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Vancouver Day Trip: Kayaking Around Passage Island

Vancouver Day Trip: Kayaking Around Passage Island

Want a great day trip out on the water close to Vancouver? Try kayaking around Passage Island, a few miles off the coast of West Vancouver. It’s a great Vancouver day trip to do from spring to fall.

You can safely and easily put in on the sandy beach beside the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club in West Vancouver. And there’s good and free parking on Eagle Harbour Road. Allow a couple of hours round trip to kayak to Passage Island, more if you explore between Lighthouse Park and the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal.

Put in beside the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club
Put in beside the Eagle Harbour Yacht Club
You might see lots of seals
You might see lots of seals

Check out the Grebe Islets on the way to Passage Island

Launch from the beach and enjoy the views of the muti-million dollar seaside homes. Then head for the Grebe Islets and look for seals and seabirds.

You’ll probably see some oystercatchers but don’t bother them as they’re not too happy with humans around. If you have the time continue kayaking down towards Lighthouse Park, but watch out for currents near the point.

Visit the Grebe Islets for the bird watching
Visit the Grebe Islets for the bird watching
It can get very wavy with bounce back from islands
It can get very wavy with bounce back from islands
Always give ferries a wide berth
Always give ferries a wide berth
Kayak past multi-million dollar homes
Kayak past multi-million dollar homes
Kayaking past the Point Atkinson Lighthouse
Kayaking past the Point Atkinson Lighthouse

Head for Passage Island next, but keep a close eye on the boat traffic – especially on a sunny, summer weekend. It can get busy on the water so stay together if there are several of you paddling.

A pair of oystercatchers
A pair of oystercatchers

It doesn’t take long to kayak around Passage Island – maybe half an hour. Out there you’ll get fantastic views of the Vancouver city skyline.

Vancouver city skyline
Vancouver city skyline

People commute from the island

I don’t know how many people actually live on Passage Island but there are many who do and commute via boat from West Vancouver. Despite the proximity to a big city you feel a long ways away.

One of the homes on Passage Island
One of the homes on Passage Island
Kayaking Passage Island
Kayaking towards Passage Island

Explore the coast heading towards the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal

After your paddle around Passage Island aim for the mainland – where you can further explore the coast going north towards the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. Of course you can always head back to your starting point.

It probably won’t take you more than a few hours in total to paddle up to Lighthouse Park and over to Passage Island. That’s a good thing because there are no pullouts for bathroom breaks. The coast is rocky and steep.

If you’re heading north towards the Horseshoe Bay Ferry terminal there are a few beaches that may allow a quick pee break. Otherwise carry a pee bottle.

Snow capped mountains can be seen on the way to Passage Island
Snow capped mountains and part of Howe Sound come into view

Further reading on kayaking in British Columbia

 

 

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 2 Comments
  1. Wonderful photos. Glad to see you are enjoying the ocean. It is a different environment on the other side of the Rocky Mountains but equally as spectacular. To revisit Vancouver is a short trip. You will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds.

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