Sunshine Coast (British Columbia)

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Coordinates: 49°41′00″N 124°11′00″W / 49.68333°N 124.18333°W / 49.68333; -124.18333

Beginning of the Sunshine Coast trail at Sarah Point.

The Sunshine Coast is a region of the southern mainland coast of British Columbia, Canada, on the eastern shore of the Strait of Georgia, and just northwest of Greater Vancouver. The region includes the coastal areas of the regional district of Sunshine Coast, where the name originated, and the regional district of Powell River up to and including the village of Lund and into Desolation Sound, much farther up the coast.[1]

While populous and frequently visited by tourists, the Sunshine Coast can be reached only by ferry (commonly BC Ferries) or by float/airplane; because of the steep, rugged terrain, no access roads have been built around or across the fjords to connect with the rest of the province.

Population centres on the Southern Sunshine Coast include Gibsons (near the BC Ferries terminal at Langdale for vessels coming from Vancouver); Roberts Creek, and Sechelt on the isthmus. On the Sechelt Peninsula are Halfmoon Bay, Secret Cove (in between Sechelt and Pender Harbour) and Pender Harbour. At the north end of the peninsula, the ferry to Powell River docks north of Egmont at Earl's Cove. These small settlements are near Skookumchuck Narrows, where the skookumchuck or "strong water", the world's biggest tidal marine rapids, channels the tidal flow in and out of the fjord known as Sechelt Inlet.

On the Northern Sunshine Coast (the Powell River area from Saltery Bay ferry terminal up to the end of the road in the village of Lund), a popular boating destination is Desolation Sound, which is beyond the end of Highway 101 in Lund.

Outdoor recreation[edit]

The Sunshine Coast boasts some of the best outdoor recreation the West Coast has to offer. Mountain biking and ocean paddling draw in visitors and locals. Some of the most popular outdoor recreation activities include:

  • Mountain biking
  • Kayaking/Paddle Board/Canoe
  • Cycling
  • Hiking/Backpacking
  • Snowshoe and skiing
  • Scuba diving
  • Fishing
  • Rock climbing

Sunshine Coast Trail[edit]

The Sunshine Coast Trail is Canada's longest hut-to-hut hiking trail, at 180km stretching from mountains to shorelines to lakes. It begins at Sarah Point in Desolation Sound, and ends at Saltery Bay. Not only is it free, but hikers can access the trail at multiple points along the length if they do not feel like tackling the entire route.[2]

Powell Forest Canoe Route[edit]

The Powell Forest Canoe Route is a 57-km, 8-lake, 5-portage journey that takes roughly 5 days. Portages range from 0.7 km – 2.8 km, and paddling stretches from 1 km – 28.5 km. The best time to travel the route is from June – October.[3]

Mountain Bike parks[edit]

  • Coast Gravity Park - Canada's first low elevation mountain bike park. Located 10km from Sechelt the park has trails for all riding levels, as well as a shuttle system to access the trails crafted by world-renowned builders and riders.
  • Sprockids Mountain Bike Park - Sprockids Mountain Bike Park is the first officially recognized mountain bike skills park in North America, and is perfect for younger riders. The park is located in Langdale and contains 14km of downhill, ramps, jumps and teeter-bars.
  • Powell River Bike and Skate Park - Funded and supported by the Powell River Community Forest Foundation and the City of Powell River, this dynamic park contains a beginner pumptrack (the first ever poured-in-place concrete pumptrack in North America), slopestyle dirt jump trails, downhill flow trails, and a beginner flow line. Admission is free and open to the public year round.


There are four breweries on the Sunshine Coast, and together they make up the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail. Three are located in Gibsons: Persephone Brewing Company, Gibsons Tapworks, and The 101 Brewhouse + Distillery. One is located in Powell River: Townsite Brewing. The Bricker Cider Company is also a recent addition to the Sunshine Coast, and serves a variety of drinks on a beautiful 5-acre farm. The four breweries along with Bricker Cider Company, comprise Brewers Coast.

Art and museums[edit]

The Sunshine Coast is home to more artists per capita than any other Canadian region. Throughout the year you can follow the Purple Banner Flags - artists hang them outside their studios to signal they are open - from Langdale to Lund and see everything from painting to pottery to glass-blowing.

Sunshine Coast Art Crawl[edit]

The Sunshine Coast Art Crawl is one of the signature events of the region. Occurring annually in the Fall, visitors flock to the area from all over the world for a three day journey through 100+ galleries and studios.

Festival of the Written Arts[edit]

This is Canada´s longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers, and features established literary stars alongside new voices.


  • Powell River Historical Museum and Archives - Telling the rich stories of Sliammon First Nations, logging and the first pulp and paper mill on the west coast of Canada, the museum is open year round [4].
  • Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives - Located in Gibsons, the Sunshine Coast Museum and Archives tells the story of the region and its inhabitants[5]
  • Tems Swiya Museum - Located in Sechelt, this museum is home to an extensive and growing collection of artifacts from the shíshálh Nation[6]
  • Texada Island Heritage Society - Texada Island Heritage Society operates two museums that tell the history of the area.[7]
  • Sunshine Coast Arts Council and Arts Centre - Located in Sechelt, the Sunshine Arts Centre houses a public gallery of local and guest artists, a music studio and a public art studio. The Arts Centre also hosts a variety of events such as concerts, literary readings, and lectures.[8]


Wildlife that can be encountered include cougars, black bears, wolves, marbled murrelet, orcas, great blue herons, seals, sea lions, and bald eagles. There are also abundant tide pools where hikers can see a variety of molluscs, sea anemones and fish. Hikers are instructed how to react to possible encounters with dangerous animals (cougars, bears, wolves) at the mandatory orientation session prior to starting the trail.

During certain times of the year, there is the possibility of encountering seal pups on the beach. They should not be approached, as the mother may then abandon them. All wildlife on the trail should be viewed from a safe distance.


  1. ^ "Sunshine Coast Tourism, British Columbia, Canada | Official Travel Site". Sunshine Coast Tourism. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  2. ^ ibid.
  3. ^ ibid.
  4. ^ ibid.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^

See also[edit]

External links[edit]