Location - Getting To Kyuquot and our Spring Island Base Camp

Getting to and from our Wilderness Kayaking Retreat base camp on Spring Island, on the remote Northwest coast of Vancouver Island, is a scenic experience and part of the adventure!

Simply get yourself to convenient accommodations in the Comox Valley or Campbell River, and we'll take care of the rest!  Curious to learn more about what we consider to be the best sea kayaking location?

Once with us on the west coast, your adventure unveils a refreshing Base Camp Kayaking or Expedition Kayaking experience that connects you with the area, or a less kayaking-focused Wilderness Retreat experience with family, friends, or colleagues.  Make the great stuff happen!  We're biased, but are convinced the journey is worth it!


Overview

  • West Coast Expeditions location on aerial photo of Spring IslandFor most of our trips, once on central Vancouver Island in Courtenay, Comox, or Campbell River, we provide van transportation for the scenic drive on northern Vancouver Island to Fair Harbour to meet your water taxi for transfer to our Wilderness Retreat.  It's approximately a 5 hour drive followed by a 45 min. boat ride (water taxi) to Spring Island.
  • Alternately some of our trips (7-Day West Coast Adventure, and the Photography Retreat) are designed with our shuttle service taking you from Courtenay, Comox, or Campbell River for overnight accommodation and dinner in Gold River, about a 1.5  hour drive west of Campbell River through spectacular Strathcona Provincial Park.  The next morning, we transfer you a short 20 minute drive to meet the scenic coastal day cruise to Kyuquot. At the end of the trip, guests return by float plane to Gold River, and by van shuttle to their starting point for onward travel or further holiday fun.
  • If you choose to drive yourself to Fair Harbour, you can save a little on the trip package price and plan your kayaking adventure around other self-guided or guided activities on Central and North Vancouver Island, including scenic day hikes, overnight hikes, river rafting, grizzly bear viewing, whale watching, sailing, bicycle touring, mountain biking, golfing, caving, surfing, or relaxed lakeside camping.  We're happy to offer suggestions!
  • Most of our guests enjoy and appreciate the journey of getting to our remote location.  However, if time is of the essence, charter float plane flights can be arranged directly to Kyuquot from most places on the coast, including with Air Nootka (from Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo, Comox, Campbell River, Tofino, or Gold River), Harbour Air (from Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo), Tofino Air (from Vancouver and Tofino), Vancouver Island Air (Campbell River), Atleo Air (Tofino), or Kenmore Air (Seattle). This can be an efficient option for a group (family, friends, corporate) traveling from the same location with limited travel time.

Canadian & International Guests:  ground & boat transportation included

Airline Comox Valley Campbell River
 Air Canada  X  X
Westjet X  
Pacific Coastal Airlines X X
Central Mountain Air X X
Island Express Air (from Victoria)  X  
Harbour Air Seaplanes  X  
Corilair Floatplanes   X
Kenmore Air Floatplanes (from Seattle)   X

  • Most arrival times will require an overnight stay in the Comox Valley or Campbell River the day before your trip starts with us (not included). Enjoy one or more nights with friends, family, or at other local accommodations - there are many great B&B's and hotels to choose (including some with preferred rates for our guests). Many accommodations have complimentary shuttle services to/from the airports. 
  • Our van shuttle with a professional driver will meet you at a time specified between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. on Day 1 of your trip for travel to Fair Harbour.  This meets a midday water taxi (boat) for transport to our Wilderness Retreat on Spring Island and lunch upon arrival.
  • Our van shuttle will return you to your accommodations or the airport in either Campbell River or the Comox Valley on the last evening of your trip (arriving between approximately 6:00 and 7:00 p.m.).  Please check with us about timing before booking any flights on this last night.  We recommend, whenever possible, the "cushion" of some more relaxing contingency time by staying overnight and flying out the next day.
  • Consider spending additional time on Vancouver Island before or after your trip to experience more of what the island has to offer - we're happy to help with suggestions.

If driving yourself...

