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Hiking the Sunshine Coast

Enjoy one of many naturalist hikes on the Sunshine Coast, including the legendary Skookumchuck Rapid or the arbutus forest of Smugglers Cove Provincial Park.

Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada

Local Self-Guided Hikes

  • Please keep on marked trails and keep dogs on leash.
  • Most of these areas, including the beaches, are environmentally sensitive so any disturbance of moss, lichen or tide pools can disrupt fragile ecosystems.

Skookumchuck Narrows

The Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park was established in 1957.  The area provides trails to view points which overlook the incredibly turbulent tidal rapids, spectacular whirlpools and raging whitewater. On a three metre tide current speeds can exceed 30 km (18.6 miles) an hour and approximately 200 billion gallons of water flow through the narrows connecting the Sechelt and Jervis Inlets. That's the same amount of water that falls on the Earth each year!

You may also get to watch the most experienced “trick” kayakers from around the world who come here to ride the tide. The rapids and whirlpools can be very dangerous and only those with this level of expertise should attempt to navigate these waters. Crossing the narrows should only be done at a slack or high tide.

Enjoy the well groomed trails through old growth forest. Wet weather will mean some muddy sections so be prepared and wear good shoes or boots. The trail runs adjacent to private property; please respect the land and privacy of  owners.

During the tourist season you may find your way up to The Green Rosette. This quaint little business, located near the beginning of the trail, is your last chance to get tasty provisions before you reach the rapids. You can never go wrong with a Cinnamon Bun and a cup of coffee!

Directions from Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Heading north from the resort on Highway 101, follow the signs to Egmont.  Take the right-hand turn off the highway just before Earl’s Cove ferry terminal. Follow the Provincial Parks signs to Skookumchuck Narrows and the marked parking area.  Driving time – about 45 minutes.  Walk to rapids and back - about two hours.

Smugglers Cove Marine Park

This cove has earned its name with its nearly hidden entrance which long provided a harbour for illegal marine traffic.  From the late 1800’s to rum runners during prohibition, Smugglers Cove was an access point and refuge. The trail is along bog and wetlands, with bridges built by Parks Canada to protect sensitive ecosystems created by beaver dams. You may see a wide variety of marsh and coastal plants, animals and bird life. Allow 45 minutes for return trip.

Directions from Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Driving south from the resort on Highway 101, turn right onto Brooks Road as indicated by Provincial Park signs directing to Smugglers Cove. There is a clearly marked parking area at the entrance to the trail.

Homesite Creek

Follow the marked trail along to low-perspective waterfalls perfect for a cool dip in summer. Some parts can be muddy in the winter months so wear proper shoes or boots. Allow 30 minutes for return trip.

Directions from Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Heading south on Highway 101, there is a pull-out on the right side of the road just past (about 1.5 KM) Sans Souci Road.

Homesite Caves Trail

The caves are self exploratory, so beware, as the floor of the caves can be slippery. The area is protected so be gentle to your surroundings and do not disturb any of the landscape. The route should take 30 min - 1 hour to complete.

Directions from Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Heading south on Highway 101, Homesite Road is about 1.5 km past Sans Souci Road on the left side. Look for the white trail head sign. The parking lot is located 100 m (328 ft.) past the power lines. Look for an orange rock cairn which is the trail head. Start trekking down the trail.

Sargeant Bay

The first is the Colvin Creek Trail and it is an easy, low elevation trail which features a waterfall. The Triangle Lake Trail starts where the Colvin Creek Trail ends and is a 2.5 KM hike starting at 45m elevation and climbs to a 210m elevation. Its destination Triangle Lake is not a lake but a true bog surrounded by rocky ridges.

Directions from Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Follow Highway 101, turn right on Redrooffs Road in Halfmoon Bay. Follow Redrooffs approx 5 km. Access to the hiking trails is on the left side of Redrooffs Road just before the right turn into the park. The trail heads are marked.

Mount Daniel Lookout

Advanced hike. The upward part is unrelentingly steep, sometimes requiring scrambling over fallen trees. The return trip provides its own form of torture as you always have the feeling of putting on the brakes. Allow 1.5 hours to get to the top and another hour to get down and lots of recovery time to enjoy the view!

Some of the circles of rocks you will see on the eastern peak of Mount Daniel are remnants of rites of passage practised by the Sechelt First Nations. The payoff to this trail is at the top. There is nothing to see on the way up, but once you’re there it’s amazing! From the top you can see Pender Harbour with its complex inlets and islands. Directly below you can see Garden Bay Lake, Katherine Lake and Mixal Lake.

Directions from Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Heading north from the resort on Highway 101, turn left onto Garden Bay Road at the Petro Canada Station and turn left around three km onto the old garbage dump road. This is the first on your left after Oyster Bay Road. It is sometimes marked by a sign and/or surveyors tape. Drive up as far as your vehicle will allow and at the fork, take the upper branch.

Pender Hill

This was the lookout preferred by the Sechelt First Nations sentries on watch for parties of Yaouita or Haida war canoes, which might be expected to break into the clear around Cape Cockburn any moment of any day. You can sit for hours beside the bronze Geodesic Survey plate cemented into the top of the dome and watch trollers and plodding tugboats, luxury cruisers and streaking outboards come and go as the busiest harbour on the Coast goes about its day. A three km return trip, this is a very steep hike to the 231m elevation. Watch for slippery spots and loose rocks. Allow one hour for round trip.

Directions from Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Heading north from the Resort on Hwy 101 turn left onto Garden Bay Road at the Petro Canada Station, and continue onto Irvine’s Landing Road. Follow along until Lee Road on the right and park where you can. There is a sign on the right side of Lee Road marking the trail head. A bluish-green Hydro pole also helps identify the trail head.