Sunshine Coast Desolation Sound, Photo Destination BC Andrew Strain
A short ferry trip from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale and you arrive on the Sunshine Coast, named for its up to 2,400 hours of annual sunshine. The Sunshine Coast can also be accessed by BC Ferry from Comox/Courtenay on Vancouver Island. This coast is a magical string of rocky, forested beaches and small, funky communities.
Tucked into the southwest corner of mainland British Columbia, the Sunshine Coast is a 180 km (110 mile) stretch of paradise where the mossy rainforest drops from a sculpted shoreline into the Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia), and winds northward beneath the Coast Mountains from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound. BC Ferries provides several daily sailings to and from Langdale via Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) and from Comox/Courtenay on Vancouver Island to Powell River. This makes the coast feel like an island. The main road is Highway 101.
As a recreation destination, the sheltered coast provides world-class scuba diving, and exceptional canoeing and sea kayaking. The water gives a unique perspective of the coves, inlets and wildlife such as harbour seals. Sport fishing is superb and includes five species of salmon, as well as rainbow, steelhead, kokanee and cutthroat trout.
Populated by those who desire the slower paced, coastal lifestyle, the Sunshine Coast is home to outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate the beauty of outstanding marine parks and marshland bird sanctuaries, old growth forest and alpine peaks. Many internationally known artists, musicians and artisans have made their home on the Sunshine Coast. The creative juices of the artisans are showcased in local galleries and craft stores, as well as in their own pottery, woodworking, and glass blowing studios up and down the coast. The Sunshine Coast holds several arts and crafts fairs and festivals throughout the summer months.
As you drive along Highway 101 there are small communities that must be explored. In Gibsons, stop and explore shops, the scenic marina, harbourside pubs and Molly’s Reach – best known from the television series “The Beachcombers”. Sechelt is the cultural centre of the Sunshine Coast and is home to the Salish Indian bands. Halfmoon Bay, Madiera Park and Garden Bay offer a great base from which to rent a fishing charter or kayak the quiet inlets. Egmont is the starting point for Princess Louisa Tours and the hike to the Sechelt Rapids and a place for extreme kayakers is Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park.
Powell River, a short ferry ride from Earls Cove, offers some of the best fishing in British Columbia as well as the Powell River Historic Townsite which is a preserved example of a single-industry town from the early 20th century – forestry. At the end of Highway 101 is Lund, an historic fishing village.
Communities to explore: Davis Bay, Earls Cove, Egmont, Garden Bay, Gibsons, Halfmoon Bay, Langdale, Lund, Madiera Park, Pender Harbour, Powell River, Roberts Creek, Saltery Bay, Sechelt, Texada Island.