Discovery Islands - Mainland Inlets
To the east of the Discovery Islands, rising steeply from shore, are the rugged mountains, valleys and inlets of British Columbia’s mainland coast. Bute and Toba Inlets carve their way many miles inland from the islands between the jagged alpine peaks and tumbling glaciers of the Coast Mountains, creating a classic fjordal landscape. This is Super Natural British Columbia at its finest!
These inlets are the traditional home of the Homalco and Klahoose First Nations. The cultural bond between the indigenous people and the land endures to this day.
The vast resources of the inlets and the valleys that surround them now supply people’s needs worldwide. Logging camps dot the valleys harvesting timber from the forest. Fish farms nestle in sheltered coves and channels, rearing salmon for markets both at home and overseas. This is the working coast.
Grizzly bears graze on the lush river estuaries while waterfalls fed from the high alpine cascade down the forested hillsides into the emerald green inlet waters.
For the adventurous, Bute and Toba Inlets are a world of unsurpassed beauty and recreation possibilities. Working freight boats, floatplanes and water taxis all ply these waters and can accommodate passengers keen to explore this remarkable landscape. The reliable summer winds that pour out of the inlets make for some great sport for the sailor. Kayakers slipping along the shoreline will find much to marvel at. Whether by sail, motor or paddle power, exploring the inlets by boat is an exhilarating adventure.
For the hiker, mountaineer and ski tourer travelling up the inlets is only the beginning of their adventures. The Coast Range mountains run in a wide sweep of glaciers and granite from Alaska south into the Cascades of Washington State. They divide the coast from BC’s Interior, creating a mountain wilderness unique in the world. This is home to British Columbia’s highest peak, Mt. Waddington (13,141ft), only 50 kilometres inland from the head of Bute Inlet.
The Waddington Range from Bute Inlet, the Tahumming Range in Toba Inlet and the Homfray Circuit in Desolation Sound are excellent destinations for hikers and climbers. Expeditions can depart from several key places on the Discovery Islands to access the alpine. Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island, Heriot Bay and the Surge Narrows Road on Quadra are some of the possibilities.