Cruising Desolation Sound – 4 Things To Do

Best described as tranquil, raw, and untouched, Desolation Sound is located at the northern end of the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia and is easily considered a yachters paradise. Fjords, inlets, coves, bays, and mountainous terrain leave it ripe for exploration. Summer months see water temperatures in places like Pendrell Sound rise as high as 27 degrees Celsius (or 80 degrees Fahrenheit) resulting in a tropical vibe, contrary to the otherwise cool notions of Canadian weather.

After finding anchorage in spots like Prideaux Haven, Grace Harbour, Tenedos Bay, Gorge Harbour, or Camp Cordero, here are five things to do Desolation Sound.


Accessible only by boat, there are three worthwhile Desolation Sound hikes to consider.  The Sunshine Coast Trail, 180 KM in length, offers stunning viewpoints, waterfalls, old-growth cedar, and untouched freshwater lakes at various points along its path. Moving mostly uphill, ‘Llanover Mountain’ takes roughly 1.5 – 2 hours each way (from Roscoe Bay), and, at the top, offers views of the Strait of Georgia, Cortes and Quadra Islands, and some of Vancouver Island. Finally, an easy, yet scenic hike moves around Uwin Lake, offering the perfect spot for a swim and a picnic while moving through rainforested terrain.


Virtually inaccessible to vehicles, paddling is the best way to get up-close-and-personal with Desolation Sound. Whether following a guide or by self-guided exploration, the majestic nature of the mountains and the clear water will have you looking both up and down. Kayakers most often launch from Lund or Okeover, with the best months known to be between May and September. With an abundance of sandy shorelines, Desolation Sound allows for lazy paddle exploration with mid-day beachside picnics.


Rich in marine life, Desolation Sound offers the perfect chance to catch then eat your meal. The abundance of seals speaks to the prevalence of fish. In addition to fish, like salmon, you can expect to find, crab, halibut, mussels, clams and oysters. Though always required to have a license, and abide by the restrictions in the Rockfish Conservation Area, those visiting Desolation Sound are likely to experience the best seafood they’ve ever had.

Wildlife Watching

From grizzly bears foraging the shores for fish, and bald eagles flying overhead, just spending time in Desolation Sound leaves you likely to see the plentiful West Coast Wildlife. Those on the water or near the shoreline will see birds like Herons, Mergansers, and Woodpeckers. In the water, the small heads of harbour seals are frequently seen moving peacefully through the water. And, pods of porpoises or Orca Whales, will be seen breaching and diving over and over again.

Discover other islands, coves and hidden anchorages in Desolation Sound

Call Victoria International Marina 778-432-0477 for all your yacht provisioning needs covering the west coast.