ONE OF THE SOUTHERN GULF ISLANDS, SATURNA BOASTS A MEDITERRANEAN-LIKE CLIMATE
Saturna Island is located at the southern end of the Gulf Island chain between Vancouver and Vancouver Island and is easily accessible by BC Ferries. Saturna has a charming rural character with a year round population of several hundred residents. A unique eco-system, Saturna is rich with ecologically diverse plants and sea-life; including Garry oaks, wild lilies, thick kelp beds and Orca whales. It’s natural beauty is protected by the largest National Park Reserve of all the Southern Gulf Islands.
Saturna Island is a mecca for kayakers and outdoor enthusiasts. Paddling its shores reveal numerous coves, reefs and islets where Seals and Sea Lions haul out. Sea Lions are often seen resting on the rocks of Boiling Reef at East Point Park. Watch for River Otters, Mink, Oyster Catchers and look up to see Bald Eagles or Peregrin Falcons. Just 600 meters across from the park lies Tumbo Island and Cabbage Island, tucked into the top of Tumbo Island on the north side of Saturna Island. A crushed shell island with trees for shade, Cabbage is accessible by water only. There are five campsites, sandy beaches and great swimming in the shallow water of Reef Harbour. Seven more sites are available at Narvaez Bay which can be reached on foot along a 1.7km path.
Tours are guided by a certified kayak guide with local knowledge of the area who will determine that weather, current and tidal conditions are ideal before leading tours to the below areas. These tours times can coincide with the BC Ferries arrival and departure times to allow for a day visit for those with limited time on Saturna Island. However, we highly recommend looking to the accommodations listed below as you will want to spend more than a day exploring Saturna Island.
We depart from Lyall Harbour near the BC Ferry Terminal for a relaxing paddle through the King Islets and onto Church Cove to see Saturna Island's first church. Winter Cove is the home of the world famous annual Saturna Lamb Barbecue, it has a gentle beach for landing kayaks. Here we can stretch our legs on the easy 30 min loop trail that leads to Boat Pass, a high current area with great views across the Strait of Georgia. We commonly see Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles, River Otters and Black Tail Deer. 4 hours, $99 each.
Saturna Beach and the Vineyard
We depart from Lyall Harbour near the BC Ferry Terminal and head along the western side of Saturna Island past towering limestone cliffs where wild Ferrel goats are a common site. Just below the surface Bull Kelp beds hide small bait fish, shrimp and kelp crabs. From Saturna Beach it is a short walk to the Saturna Island Winery. We may have lunch at the Bistro or take one of their prepared picnics out on the 60 acres of vineyards Don't forget to bring home your own taste of Saturna Island. 4 hours, $99 each.
We will meet at the East Point of Saturna Island for an easy paddle across Tumbo Channel and over the shallow reef between Tumbo and Cabbage Island. A great area for swimming, Cabbage Island has a small camp site and a composting toilet. We will have the opportunity to watch Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles and River Otters feeding on the abundance of clams, mussels and oysters. 4 hours, $99 each.
Have limited time? We offer tours @ $25 /hour per person.
We rent kayaks to experienced paddlers. Many areas around Saturna Island are current dependant and we want to make sure that those renting have experience paddling in current and have self rescue skills. If you are planning a multi-day excursion we require you to fill out a 'float plan' or what we call a 'overnight kayak trip plan' that lists your intended destination and expected return time. If you plan to paddle in current dependant areas such as Boat Pass or East Point, you will need to record the slack tide for the days you plan to be there. You can consult a tide table or one of the many tide apps such as Aye Tides for smart phones. We require a credit card number to book your kayak and do not charge until you arrive but please give us 24 hours notice if you decide to cancel
per hour 6 hours 24 hours
singles $15 $50 $70
doubles $25 $70 $100
We can connect you with a knowledgeable local hiking guide who can show you Saturna Island's hidden gems. Below is just a few.
