Something that should be on everyone’s summer bucket list in BC regardless of experience level is kayaking, as our province boasts some of the best kayaking, canoeing, and paddling options in the country. Whether you want to hit the water closer to Vancouver, or are ready to venture off to a BC park you’ve not yet explored, you’ve got plenty of options – from ocean kayaking to days on the lake.
For the purposes of this list, we’ve separated the spots that have available kayak and paddle rentals onsite or nearby, and the ones that are BYOK (bring your own kayak).
So let’s get started! Here are 10 of the best places to kayak in BC this summer.
Kayak rentals available onsite or nearby:
Cultus Lake Park offers one of the most accessible lake days near Vancouver, just an hour and a half’s drive from the city. With crystal-clear waters, this is the ideal spot to kick back on a couple of paddle boards or kayaks, which you can rent from Main Beach Boats for $25 per hour for a single kayak, and $40 per hour for a double. Best of all? Most rentals are done on a walk-in basis, which means you don’t have to reserve a spot to enjoy some time on the water!
Difficulty level: Beginner
Where: 103 First Avenue, Cultus Lake
Cost: $25 per hour for a single kayak
View this post on Instagram
Nestled in Central Okanagan west of Kelowna is Bear Creek Provincial Park – a picturesque spot for beachgoers, campers, and hikers alike. Over 400 metres of sandy beach await, as do kayak rentals from Okanagan Beach Rentals. Adults can rent single kayaks by the hour for $20, or pay $35 for two hours.
Difficulty level: Beginner
Where: 107 Westside Road N, West Kelowna
Cost: $20 an hour for a single kayak, $35 for two hours
Sasamat Lake is already a popular lake day choice in the Lower Mainland, but it also has access to kayak, canoe, and SUP rentals via the Belcarra Park Paddling Centre. Single kayaks are bookable for a two-hour period for $38 each.
Difficulty level: Beginner
Where: Belcarra, BC
Cost: $38 for single kayak rentals
Wells Gray Park has plenty of natural wonders for visitors to check out, from some of the most famous waterfalls in the province (including Helmcken and Dawson Falls) to a range of refreshing mineral pools, extinct volcanoes and lava beds, and glaciers. Those with a canoe can access the largest canoe-only lake in North America, or swim in two adjoining lakes – Clearwater and Azure Marine.
Murtle Lake also happens to be one of the best places in the world for kayak touring, according to the park’s website. Visitors can rent a kayak or canoe from Murtle Lake Canoes for $65 per night.
Difficulty level: Moderate to advanced
Where: Clearwater, BC
Cost: $65 per night
Those who want to paddle to a scenic, historic Ahoushat First Nations territory can rent a couple of kayaks or boards from Tofino Sea Kayaking and head to the island’s famed wilderness trail, which passes through portions of Gibson Marine Park and Kutcous Point IR.
Difficulty level: Beginner to advanced
Where: Central Clayoquot Sound, north of Tofino
Cost: $90 per day for a single kayak
Paddle West Kayaking offers multiple kayak tours from Tofino, including to Vargas Island – a picturesque island getaway complete with soft, sandy beaches and an intertidal lagoon. The tour offers a taste of “real West Coast paddling,” navigating through multiple islands and shorelines in an “island hop” fashion.
From start to finish, the tour takes six hours to complete, and is priced at $141 per person, plus a $15 Ahousaht Fee and tax.
More advanced paddlers can embark on a multi-day tour for $1,120 per person.
Difficulty level: Beginner to moderate
Where: Vargas Island, BC
Cost: $156 plus tax
With pristine, crystal blue water surrounded by lush forest – you’ll have no shortage of natural beauty to take in at Adams Lake Marine Park. Situated northeast of Kamloops in south-central BC, Adams Lake is the second largest natural lake in the southern interior of the province – and as such, offers visitors plenty to do by way of outdoor activities. Whether you want to take a boat out on the water, go fishing for species like rainbow trout or kokanee salmon, or stick with swimming – there’s something for everyone here.
Where: 15 km from Highway #1 at Squilax, east of Kamloops
Cameron Lake at Little Qualicum Falls is a truly beautiful spot to set up shop for the day. From exploring gorgeous waterfalls and swimming in the lake, to exploring shaded riverside trails, you’ll have plenty of recreational opportunities throughout the park, but if you can bring your own boards, the park’s mountain surroundings create a unique wind funnel that makes the lake ideal for sailboarding and other water activities at the southern shore.
Where: 4001 Alberni Highway, Qualicum Beach
Comox Valley’s Miracle Beach Park is situated between Courtenay and Campbell River, offering visitors 192 reservable front-country campsites, sandy beaches to lounge in, and swimming at the south beach day-use area. In terms of its crystal blue waters, kayakers can’t do much better than here!
Where: Comox Valley
Lastly, we’ll touch on a few kayak rentals in Vancouver, for those who prefer to stay local. They may not be located at provincial parks, but their surroundings are no less stunning – and there are plenty of other water activities to choose from here as well!
From Falsecreek to Deer Lake in Burnaby, here are some great kayak and paddle board rentals available in and near Vancouver:
- Creekside Kayaks – Olympic Village
- Vancouver Water Adventures – Granville Island
- Jericho Beach Kayak Centre
- Deep Cove Kayak – North Vancouver
- Deer Lake Boat Rentals – Burnaby
- Rocky Point Kayak – Port Moody
- Sea to Sky Adventure Company – Squamish
So there you have it, paddle enthusiasts! These are some of the best places to kayak in BC – according to BC Parks.