Gambier Island

Gambier Island near Gibsons, BC

This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars This trail was given a rating of 3 out of 5 stars
15 kms
Sea Kayaking
Gibsons, BC
User trailpeak
Looking straight across the water from Port Mellon (Thornborough Channel) towards Woolridge (the smaller island in front of Gambier), and Gambier itself, you get a glimpse of the route across the channel and north along the Gambier Coast. Since Thornbrough Channel is relatively protected from wind, the waters are quite calm although strong gusts of wind can blow down Howe Sound. Be mindful of the commercial waterway traffic (tugs, log-booms, barges) and recreational boat traffic on weekends.

You get nice views of the Coastal mountains as you paddle across the channel, as you make Woolridge Island your target. There are of birds to view between the log-booms and rocky shorelines. We didn't find this to be a five-star route but it was great to be out anyway. There's a nice small beach on the southeast side of Woolbridge Island for lunch. All in all, 4-6 hours of paddling, depending upon how far you go. This route gets its points for offering sanctuary so close to Vancouver.

A longer trip from Port Mellon can take you right around the North side of Gambier, around to Douglas Bay and Brigade Bay (which is east-facing). Both have campsites. Circumnavigating Gambier, you will also find campsites at Halkett Bay, and West Bay. West Bay faces south. You are also fairly close to Anvil Island, north of Gambier, but be cautious of winds if you attempt to visit. You can also make it to Christie Islet and Pam Rock if the weather permits (winds), where you will see lots of seals and birds (read bird shit).

For the ambitious, you can make the trip an overnighter by kayaking to Douglas Bay, which has a campsite. Look for the waterfall near the Douglas Bay campsite if you stay there.

The distance from Gibsons Harbour around Gambier and back again is 42 km, giving you a rough idea of your distances here. Check tides and wind. Using the above map, you also know that grid lines are 1 km apart (basic UTM grid lines on a topo), so that can also help you gauge distance.


Horseshoe Bay ferry to Langdale, then drive to Gibsons. Drive on to the small village of Port Melon. Look for Dunham Rd which takes you to the water. But don't drive down too close to the water; high tide can be just that! Launch from here.

Please check the bottom of the Description (above left; click) for the author's written directions.

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By smudgePosted By: smudge  - Thu Aug 07 05:45:10 UTC 2008 Not Rated Question My husband and I are planning our first kayaking trip. We are planning on circumnavigating Gambier Island, with a trip to Anvil Island and then to Keats before going back to Gibsons. We are not sure about drinking water. Is there any streams ao water available at the marked campsites on Gambier?
PS Thanks for the heads up on Camping on Anvil Island.

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