Desolation Sound was named by Captain George Vancouver, who spent a rainy couple of weeks there in 1792. He found it a “strange watery crossroads of black precipices and inky canals.” But from the wooden decks of the seaside chalets at Desolation Resort, the view is quite different. Today the sound is recognized as a yachter’s paradise, and the warm summer waters attract kayakers and scuba divers from all over the world.
The resort is made up of chalets and apartments that peep out from among towering cedar trees. Constructed using local wood, the accommodations call to mind both frontier dwellings and fantasy treehouses. Each one- and two-bedroom unit is uniquely designed and decorated, but all of them have full kitchens, private bathrooms, and expansive decks overlooking the water.
Feel free to hop in one of the complimentary kayaks or canoes and explore the coastline up close. You can collect your own oysters at a nearby oyster beach or acquire fresh seafood the easy way at the neighboring restaurant.
Powell River, British Columbia: Outdoor Adventure on the Sunshine Coast
The small town of Powell River lies northwest of Vancouver. The nearby sound is flush with wildlife; seals, sea lions, orcas, and porpoises pass through the fjords. Fishermen, yachters, and kayakers can also be seen navigating the tranquil waters, and hikers take to the many walking trails. There are a number of local outfitters nearby that offer guided hikes and kayaking tours, as well as mountain bike rentals; check out Desolation Resort’s activities page for more info.
When the water warms in summer, the place is a major draw for scuba divers. At Saltery Bay Provincial Park, you can go 98 feet (30 m) below the surface to visit a 29-foot bronze mermaid statue. On the way down, keep an eye out for octopi and some of the world’s largest wolf eels.