The Howe Sound

The most northern section of the Howe Sound (where Squamish is located) is known to have some of the best winds of North America. If you choose to come out for your boat rental mid day, you will see all sort of water users taking advantage of this beautiful breeze. Filled with kitesurfers, windsurfers, foil boarders and sail boats, the sound will be action packed with members enjoying Squamish watersports to its core. When driving out, take your time and watch for larger waves in some sections. As a motorboat, you must give way to the independent riders on the water. Most of them are experienced and will stay away from the boat but some may get closer than you expect so enjoy the view while you traverse this area carefully. Kiters that are being closely followed by a vessel are generally beginner students and should be avoided entirely. Kite lines can be up to 25m long which means you should be keeping a minimum 25m distance from these water users to keep everyone safe.

The Squamish River

The 80km long Squamish river originates from the Pemberton Icefields where it passes along many other glaciers before gushing into the Howe Sound. This river is one of the main reasons everyone enjoying Squamish waters are doing so with a wetsuit. Even on the warmest of summer days, a wetsuit is needed to stay safe partaking in watersports that involve being in the water regularly. Not only does this river provide fresh oxygenated water to vegetation and wildlife along its path, it is also the home of some of the largest Salmon runs in all of Canada. On a biannual basis, Squamish sees a massive Salmon run during the months of July and August when thousands upon thousands of salmon swim up the river and up the falls leading to the river to spawn. This increase in fish population also bring in an abundance of otters, seals, sea lions and even larger sea creatures such as porpoises and orcas all the way into the Howe Sound and even the Blind Channel (the channel that runs from Newport beach to the Squamish Marinas). With such life and volume also comes significant current, while the river doesn’t pose a large threat when it comes to current, it is important to understand where it is located and how it can affect the sound when travelling through it. It is not permitted for you to take our rental vessels up the river as there are constantly changing conditions and obstacles in the river. Only the most experienced of riders can drive their own vessels up the river. With that being said, the outcome of its effects are all visible from the mouth of the river in the Howe Sound. If you do not already have a boat license, the currents, and other important things to note will be discussed while completing your temporary boat license check list. Be sure to ask any and all questions you might have about the area prior to leaving the dock and even prior to your rental via email or phone.

Shannon Falls

Rising an incredible 335 metres above Highways 99, Shannon falls is the third highest falls in British Columbia. Originating from Mount Habrich and Mount Sky Pilot, these plummeting waters can come down at powering strengths and volumes at certain times in the year.

Due to its proximity to the highway, Shannon Falls Provincial Park is one of the most populated tourist attractions in the Sea to Sky corridor. Go explore the bottom of the Falls as they tower into the Howe Sound, one of the most private and unique way of visiting Shannon Falls

Brittania Beach

This former copper mining town is now a charming village rich with art, history and culture. Surrounded by stunning scenery of mountains and fjords, the waters surrounding Brittania beach are calm wind showed inlets that provide fantastic fishing and relaxing.

Marine Parks and trail system

Squamish and the Howe Sound is lucky enough to be part of a new and ever-growing system of marine trails leading to boat-access only campsites and viewpoints. These trails and map are a fantastic resource for anyone looking to explore the water and the Howe Sound. Some of the closer sites worth visiting are Folger creek north, Yellow Rock, Darryl’s bay, Tantalus Landing Sxwan’shnm, Watt’s point, Zoro Bay Ts’itpsm, Furry Creek Spit and Mcnab creek.

Check out this great resource and help support our trail access with the following link:

Defense Islands

Under the administration of the Squamish Nation, these 2 small islands located in the Howe Sound are the home of astonishing underwater wildlife. At a depth of about 33 meters, there is a reef covered in colonies of silica-based glass sponges. Some old and some very new, this is a vibrant and overgrowing environment that is also home of sea whips, slender stalks of fragile coral with vast number of polyps and flower-like appendages. This is unmistakably a recreational diver’s paradise.

Not planning on diving, these islands are also home to a large abundance of Bald Eagle Nests. A definite sight to see.

Anvil Island

Anvil Island is the third largest and most northern island of the Howe Sound located only 2km from the Sea to Sky highway near Porteau Cove. Accessed only by private boat, charter or helicopter, this island has a constant sense of exclusivity. Looking for a full day adventure? There is an unforgettable hike called the “Leading Peak” that should be on the top of your list! This secluded hike is a full day experience and by getting to the island with your own rental boat the trip there and back can be relaxing and full of wonder as well. This 4-6 hour hike passes through the Daybreak Point Bible Camp and traverses up the island to its highest peak. Ascending many steep pitches, slippery roots and slimy rocks, this hike is sure to be filled with adventure and wonder. With a dock on the southern point of the Island, getting onto the island is a breeze. As the main trailhead does cross through the private property of Daybreak Point Bible Camp, it is required that you get advanced permission from them prior to using their dock and crossing their land. This permission is easily given with the mention that a $25 donation would be appreciated. They will also send you a waiver to be completed ahead of time so plan this spectacular trip a few days ahead to be properly prepared.

Pam Rocks – Wildlife Sanctuary

This group of rocks located 1km south of Anvil Island is home to a seal colony of more than 50 Pacific harbour seals and their ever-growing pups. Watch them lay in the sun, swim and play. Although this is a farther drive from Squamish than some of the other scenic areas, it is a definite must-do when exploring the Sound. For those adventurous snorkelers and divers, there is also an amazing 3-foot wide plumose anemones hidden in the waters below these rocks.

Porteau Cove

Easily access from land and water, Porteau Cove is situated along the Sea to Sky highway approximately 20 km south of Squamish and 40 km North of Vancouver. Home of an old sunken ship, Porteau Cove attracts all sorts of marine life and is thus a known location for scuba diving. With a large boat launch, a campsite, a beach and facilities, this Cove is well maintained and populated throughout the spring, summer and fall.

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