Introduction: Paddling with Sea Otters in Kyuquot
Paddling with sea otters definitely is an experience not to be missed. I (director of the BC Marine Trails) have spent several days observing from my kayak or a cabin,watching these fascinating animals from a nearby area. I remember one day watching different otters float past my cabin on their back, breaking clams or another shellfish with a rock against their belly.
Paddlers or visitors can access Kyuquot, Rugged Point and even the Bunsby Islands from Fair Harbour on Vancouver Island (paddling or water taxi) or get dropped off aboard the MV Uchuck III. By land, travellers reach Zebellos first, a village on the northwest side of Vancouver Island. It is accessible from Campbell River on Highway 19. The drive is approximately 2.5 hours—expect a well-groomed gravel road, logging trucks and bears from Zebellos to Fair Harbour.
Paddling on the West Coast independently is for experienced kayakers. The area is open to the Pacific Ocean and subject to winds and swell. It is recommended you have sufficient course and on-water experience to paddle the area in a self-guided group. There are a number of guided tour companies that offer tours such as “Paddling with Sea Otters”. This could be a guided trip of your lifetime.
BC Marine Trails Resources
- Our map is a great resource for Kyuoquot, Rugged Point and the Bunsbys. Type “Fair Harbour” in the search box to begin an examination of the area.
- Resources: A variety of resources to help you find or plan a paddling trip.
- Join the BC Marine Trails and receive benefits and special tools to use with the map or downloads coordinates into your GPS.
- As independent paddlers catch the MV Uchuck III and wet launch near Spring Island in Kyuquot and set up camp.
- Book a guided trip with a local guided tour outfitter and experience the beautiful wildlife in the area. Trip of a lifetime.
- Launch from Fair Harbour with your paddling group and visit some of the camping sites in Kyuquot or at Rugged Point Marine Provincial Park.
Volume 1: A Kayaking, Hiking and Recreation Guide for North and West Vancouver Island by John Kimantis