South Pender Island - Trip description
Circumnavigation of island: 18 km (11.2 miles)
Distance to Beaumont Campsite (from Lyall Harbour): 8 km (5 miles)
Distance to Beaumont Campsite (from Otter Bay): 13 km (8 miles)
Distance to Beaumont Campsite (from Village Bay): 17 km (10.5 miles)
Coordinates (WGS 84):
N48 47.880 W123 12.043 - Lyall Harbour: Put-in location
N48 45.245 W123 14.459 - Beaumont Campsite
N48 45.901 W123 15.434 - Pender Canal bridge
N48 44.858 W123 13.644 - Town of Bedwell Harbour
- No. 3313 Small-Craft Charts: Gulf Islands (various scales)
Canadian Topographic Maps:
The closest BC Ferry access point to paddle to North Pender Island is Lyall Harbour on Saturna Island which is 8 km away from Beaumont Campground. The crossing of Plumper Sound is approximately 3 kms.
Beaumont Campground is in a nice setting across the bay from the town of Bedwell Harbour. The tent spots are a short distance from the beach and are located behind a small berm. Access for the campsite is best from the beach that is located east of the penninsula.
There is a group campsite located a short distance to the west of the single tent sites. There once was a fresh water pump near this location that has since been capped by Parks Canada as the water was not suitable for human consumption. Access to the group campsite is closest from the beach to the west of the penninsula.
There are pit toilets near the campsite.
Parks Canada collects camping fees from March 15 to September 30. From October 1, the park is open with no services and no fees.
A circumnavigation of the island is highly recommended as there is a lot to see. Magnificent sandstone formations are all around the island with the most dramatic being on the southeast shoreline that is exposed to Boundary Pass. Wildlife sightings are frequent -- you can expect to possibly see deer, mink, otters, seals, and small marine life as you paddle around the island. A circumnavigation of the island will take several hours at a leisurely pace but is well worth the effort. The currents around The Pender Canal bridge can be a lot of fun to play around in.
If you are interested in paddling further distances to get to Beaumont Campsite, you can paddle 13 km from Otter Bay on North Pender Island but you'll need to be extremely mindful of tides and currents in Swanson Channel. Rounding Wallace Point can be tricky (and dangerous) depending upon currents and tides as waters of Boundary Pass, Swanson Channel, and Haro Straight all meet in the area, often causing confused seas around the point. Another option is to paddle 17 kms from Village Bay on Mayne Island.
Note: There is no fresh water available on the island. Drinking water may be available in the town of Bedwell Harbour.
Note: Although our trip to South Pender Island from Saturna Island was done in darkness, paddling at night should only be done during calm weather conditions and should only be attempted by those who are familiar with such practices.
Put-in location (Lyall Harbour, Saturna Island)
A government dock is located directly near the ferry terminal car ramp. There is no beach access at this location.
Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada
Trip date: Sep 30-Oct 2, 2005
Weather: sunny, rainy periods
Water condition: Calm to 2 foot seas
Submitted by: Dan Millsip
Images copyright: Dan Millsip