First Aid, Safety And Ethics Are Vital To Ensure You Always Return Safely From A Multi Day Trip To Vancouver Island

Kayak Johnstone Strait

Johnstone Strait, located between the Northern tip of Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland is easily the best place on the planet to spot killer whales from a kayak. The Strait is home to the world's largest recognized resident orca pod and paddlers eager to see whales should come her as sightings are almost a guarantee!

Johnstone Strait Kayaking

Kayaking with the killer whales

On the water in Johnstone

Walking along Johnstone Strait
Fishing with the Johnstone Strait locals
Traditional aboriginal boats

Johnstone Strait is a sought-after kayaking destination for kayakers from across the globe. The reason for this is simple, the Johnstone Strait is the most likely place on the planet to see a killer whale from the cabin of a kayak. The Johnstone Strait is a passageway chiseled by melted glaciers that is sandwiched between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland. It is breathtakingly beautiful with mountains blanketed by temperate forests and a number of offshore islands but what seperates this spot from every other paddling destination is its seasonal visitors, killer whales.

There are about 200 resident orcas swimming these waters, this is the highest density of orcas on record in the entire Northern Hemisphere and the best-known spot in the world to glide alongside these impressive mammals. The best time to view these mammals is exactly when Rising Sun schedules the majority of its Johnstone kayak trips; during the summer months when the whales feed on the abundant salmon population running through the strait. The kayak's quiet and undisruptive approach makes it possible to get in close proximity to the whales without frightening or harming them. There is no better adrenaline rush than seeing the dorsal fin of a killer whale rise from the water within feet of your kayak!

Paddlers are likely to see the whales as they rub themselves on barnacle covered rocks and the gravel sea floor within the Strait. After over a decade of leading kayak trips to Johnstone Strait, our guides continue to be amazed by the intelligence and beauty of these massive marine mammals. The Johnstone Strait trip is an unforgettable escape and we recommend it to any whale or nature lover.

Johnstone Strait: Photos | Rates | Packing


Scheduled 2015 Johnstone Strait Trips:

July 20 - 28, 2015

August 11 - August 17, 2015

Custom Trips to Johnstone Strait Available Spring Thru Fall!







The People of Johnstone Strait:


The Kwakwaka'wakw First Nations People, commonly called Kwakiutl, have found a home in the Johnstone Strait for the past several centuries and likely millenia. Evidence of their ancient presence is something we observe at many stops throughout the Strait. Their long-established presence is especially evident through explorations of the Broughton Archipelago where culturally modified trees, midden sites and rock carvings can be found signalizing ancient Kwakiutl civilization.

Today, Johnstone Strait remains home to the Kwakiutl First Nation and its members still fish for salmon in the same waters their ancestors did. The Kwakiutl people face constant threats to the resources that have sustained them for ages as multi-national fish corporations consistently dwindle the salmon population and logging corporations relentlessly pursue the jewels within their temperate rainforests. Despite the threats to their native home and the displacement of several Kwakiutl people over the past century, about 300 people still live near the Strait at Fort Rupert of T'sakis Village on Vancouver Island.

We respect our traditional forefathers and are blessed with the use of some of the most special lands - areas that BC Parks and provincial Bureau of Integrated Lands and Resource Management - do not have any jurisdiction over. That is what makes them so pristine and speical; and for the sake of our clients, so memorable. After all, they are not 'managed' - but remain in their intrinsically pristine state.