2014 was an epic year for us, in terms of adventure and travel. The four days we spent in Desolation Sound was one of the highlights of our five-month road trip around British Columbia and the Yukon. During a trip in which we would later drive above the Arctic Circle, paddle the Yukon River and summit incredible mountains, it would be easy to overlook some of the earlier experiences. Our canoe trip in Desolation Sound however, would be hard to forget.

A closer look

Quite simply, it was a perfect trip. Wall to wall sunshine, an incredible base campsite, a (fairly) calm ocean, great fishing, plentiful wildlife and an amazing view in every direction. Even better, we basically had it all to ourselves.

I talked a bit about our Desolation Sound experience a month after the fact. What I did not mention then was that the photos in the post were not the best taken during that adventure. Jean Robert shot most of the 300 or so photos in what is known as RAW format. To cut a long story short, when it came to writing up the trip, I could not open the files and use them in the post. Being on the road with limited power and internet, I figured I’d work it out later. And now this is later!

So finally, here’s the full picture (get it?) of our adventures in BC’s Desolation Sound. 

paddling desolation sound may

mountain views curme islands desolation sound

desolation sound sign marine provincial park

canoe desolation sound curme islands

curme islands camp desolation sound

curme islands cooking desolation sound

curme islands jr desolation sound

desolation sound views curme islands

bald eagle desolation sound

wild flowers desolation sound

curme islands views desolation sound

desolation sound curme islands canoe paddling

curme islands desolation sound mountain views

curme islands seals desolation sound

desolation sound seals curme islands canoe

mountain views desolation sound curme islands

Tenedos Bay desolation sound unwin lakeAbove: Tenedos Bay. From here, it’s a short walk to Unwin Lake (below) – perfect for a fresh water swim!

unwin lake desolation sound

canoe desolation sound curme islands

curme islands reflections desolation sound

curme islands sunset desolation sound

desolation sound jr gemma curme islands

the details: Desolation Sound

Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park is located approximately 150km north of Vancouver, on BC’s Sunshine Coast. We launched from Okeover Harbour Government Dock, leaving our van in the long stay parking lot.

Camping is $5 per person, per night from June 1st to September 15th. There are 11 designated campsites with an average of 9 tent pads in each. We stayed on East Curme Island (21km from Okeover Habour) but visited most of the other campsites and I can honestly say you really couldn’t go wrong wherever you stay. Fires are only allowed in Tenedos and Roscoe Bays.

As you can see, we paddled our canoe to Desolation Sound. Taking a kayak is a more common option – if you don’t own one, there are plenty of kayak outfitters in the local area of Lund and Powell River.

Read Next: Paddling the Powell Forest Canoe Circuit, British Columbia

If planning a trip like this, please take the 10 essentials of backcountry travel and follow Leave No Trace principles.

Outdoor gear we use and love (2018):

Cooking: Jetboil MiniMo for ultralight trips, Snow Peak Gigapower for trips with more cooking, Jetboil Genesis for base camping paddling trips with no portages.

Sleeping: Klymit Insulated Static V for JR, Exped AirMat Lite for me, Exped Synmat HL Duo together. Sleeping bag wise – old 0c rated bags from MEC.

Tent: MSR Freelite 2.

Clothing: Merino wool tops and socks, usually Icebreaker brand. Trousers/shorts are Kuhl, Rab, Dish, Duer. Rainjackets and down jackets are Arc’teryx and Patagonia.

Other: ENO Doublenest hammock

Pin this photo below  for future reference

Canoeing Desolation Sound British Columbia


One half of a Canadian/British couple currently based in New Brunswick, Canada. Gemma is happiest with a kayak/canoe paddle in her hand, on the trail or planning the next big adventure.

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