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Where the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living.

 

 

 

What Our Guests Say

  • We truly had a fantastic hike! We appreciate all the organizing and coordinating in making it a wonderful time. Thank you for all of your lugging and slugging! It was an unforgettable time!

    --Carol, Carla, Liz, (Ontario) and Sabine (Austria)
  • I also very much appreciated both your help (and patience!). It was definitely an incredible trip and one I won't ever forget.

    --Tracy, British Columbia
  • The guides were very very professional and I felt very safe in terrain which is different from North Yorkshire. They produced meals from those rucksacks which my husband thought I was pulling his leg. We did see some envious looks from fellow campers too.

    --Kate, Scarborough, Great Britain
  • Thank you for an excellent West Coast Trail trip. I really appreciate all your hard work and guiding skills. It is what made the trip so memorable.

    --Kevin, Northwest Territories
  • We had a great time and all the aches and pains were worth it!! By the time we got back to my house we were feeling great. Elaine felt very proud of herself. Anyhow, I think you are amazing guide and I hope we didn't wear you out!

    --Denise and Elaine, Calgary

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The Tour

The Deer Group Islands are in Barkley Sound on the West Coast, just across a 4 mile wide channel from the Broken Group Islands. Although the Deer Group is not a part of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the islands are just across a narrow channel from Bamfield, which is at the western end of the West Coast Trail.

The Deer Group is mostly crown land and is not part of a park. While there is some development on a few of the islands, they are still quite remote. These islands have a variety of caves and coves that make them an incredible place to visit. Both the Deer Group and the Broken Group were very important to First Nations peoples in the past. The waters here are incredibly fertile, and the protetection within Barkley Sound made them strategically valuable to a number of First Nations.

These islands form a line, with the southwestern end being more exposed than the northeastern. Because of the exposure and because the area is not maintained as a park, this set of islands takes a little more commitment than the Broken Group. It is a good place to see what a more remote trip would be like.

 

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Itinerary

This is our typical itinerary. (Because we are travelling in wilderness, itineraries can change. There are many factors that can affect how a tour actually runs.)

This trip begins in Nanaimo, where we will arrange your pickup to drive to the put-in in Bamfield.

Day 0-Arrive in area, prepared for pickup the next morning. A guide will phone you to confirm pickup details.

Trips will start and finish at Nanaimo.

Day 1-Travel Day: Guides and clients meet in Nanaimo at one of our pickup points (point of origin). The bus journey to Bamfield will take about 4 hours. The afternoon will be taken up with a personal clothing and equipment check, and possibly a visit to the Bamfield Marine Station. Evening will be at the hotel in Bamfield.

Day 2/3/4/5-This beginning of day 2 will be going over kayaking skills, preparing for launch. Weather and sea conditions dictate the route taken in the Deer Group. Days 2-5 will be touring the islands, locations dependent on conditions.

Day 6-Typically, day 6 is spent travelling back to Bamfield. This may be a shorter or longer journey, depending on conditions, but this usually involves some further exploration. Arrival back at Bamfield is usually around noon, and then we set about loading, changing, eating, and getting ready to journey back to Nanaimo, around 6:00 pm.

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What's Included

Coastal Bliss provides the essential elements of the trip for you:

West Coast Trail sample menu
SAMPLE MENU
  • Transportation from and to the departure location
  • First night's hotel accommodation in Bamfield
  • All kayaking gear
  • Dry bags to keep your things dry
  • All park fees for the adventure
  • Professional guides
  • All meals (except on any travel days)                
  • tent (shared)
  • gear rental options
  • A substantial preparation guide

We can't provide everything. You will have to provide:

  • Water Boots or shoes
  • Some food (on travel days)
  • Your transportation to the departure location
  • Accommodation before or after the trip
  • Sleeping bags or mats (available for rent)

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Getting There

If you are travelling into the Vancouver, Victoria, or Nanaimo area from afar, you should arrive at the departure location for your trip the day/evening prior to the trip start date and plan to leave the day following trip return.

You can fly to Vancouver (airport code YVR) or Seattle (airport code SEA) then connect to Vancouver Island using ferry, bus, or air, or arrange flights directly to Vancouver Island.

Flying to Victoria (Airport code YYJ)

Flying to Nanaimo (Airport code YCD)

Nanaimo Airporter shuttle service.
Servicing all of Vancouver Island from airports to ferrys to cruise ship terminals.  Tel: 1 250 758-2133

BC Ferries 1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779)
We will let you know the ferry to take for travelling to Vancouver Island, but if you want to check out times, you can go the the BC Ferries website at:
www.bcferries.com/schedules/

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Where to Stay

Naniamo Pick up & Hotels

Pick up: Departure Bay, Duke Point Ferry Terminal, or the following Accommodations:

Days Inn Harbour View Nanaimo
Address: 809 Island Hwy South, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, V9R 5K1
Phone (250) 754-8171
Website: www.nanaimohotel.com

Best Western Dorchester Hotel
Address: 70 Church, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, V9R 5H4
Phone: (250) 754-6835
Website: www.dorchesternanaimo.com

Painted Turtle Guesthouse
Address: 121 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia CANADA, V9R 3A2
Toll Free: 1-866-309-4432
Phone: (250) 753-4432
Website: www.paintedturtle.ca

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Preparing

How you prepare for your adventure is important. Being well prepared will enhance the quality of your experience. Because we are travelling in wilderness, it is very important for you and for the rest of your adventure group that you are fit enough to handle the level of difficulty and demand with no problems. Our guides know how to minimize the impact of these demands as much as possible, but they cannot remove them. The depth of your experience can only increase if you have made sure that you have prepared well.

Your preparation will be different for different activities. Preparing for a kayak trip is different from preparing for a hiking trip. We have provided some basic information that can be downloaded through the following links to pdf documents. If you do not have the Adobe Reader, you can download it from the Adobe site by clicking here.

Use the links below to download some of the preparation files for this hiking tour. When you book your tour, we will send you a complete preparation packet to help you get ready. We've also included a couple of infographics to help you along.

 

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Need Gear?

We have gear available to rent if you don't want to buy a particular piece of equipment, or need to travel without it. 

Look over the following list to help you decide whether you want to rent. If you decide to rent gear, you can tell us on the phone or book it online with your tour.

Kayaking Tours:

Item  Cost
 Sleeping Bag Rental  $55.00
 Thermarest Rental  $15.00
 Rental Bundle 4-sleeping bag+sleeping pad+water booties  $65.00
 Helmet Rental  $10.00
 Water Booties Rental  $10.00
 Wetsuit Rental  $20.00

 

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Sometimes it is just not worth buying new gear, or carrying something with you over a long distance. With the current costs of taking luggage on flights or the costs of buying something that you just won't ever need again, it is helpful to have an option. Our rental gear is just that option to help you on your journey.
Strenuous: a significant part of the walk takes place on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky/rooted paths), hiking days can be 7 to 10 hours, weather and conditions can significantly increase difficulty.