...to Fair Harbour

  • Some of our guests who are more local to Vancouver Island, and/or familiar and comfortable with driving to Fair Harbour (includes 2 hours on gravel roads) may choose to opt out of the van shuttle and drive themselves (slight trip discount). This may also appeal if linking your kayaking vacation with other activities on northern Vancouver Island and wanting the independence of your own vehicle.
  • If driving yourself, most packages will begin midday at Fair Harbour with a 45 min. boat ride (water taxi) - the exact time will be specified in your pre-trip communications.  Fair Harbour is a 4 hour drive north from Campbell River on paved Highway 19 (approx. 2 h), then another 77 km on a well-traveled gravel road (approx. 2 h) via Zeballos
  • The water taxi rendezvous allows time to drive from the Comox Valley or Campbell River that morning, or you may choose to get closer the night before and spend the night in Zeballos.

...to Gold River

  • Guests on our 7-Day Base Camp "West Coast Adventure" or "Photography Retreat" spend the first night in Gold River, ready for an early departure aboard the MV Uchuck III coastal cruise the next morning. 
  • Gold River is about a 75 min. drive west from Campbell River on scenic roads that wind through the valleys of Strathcona Provincial Park. 
  • Guests can arrange their own accommodation in Gold River (we have recommendations).  The Uchuck is about a 15 min. drive from the Village of Gold River, and departs at 7:00 a.m. (boarding at 6:30 a.m.).  Allow time for parking and boarding.
  • When the Uchuck arrives in Kyuquot that evening, a water taxi will meet you for the 10 minute boat transfer to our Wilderness Retreat on Spring Island, just in time for dinner!
  • Return travel to Gold River is either on the Uchuck, or with an Air Nootka float plane as specified for each package.

Flying both ways from Gold River!

  • A few of our 5-day Base Camp trip dates allow guests to opt for a "float plane upgrade" which begins with a scheduled early afternoon float plane flight to Kyuquot from Gold River with Air Nootka
  • Couples or groups may also choose to charter a float plane from Gold River for any of our trip dates, regardless of whether it corresponds with scheduled Air Nootka flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • The plane either lands directly at our camp, or in the nearby village of Kyuquot where guests are then transferred to our camp by boat. 
  • The Air Nootka terminal outside Gold River is 91 kilometers (57 miles) west of Campbell River with paved road all the way - approximately a 2 h drive.
Regardless of how you travel to remote Kyuquot, you'll truly arrive when stepping into the shin-deep water lapping the cobblestone beach at our Wilderness Retreat on Spring Island, your base for a spectacular west coast kayaking adventure!

   

Additional travel information for getting to Northern Vancouver Island

Comox Valley - Courtenay, Comox, and Cumberland
Comox Valley International Airport is serviced by Air Canada, Central Mountain Air, Pacific Coastal Airlines, and WestJet.  From here we take you the rest of the way.  Otherwise, it's about a 5 hour drive to Fair Harbour, or only a 2-hour drive to Gold River. For more information about the Comox Valley, visit DiscoverComoxValley.com or AboutComoxValley.com.
 
Campbell River
Campbell River Airport Airport is serviced by Air Canada, Central Mountain Air, and Pacific Coastal Airlines.  From here, we take you the rest of the way!  Otherwise, Campbell River is a 4 hour drive to Fair Harbour, and only a 75 min. drive to the Village of Gold River (1.5 hours to the Air Nootka or Uchuck terminal at the head of Muchalaht Inlet).

Victoria
Arriving in Victoria is a great way to make the most of visiting spectacular Vancouver Island and connecting with other holiday adventures. From Victoria, you can travel by bus or car to the Comox Valley.

Vancouver
Arriving in Vancouver is a great way to make the most of visiting British Columbia and connecting with other coastal or mountain adventures. From Vancouver, you can easily fly to Campbell River or the Comox Valley.

Arriving by Ferry

Accessing Vancouver Island by car, bus, shuttle, or on foot from Vancouver or other sections of mainland BC requires traveling on BC Ferries which can take you to Victoria, Nanaimo, or the Comox Valley (if also visiting Sunshine Coast and Powell River during your BC coastal holiday).

Buses and Shuttles

From the 'lower mainland' (Vancouver area!), or once on Vancouver Island (Victoria or Nanaimo), you can travel with Island Link van shuttles northward to the Comox Valley or Campbell River.  Similarly Greyhound Buses is an option when traveling 'up island' to where our van shuttle meets you.

Before or after your trip with us, Tofino Bus offers great service out to the Tofino area of the west coast.