Canada: BC Wilderness Rowing

North America

Canada: BC Wilderness Rowing

Duration :   6 Days 5 Nights
Start Location:   Victoria, BC

Sold out? Prefer your own dates or a smaller group? Consider our Canada: Gulf Islands, BC.

Row to the Edge of the Pacific

The west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada is famed for its rugged scenery. Big breakers roll in from the Pacific, drawing surfers to Tofino. Hikers test their mettle on the West Coast and Juan de Fuca Trails, which climb up and down steep hills, cross fast flowing streams and trace the edge of beaches. Whale watchers scan the waves from Ucluelet and forest gazers stand in awe of Cathedral Grove and Clayquot Sound. Kayakers explore Barkley Sound, paddling amongst the shelter of the myriad islands with mountains in the distance, or testing their skills on the swells of the open ocean. Now rowers can experience this Pacific Coast Mountain landscape, on our beautiful BC rowing tour.

A Unique Adventure

Much of our daily rowing takes place in an urban or semi-urban setting, not far from the dock and where we parked our bicycle or car. This rowing adventure takes us into the wilderness, albeit with the comfort of a roof over our heads at night. It takes some effort to get here, but you will be richly rewarded. Rowing is a new and unique way to experience this special part of super, natural British Columbia, and this trip also offers you the chance to experience a very different way to enjoy rowing, a long way from the dock.

Coastal Rowing at its Best

Sometimes shrouded in mist, sometimes bathed in brilliant sunlight, the waters of Barkley Sound on the far side of Vancouver Island are superb for coastal rowing. The experience of rowing from a wilderness lodge is so unique. We have been running this trip since 2019 and love returning to this off-the grid and water-access only accommodation at the edge of the Broken Group Islands of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The big, stable coastal boats are perfect for this type of tour. When the water is flat, as it can be, they are a treat to row. If waves and swells come up, the boats easily handle the conditions. Our guides are very experienced in coastal rowing.  Ideally, participants will have previous coastal rowing experience, but if not, a solid base of flatwater rowing, and comfort in changeable conditions are required.

Trip Details

Enjoy photos and testimonials from the 2023 trip!

Price Per PersonUSDCADEUR
Rower$3,695 $4,450€3,195
Single Supplement$530$665€465
Non Rower$1,990$2,845€1,875

GST of 5% will be added to the price on the invoice.

Difficulty & Daily DistancesBoatsGroup Size

10-25 km per day
Coastal coxed quads, doubles or singlesMinimum 9, maximum 14 rowers

!Important!: this trip is coastal rowing. We will be rowing on the open ocean, where wind and waves can be a factor, especially in the afternoon. We will not be supported by a motor boat. While we do not ask for prior coastal rowing experience, good level of rowing skill, strength and fitness is required for this trip.


  • 5 nights’ accommodation in a wilderness lodge. Note that Broken Islands Lodge does not have ensuite bathrooms – shared
  • 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners
  • 6 days of rowing
  • Use of quality coastal rowing shells
  • Guide services and tour support. Your main guide is Julien Bahain.
  • Transportation from and to Victoria to the Secret Beach, within tour area and luggage transfers by boat
  • Tip for guides and Lodge staff

Note that water conditions, especially as affected by the wind, as well as weather and tides will determine the exact time and location of the rows. Safety is a priority. Thus, on some days, the actual program may vary from this description. Participants must be flexible and adaptable to changes, as well as being comfortable with and ideally experienced in coastal rowing.

Schedule Details

Day 1

Leave Victoria in the morning to first drive the Trans-Canada Highway along the east coast of Vancouver Island before cutting across the island for the west coast. We will head to Secret Beach on Toquart Bay in the northwest corner of Barkley Sound. If conditions permit, we will row to our destination, Broken Islands Lodge. Alternatively, we will enjoy a water taxi ride. This will be our home for five nights, which we will share with kayakers, cruisers, fisherman and other travellers who have all arrived by water.

A trip briefing will be provided during the welcome dinner.

Day 2 - 5

For four full days we will explore around the edge of the islands of the Broken Group, a unit of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

There is lots to explore outside of the park, with myriad channels, islands and peninsulas. Many of the islands have lovely beaches where we can land for lunch or a break. There are also lagoons, sandbars and saltmarshes, in addition to the forests of tall trees. In tidal pools we can search for bat stars with their bright red or orange arms, or the moon snail, which can be as big as a dinner plate. Each day’s row will be determined by wind, weather and water conditions. Safety is a priority, but if conditions warrant, we will make a crossing of Imperial Eagle Channel to the beautiful beach on Stud Island.

Day 6

This day may vary, depending on the date of your trip. We might enjoy a morning row after breakfast before taking the mid-afternoon water taxi back to Secret Beach, then the bus back to Victoria. Alternately, after a final hearty breakfast and packing our luggage onto the water taxi, it is time for our final row back to Secret Beach. We could take a different route there, perhaps following the shore along Macoach Passage or exploring down Pipestem Inlet. But all good things do come to an end. We will load the trailer and drive the five hours back to Victoria. The final task is to unload the trailer in Swatrz Bay before being transferred to downtown Victoria.

We bid a fond farewells to our new friends and to rowing in the wilderness of beautiful British Columbia. Accommodation is not included this night, but we are happy to assist you with recommendations, if needed.


Can I book a private tour?
What other trips will be run in 2024?

What's Included

  • Accommodation
  • Coastal Rowing Shells
  • Guide Services
  • Meals
  • Transportation


  • Centre-based
  • Coastal

Meet our guide

Julien Bahain

French Canadian - 3 time Olympian - Competed for France in 2008, and 2012, then for Canada in 2016 - Olympic medal winner - Rowed successfully across the Atlantic Ocean in 2013 - Motivational Speaker, Project Manager and Senior Associate at Partnerships BC, Victoria, Canada. ...

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