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

Kayak Nootka Sound

Nootka Sound is a place where you can come to kayak the calm protected waterways of Vancouver Island's stunningly beautfiul western coast. You will be kayaking to various sheltered beaches, spotting wildlife and exploring the area's rich native history on this trip.

On the beach in Nootka Sound

Setting up camp

Nootka Sound aboriginal art
Strumming away along the water
Landing in Nootka Sound

Kayaking Nootka Sound, you will see rugged Vancouver Island west coast beauty at its best. Here, in waters that are largely protected from the open ocean by islands and forested mountains, you will explore the land and waterscape that draws kayakers from around the world to British Columbia. No matter which direction you paddle, you are destined to encounter sheltered coves, sea caves, waterfalls, islands, creeks, temperate forests, sprawling beaches and archaeological sites representing the areas ancient native population.

Perhaps one of the highlights of a kayak trip to Nootka Sound is a rinse in the freshwater of Crawfish Falls. This waterfall on Nootka Island is where Crane Creek meets the mighty Pacifc. It is a favorite place of many travelers to swim in the surf and be refreshed by running fresh water.

There are also countless artifacts from the ancient presence of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations people here that can explored thoroughly if you kayak to the native village of Yuquot.

For this trip, we put our kayaks in the water in the tiny Vancouver Island town of Zeballos.

Nootka Sound: Photos | Rates | Packing


Scheduled 2011 Nootka Sound Kayak Trip:

June 28 - July 3, 2011

Custom Kayaking Trips to Nootka Sound Available!







The History of Nootka Sound:


The Mowachaht/Muchalaht People of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation have called Nootka Sound their home for millenia and in your explorations of this area, you will undoubtedly encounter evidence of their ancient presence. Their village of Yuquot, which is most commonly dubbed Friendly Cove, is dated to be at least 4,300 years old! Chief Maquinna and the Mowachaht people have sustained themselves for these many years with a civilization dependant on whaling and river fishing. In the 1700's when the Mowachaht first encountered Europeans, there were about 1,500 people living in 20 long houses in the village of Yuquot.

The Mowachaht's meeting with the Europeans is a commonly told story in British Columbia and Canada as it is one of the first documented meetings of natives and Europeans in the province. In 1778, European naval Captain James Cook and his arrived at Resolution Cove within Nootka Sound. In fact, it is thought that the name Nootka came with their arrival. When the crew arrived, Mowachaht people in Friendly Cove, (which is across the since named Cook Channel from Resolution Cove), began shouting at the men "Itchme nutka, Itchme nutka!" - this meant, "Go around!" Cook and company misunderstood their direction, thinking the natives were introducing themselves "Nootka." Because of this misunderstanding, the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations People are commonly referred to as the Nootka First Nations and the sound has since been named Nootka. In fact, many of the names you will find within Nootka Sound mark the presence of the Captain and his crew. There is Cook Channel named after the Captain himself, Resolution Cove named for his Ship and Bligh Island named for Captain Bligh who sailed alongside Cook.

The Mowachaht people and the Europeans had a civil relationship in the first decade after Captain Cook and his crew arrived. Chief Maquinna's people would trade sea otter pelts to British who made great profits off them in China. The natives were able to enjoy a brief period of wealth because of this. In 1789 the British trading ships were seized when the Spanish military built a post at Friendly Cove. The Nuu-chah-nulth quickly realized that Europeans were more of a threat than a benefit. In 1803, Chief Maquinna seized the trading ship Boston which put an end to all trading within Nootka Sound.

Yuquot has never returned to the way it was before the European introduction and the Mowachaht people have sinced struggled as many native populations have. European introduced diseases and the depletion of their resources by multi-national corporations such as large-scale fisheries are among the reasons that the native population has dropped dramatically. Today, around 500 people live in Yuquot where artifacts from their history can be observed.