Kayak Camp Telegraph Cove, Johnstone Strait, and Broughton Archipelago

Added by Rachel Bertsch

The northern tip of Vancouver Island has some of the clearest cold water in the world and is home to rich marine life in an area dubbed a "whale superhighway". If you dream of kayaking with whales, this is where to do it.

Starting in Telegraph Cove, a small former mill town now turned charming tourist destination, you can easily set out into the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park. 

BC's largest Marine Park has hundreds of islands dotting the waters that range from a small rocky bluff to a densely forest island with white clamshell beaches. 

Ensure your itinerary includes a few nights in Johnstone Strait, the whale superhighway, if you are arriving in July or August. You'll see orca a-plenty and get near (but not directly at) Robson Bight, a pebble beach the orcas rub their bellies on.

Other fantastic camping spots are Flower Island, Owl Island, and Hanson Island which are frequented by humpbacks, eagles, seals and have easy landing beaches backed by moss covered rainforests.

There are many campsites and routes that are possible - if you are going I highly recommend the book “The Wild Coast” volume 3 by John Kimantas" for info on routes, tidal currents and campsites.

Pro tip: bring a camping hammock as the surfaces for most camping areas aren't fully level, but there are always plenty of trees to create a home to hang overnight in.


Telegraph Cove is a small town located in the far northern portion of Vancouver Island. Most people arrive in Telegraph Cove by car, after taking the BC Ferries (ferry schedule here: http://www.bcferries.com/sched...) over from Vancouver. Parking, hotel and camping is available in Telegraph Cove for a fee.  

A limited amount of food is available in Telegraph Cove, but groceries here are pricey (as they have to be shipped in). Booze from Telegraph Cove, fortunately, is not. Plan accordingly.

You can rent a kayak in Telegraph Cove, or hire a guided tour.

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Beware the fog!

We did this trip in September 2020 with a guide and loved it! Beware the fog though because there is nothing more disappointing than hearing the whales but not being able to see them. If you are interested to read more, here's our account of the trip: https://beactivelikev.wordpress.com/

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