Your tour starts at Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island, the largest of the Gulf Islands, and famous for its scenery, sunshine, and warm hospitality. It's also a haven for artists and everywhere you go you'll find galleries and studios. There's time for a short hike into the verdant Fern Valley, which has the lush feel of tropical a rainforest. 3km.
Today's walk begins with a transfer to Beaver Point Hall, from where you begin your exploration of the southeast corner of Salt Spring Island. You'll follow well-marked trails to Ruckle Provincial Park, named after the family whose homestead this was in the 19th century. Walk along the shore to King's Point, with an option to continue to Yeo Point, where you'll enjoy views of the Channel Islands, home to frolicking marine mammals and a colony of cormorants. Continue along the water's edge through the Tsawout Band Reserve. Then return to your accommodation. 17 km.
Begin with a transfer to Ganges, don't miss the market every Saturday! Then take the ferry to Sturdies Bay on the southeast tip of Galiano Island. Named for the Spanish sea captain who explored the surrounding waters in 1792, Galiano Island is home to more than 130 species of birds and a haven for naturalists. Enjoy quiet roads and Douglas fir forests. Walk to Bellhouse Provincial Park, where the wind and the sea have carved and pocked the sandstone rocks of the beach. Watch for the many eagles that glide overhead. 4km.
Today's walk takes you to three great viewpoints. Climb up Mount Galiano where there's a wonderful view of Active Pass and the southern Gulf Islands. Head into Bluffs Park, where you hike amongst cedars and ferns to the top of the bluff, where there are stunning views of Prevost Island and the south face of Mount Galiano. From Galiano Cemetery you'll see seals sunning themselves on their private island. 12 km.
Hop onto a private water taxi, which will take you to South Pender Island in the morning. Start at the canal that separates the two Pender Islands and climb an old logging road to the edge of Mount Norman Provincial Park. Walk into Beaumont Provincial Marine Park, then up to the summit of Mount Norman, from where you can see part of the U.S. San Juan Islands and the Olympic Range in Washington. As you descend, you might be able to see the Vancouver skyline in the distance. Return to the canal, from where you'll be transferred to Saturna Island for the night. 15km
This morning, you'll be taken to the end of Narvaez Road, where the walk begins. Follow old logging roads and goat trails to the top of Mount Warburton Pike, then descend to the Saturna Winery, in a spectacular setting near the water, and the pebbly beach at Thomson Park. Then head back to your accommodation on Saturna Island. 10 km.
Return to Swartz Bay near Victoria (Vancouver Island), or Vancouver and depart for home or on to your next adventure.
"I wanted you to know that we had the absolutely best time on our trip to the Gulf Islands. Your planning was perfect, the hikes were varied and inspiring, the B&B were all great - the one in Victoria so beautiful and elegant. The islands are beyond gorgeous, and we cannot wait to come back and explore more. Each day got better and by the time we got to Saturna we never wanted to leave!"
- V. Lusbader