Northern Waters - Hotsprings Cove
Tofino to Hotsprings Cove
This is a sea-kayaking trip up the sheltered (relatively) waters north of Tofino, B.C. on the west coast of Vancouver Island. This was one of our best trips ever. Phenomenal scenery, fantastic white sand beaches, solitude, mostly sheltered paddling, and an incredible hot springs at the end. Wow. However, this trip requires experience in planning sea-kayaking trips. You need to plan tides and winds (ahead of time and during the trip) so that you do not find yourself paddling dangerous rough water or tidal currents. There are local guides who lead this trip if you don't have the experience to do this.
Logistics: Search the web for kayak rental places in Tofino. There are a few to choose from. Tofino has grocery stores and outdoor stores. There is a Canadian Hydrology store that sells navigational maps for the route.
Maps and route: Look at the pictures on the link below. I show a map with our route and our camps marked. There are various ways to do this trip. We were with kids and beginners so took a conservative route where we would have minimal surf. We got up early and got off the water by noon to avoid wind. I picked up navigational maps in Tofino, but it's wiser to get those ahead of time. You definitely want navigational maps. From Hotsprings Cove we took a water taxi back to Tofino.
Things to be aware of: You'll need to navigate the Hayden Passage on a slack tide. So study the tide tables before you set your trip dates. Best if the slack tide is 9-12 ish so you can make crossings before the wind kicks up. If slack tide is in the afternoon then you might get pinned by wind (unless you are a strong kayaker). The crossing from Vargas to the other side is also best on a slack tide and gets bad afternoon wind. There are some minor surf landings. See the guidebook. To get to Hotsprings Cove you have to do a crossing and then round the point. The water around the point can get rough especially once the tour boats start going in and out. Plan on a very early start for the calmest water.
Guidebook: Sea Kayak Barkley & Clayoquot Sounds By Mary Ann Snowden. Lots of good info in this book. Definitely get this before you set your dates.
Animals: There are a lot of wolves in this area. I'm not joking. LOTS, and they killed some dogs. If you are planning to bring Fido, rethink that because wolves hate dog intruders in their territories and will seek them out and kill them. Wolves generally leave people alone, but there have been problems with kayakers feeding wolves on Vargas Island and a kayaker (sleeping outside his tent) was attacked a few years ago. If you see wolves, that means they are habituated to people and be on your guard. There are also cougars and there have been (rare) attacks on kids, though the parents have successfully beaten off the attacking cougars. Not many attacks, but it has happened. So, keep kids close in this area. There are a fair number of black bear too, though I've mostly heard about them getting into food not messing with people. Don't store your food in your kayak in this area but rather hang high or in a bear-proof bin. Keep a super clean camp to discourage bears or wolves from entering your camp---for your safety and that of future visitors to your camp.
Food Packing List
Kenai Wildlife ...
Powell River Fo...
12/13/2013 1:06:58 PM