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Kayaking Along The Sandstone Cliffs Of Valdez Island

Kayaking to Blackberry Point, Valdes Island

On the July 1st long weekend, my husband John and I decided that we needed some down time. Life has been frantically busy for months and I knew there wouldn’t be much of a let up until we get settled in Calgary. Our single best way to relax isn’t in the spa of a fancy hotel but looking out at the ocean from a beach campsite – preferably on Vancouver Island’s wild west coast – but with time at a premium we chose something closer to home.

Kayaking to Blackberry Point on Valdes Island was our destination. The photos below give you a pretty good idea of the type of country you see.

Kayaking to Valdes Island and landing at Blackberry Point under cloudy skies
Kayaking to Valdes Island and landing at Blackberry Point under cloudy skies
The view from our campsite looking south - at low tide after kayaking to Valdes Island
The view from our campsite looking south – at low tide
The beach at Blackberry Point - campfires allowed
The beach at Blackberry Point – campfires allowed
Sunset over Pylades Island
Sunset over Pylades Island
Our campsite was a bit more removed from everyone
Our campsite was a bit more removed from everyone
The summer calm near Ruxton Island
The summer calm near Ruxton Island
Fun exploring the waters on the way up towards Gabriola Island
Fun exploring the waters on the way up towards Gabriola Island
Our lunch spot - overlooking Gabriola Passage
Our lunch spot – overlooking Gabriola Passage
Interesting landscape with all the sandstone on and off the water
Interesting landscape with all the sandstone on and off the water
Kayaking along the sandstone cliffs of Valdez Island
Kayaking along the sandstone cliffs of Valdez Island
Kayaking past gargoyle looking rock formations
Kayaking past gargoyle looking rock formations
Very interesting honeycombed rock formations in Very interesting honeycombed rock formationsthe cliff
Very interesting honeycombed rock formations in the cliff
Looking up the coast of Valdez Island
Kayaking to Valdes Island and looking up the coast

Information if you kayak to Blackberry Island on Valdes Island

First you have to get to Vancouver Island. The boat launch is about 25 minutes south of the Horseshoe Bay- Nanaimo ferry terminal and about 90 minutes north of the Tsawwassen – Schwartz Bay ferry terminal.

A super easy boat launch is at Blue Heron Park,0.5 kilometre north of Yellow Point Lodge. (From Highway 1 on Vancouver Island, turn east onto Cedar Road – north of Ladysmith. Follow the signs for Yellow Point Lodge. Then turn right onto Wesby Road and enter the Blue Heron Park. You can leave your car overnight and it’s free.)

The winds up and down Trincomali Channel can really pick up by the afternoon; try to time your crossing accordingly.

Look out for boat traffic – sailboats, motorboats and tugboats with log-booms.

Look for petroglyphs at Degnen Bay off of Gabriola Island.

It’s amazing how two nights away in nature gives you a new perspective on life. We need to do this more often.

Update: For a few years no camping was allowed at Blackberry Point but my friend who lives nearby tells me its not a problem anymore. Then in 2021, II understand its a problem again so pick a different overnight destination paddlers. 

Further reading on paddling in Canada

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

Kayaking to Blackberry Point on Valdes Island, BC

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. (Raining Acorns, here, now writing as Prufrock’s Dilemma.) This looks spectacular. I hope to get there one day soon. In the meanwhile, we are off to Elk Lake in the Adirondacks this weekend–there is no downtime like that in a kayak or canoe, is there? Hope your time was restful, and thank you for making us all aware of so many beautiful places to visit.

    1. Love the name of your new blog & will check it out.
      The kayaking was spectacular and if you ever got the place totally to yourself it would be over the top. Still – a sunny weekend, a good book, R&R & wine – can’t beat it. Have fun at Elk Lake.

  2. Spectacular photos. I can feel the peace and quiet. It is the absolute beauty and character of nature which restores my soul as well. Thanks for sharing the experience.

  3. Wow, looks beautiful. This post is getting me psyched up for my trip to Quetico in less than a month.

    1. I’m looking forward to reading more about this year’s Quetico experiences – it’s one place I’ll get to yet though I think I’d go in August when the bugs aren’t as bad.

    1. @Dan I just double checked with a paddling friend in Nanaimo today. This is what she said – “We paddled out to Blackberry a couple of weeks ago and people were camped there. So, I would say yes to camping and I would expect it to be fairly busy, particularly on weekends.”

  4. Hello
    Fyi!
    There is no legal camping at Blackberry Point anymore Mosaic forestry the owner of that property has closed that part of their property for 4 years now so there’s no camping, hiking or anything on any of their Valdes properties. The only legal place you can day camp is Wakes cove on the northern tip.

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