Monarch Head (1.5 hour round trip) From the parking lot at the end of Narvaez Bay Road, the Monarch Head trail is an easy loop trail with moderate 100 metre climb for spectacular views of Fiddler’s Cove, Taylor Point and the Java Rocks. Bring the binos for sighting orca traveling in Boundary Pass.
Narvaez Bay National Park Reserve (1 hour round trip) A steep old road that leads from the parking lot at the end of Narvaez Bay Road down to the peaceful Echo Bay and onto the campground at Little Bay. Black tail deer are a common sight near the paddle up tent site, there is a pit toilet, but no fresh water.
East Point The site of East Point Lighthouse and fog alarm building has 2.5 hectares of limestone shoreline and rolling grass lands to explore. Visit Shell Beach at low tide to find tidal pools teeming with invertebrates. Claimed to be the best land based whale watching in the Gulf Islands, orca commonly pass close to shore and sea lions rest at the nearby Boiling Reef.
Taylor Point 4 hours round trip from the end of Trueworthy Road near the vineyard. With no major incline it is an easy trail but allow enough time for lunch on the beach and to sink your feet in the sand! Explore the orchard and the stone house ruin of the old Taylor farmstead. On a clear day you can see Mt Baker's snow capped peak from the south side of the bay.
Brown’s Ridge Drive to the top of Mt Warburton Pike for the best panoramic view in the gulf islands. From the steep cliff face look southeast to the Pender Islands and south to Boundary Pass and the San Juan Islands. A narrow path leads along the ridge where you can look down on soaring Bald Eagles and wild feral goats.
Top Five to do on Saturna Island
- Attend the July 1st Canada Day celebration and lamb BBQ at Winter Cove Park.
- Spend an afternoon kayaking with Kelp Reef Adventures. Enjoy a picnic lunch and watch the otters play in the surf of Boat Pass.
- Climb Monarch Head for the best view on Saturna of the surrounding region.
- Watch whales and wildlife at East Point Park.
- Hike along Brown’s Ridge and watch for ferrel goats grazing on the slopes below.
Guided Tours $25/hour per person
Kayak Rentals Singles $15/hour $50.00/6 hrs. $70.00/24 hrs.
Doubles $25/hour $70/6 hrs $100/24 hrs.
We are convieniently located next to the ferry terminal and can launch from the government dock.
East Point Cottages- Our cottages are situated on lowbank waterfront, and fifty acres of trailed forest land are your own private back yard. Whale watching in the best location of the Southern Gulf Islands is right next door at East Point Park the Gulf Islands National Park Resereve, which is also on a bird navigational route.www.eastpointresort.com 753 Tumbo Channel Rd. 250-539-9849
Sandy Bay B&B- Sandy Bay Bed & Breakfast is a perfect family vacation spot. Located on a white sandy beach, overlooking Tumbo Island and the Strait of Georgia.
www.sandybaysaturna.com 449 East Point Rd. 250-539-2641
Breezy Bay B&B- Our beautiful and rustic 1890's home, still a working farmhouse, is situated on a fifty acre organic farm, approximately 2km from the ferry. Our wholesome, gourmet breakfasts are homemade using local produce; with some ingredients coming straight off the farm.
www.breezybaybb.ca Breezy Bay Farm 250-539-5957
Sunset Beach Estates- The cottages are situated on a bank, above the water, facing the Strait of Georgia . A meandering walk through a woodland trail along the water, takes you to the beach which is sand and pebble.
www.sunsetbeachestates.ca 441 East Point Rd. 250-539-2271
Four Winds B&B- Situated on the north side of Saturna, with views of the North Shore and Cascade Mountains including Mt. Baker with Tumbo Island Marine Park in the foreground. Picturesque lowbank rock beach with tidepools and a large meadow areas allow for lounging and outdoor activities.
www.fourwindsb-b.com 443 East Point Rd. 250-539-5463