfast, your guides will prepare for the day. Often we hike across Vargas Island to the sandy stretch of beaches at Ahous Bay on the Island's western side. This interesting hike takes you through Cedar and Douglas fir, West Coast bogs, and stunted Pine forests which eventually give way to the roaring surf and the mighty Pacific Ocean.
You can walk and beach comb forever here, there is an astonishing array of flotsam and jetsam, the most amazing treasures tossed ashore. It's also wonderful to simply find a piece of driftwood that fits your back and enjoy the view of surf breaking and the open ocean. This is a great vantage point from which to spot Gray whales as they are often observed feeding in the shallow waters of Ahous Bay.
Later returning to the Lodge we will pack our kayaks, bid a fond farewell to our Vargas Island hosts, and make our way back to Tofino.
Itineraries are intended to describe the experience you can expect from your sea kayaking adventure with us. Pacific Northwest Expeditions reserves the right to change the itinerary without advance notice at the discretion of the guides, due to weather conditions, tides and currents, activities en route or other logistical situations at the time of the trip. Pacific Northwest Expeditions is committed to consistently operate trips of high quality and safety without compromise.
Customizing this trip to accommodate a group of friends, family members or colleagues can be arranged for 8 to 10 people. We are happy to discuss your ideas or make suggestions.