3-day trip near Vancouver

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by renshiwo, May 18, 2009.

  1. renshiwo

    renshiwo New Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
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    Hi all,

    Newbie posting here, and I'm afraid I didn't see a forum for asking destination questions, so please point me in the right direction if this isn't the correct place.

    My husband and I are coming up from the states and are interested in a 3-day/2-night easy paddle for scenery and wildlife viewing. We have limited sea kayaking experience (guided trip in Alaska, solo trip in Florida), and a reasonable amount of whitewater experience in Utah and Arizona. I'm having a hard time narrowing down our options, especially considering ferry connections, etc.

    Our schedule:
    Sunday, June 7 - we can leave Abbotsford, BC by around 8 am
    Wednesday, June 10 - fly out of Seattle around noon

    We'll need to rent a kayak, and we can have a rental car. Our total budget for the 3 days, excluding the rental car, is maximum $500.

    So, ideally, we're looking for a place where we could put-in on Sunday afternoon or early evening for a short paddle to camp. Leisurely exploring on Monday to a new camp. Tuesday return paddle to our car. Water taxi service is ok as long as we stay within budget. Looks like the kayak rental will be $200-300.

    Any suggestions? I have been looking at Desolation Sound and the Broken Group, but I think the time needed to access the put-ins would make for too short of a kayak trip.

    Thanks so much!
    Rebecca
     
  2. stevenf

    stevenf Paddler

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    Aug 18, 2007
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    My favorite 2 night easy kayaking trip close to Vancouver is Sechelt Inlet. You can rent right at the put in, the company there has a very informative website about the inlet http://www.pedalspaddles.com/

    Sechelt is a 40 minute ferry ride out of Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, then about a half hour drive. There is a network of about 7 marine access campsites. A good 3 day, 2 night itinerary would be to paddle up the east side to Nine Mile Point for the first night. Then cross over to Kunechin Point, explore around and head across to Halfway beach on the west side for night 2. Then back down the west side of the inlet on the final day.
     
  3. blondie

    blondie Paddler

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    May 29, 2005
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    Location:
    Nanaimo
    Sechelt inlet would be a good choice, as it is relatively close to Vancouver and is fairly sheltered. There is a fair bit to look at, and some good choices for camping. I've been here several times and always enjoyed it. The drive up the sunshine coast is always nice as well. You also only have to pay one way on the Langdale ferry.

    I've used these outfitters before, they were organized and took good care of their boats: http://www.pedalspaddles.com/

    Another trip on the Sunshine coast that might be nice is from Secret cove to the Thormanby islands. I haven't done it before, but it is supposed to be nice. The two islands have campsites, and you could also explore the coast line.

    http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/buccaneer_bay/

    http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/simson/

    Here is one outfitter I found, there might be more:
    http://www.secretcovehideaway.com/SecretCoveHideawayKayaks.html

    For a short trip as you describe, you might want to consider Indian arm. There is a rental inlet out of Deep Cove and a number of campsites close by for your first night. You can then travel further up the arm to poke around the waterfalls, power stations, and even up to the Estuary at the top of the arm. This is closer to the city, but you won't have to take a ferry. Indian arm can also be busy in the summer. If you want a little more of a remote feel, then the Sunshine coast will be a better choice.

    More info on Indian arm:

    http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=15&pos=0

    Here are some more location choices too:

    http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/html/locations.htm

    There are really so many choices for short trips. You'll find that pretty much any kayaking area will have a rental outfit near by. Enjoy!
     
  4. Johan

    Johan Paddler

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
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    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, BC
    Hello Rebecca,

    Given your time constraints, Desolation Sound and the Broken Group would be out of the picture.

    Sechelt Inlet, as suggested by Steven, is very nice. Another option you could consider would be the Gulf Islands. It would go something like this:

    1. Drive from Abbotsford to the Tsawwassen Ferry terminal (about 1hr) to catch either the 9 or 10 am ferry to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island (1hr 35 mins).
    2. Rent kayaks at the waterfront in Sidney
    3. Paddle out to Portland island (2 hrs) and set up camp in any of the three camp sites (Arbutus Point on the Northern tip being the nicest).
    4. Move camp on Monday or just enjoy an easy and relaxing circumnavigation of Portland and explore the surrounding islets.
    5. Paddle back to Sidney on tuesday to pick up your car and take one of the late ferries back (last sailing @ 9:00 pm).

    There are other islands with campsites if you want to make a loop and move camp both nights, but they involve longer crossings and faster currents. The crossing to Portland is relatively short and easy (1 mile), but there is a bit of current and it can get rough during poor weather conditions. More info and pictures can be found in the Paddling locations on this site:
    http://www.westcoastpaddler.com/gallery ... m=68&pos=0

    Wherever you go, have a great trip!
     
  5. renshiwo

    renshiwo New Member

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    May 18, 2009
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    Thanks so much for these great ideas!
     
  6. Steve_Fairbairn

    Steve_Fairbairn Paddler

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    Location:
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    I might also suggest Pitt Lake. There are several campsites on both sides of the lake and it is a pretty short trip from Abbotsford. Ok, it's not the ocean but it is the biggest tidal lake in the world. See the galleries for photos.
     
  7. Johan

    Johan Paddler

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    Location:
    Salt Spring Island, BC
    Tell us where you ended up going by posting a trip report and some pictures!
     
  8. mikewh

    mikewh New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
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    Location:
    Vancouver
    3-day near Vancouver

    Hi Rebecca,
    If you're thinking of Sechelt Inlet, see the trip report with pictures by kayakwriter in the appropriate forum - did it with him a few weekends ago. It was quiet (wind/water and people-wise) and quite scenic.

    We launched from the pedals and paddles site - see stevenf's posting.

    Mike