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 more recently the regional district of Powell River up to and including the village of Lund, farther up the coast.

While populous and frequently visited by tourists, the Sunshine Coast can only be reached 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. The area around Powell River, also on the mainland and inaccessible by road, is considered by some to be part of the Sunshine Coast, while others use the name to refer only to the area between Langdale (near the Town of Gibsons in the south) and Egmont (in the north).

Population centres on the Lower 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 fiord known as Sechelt Inlet.

On the Upper 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.



Wildlife that can be encountered include cougars, black bears, Timber Wolves, Marbled murrelet, orcas and Great Blue Herons, seals, Marine mammal, sea lions, and Bald Eagles. There are also abundant tidal pools on the beach portions, where hikers can see a variety of molluscs, sea anemones, and fish. Hikers are told 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 year, there is the possibility of encountering seal pups on the beach; the pups should not be approached, as the mother may then abandon the pup. All wildlife on the trail should only be viewed from a safe distance.

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