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Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Top Ten Park Experiences

Click here for a complete list of park itineraries.

Mount Norman Viewpoint Mount Norman Viewpoint
© Parks Canada

Step up to a challenging one-hour hike at Mount Norman (South Pender Island) where you will get some exercise and be rewarded by beautiful panoramic views.


Whale watching at East Point, Saturna Island Whale watching at East Point, Saturna Island
© Parks Canada

Pack your camera and a lunch and head to East Point (Saturna Island), Georgina Point (Mayne Island) or Sidney Spit for your best chance to see everything from birds to sea lions to whales.


Children on the beach at Sidney Spit Enjoying the beach at Sidney Spit
© Parks Canada/Christian J. Stewart

Pack the picnic basket for a new family adventure each weekend: Sidney Spit—make sandcastles; Mt. Warburton Pike—spot a goat; East Point—hear sea lions; Winter Cove—watch the water do tricks; Roesland—take a family picture.


Geocachers at Roesland, North Pender Island Geocachers at Roesland, North Pender Island
© Brian Losie 2010

Try one of our Geocaching Programs, and embark on a self-guided trip to experience some of the park’s most interesting cultural and natural hotspots. Choose from two routes: a family-friendly treasure hunt or a more strenuous route.


Maria Mahoi descendants, Russell Island Maria Mahoi descendants, Russell Island
© Parks Canada

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK: Book a kayak guide or water taxi, and head to Russell Island where a forested trail takes you to a historic Hawaiian Homestead. On summer afternoons and evenings, descendants of the original settlers will regale you with stories of their ancestors’ lives on the island. Or, take a ferry to visit the Pender Island Museum or the Fog Alarm Building at East Point (Saturna Island) where you will meet the locals and hear tall tales of the islands.


Sidney Spit Sidney Spit
© Parks Canada/ Christian J. Stewart

MEDITERRANEAN ON A SHOESTRING: Grab the clan and a gourmet picnic for a “cruise” by passenger ferry to Sidney Spit’s warm sandy beaches and inviting blue waters. Lie back and unwind on your beach blanket or catch up with a favourite book.


McDonald Campground, Vancouver Island McDonald Campground, Vancouver Island
© Parks Canada

CAMPING MINI-BREAK: Gather the gang around a crackling campfire at McDonald Campground, a lush forest setting only minutes away from Sidney and Victoria.


Kayaking off Saturna Island Kayaking off Saturna Island
© Parks Canada/ Christian J. Stewart

FLOAT YOUR BOAT: Cruise to Cabbage Island and enjoy the peace and quiet or circumnavigate Princess Margaret (Portland Island) for 360 degrees of stunning views. If you don’t have your own boat, hire a kayak guide for the day or treat yourself to a guided eco-tour.


Mount Warburton Pike, Saturna Island Mount Warburton Pike, Saturna Island
© Parks Canada / Josh McCullough

SCENIC ROAD TRIP: Drive to the top of Mt. Warburton Pike on Saturna Island and enjoy the breathtaking bird’s eye view. Or, cruise along the stunning ocean-side road to East Point on Saturna Island where you will find an unmatched view of the Strait of Georgia.


family camping Family at Narvaez Bay, Saturna Island
© Parks Canada/Christian J. Stewart

GET AWAY FROM IT ALL: A peaceful forest trail leads you down onto a beautiful rocky point, surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters and tall echoing cliffs. Take a seat, breathe in the clean forest air and admire your stunning surroundings at Narvaez Bay on Saturna Island.