Sunshine Coast Trail

Types: Hikes & Treks, Summer

Region: British Columbia

Sunshine Coast Trail

Canada’s longest & least discovered hut to hut trek. Starting in lush Arbutus laden forests on Desolation Sound, it travels past Powell Lake, over Tinhat Mountain and along a subalpine ridge before dropping back down to the Salish Sea.

Next Course:
Leaving Jun 30 2024 from $2,399.00

Sunshine Coast Trail

The Sunshine Coast Trail: Canada’s longest & least discovered hut to hut trek

The Sunshine Coast Trail starts at Sarah Point in lush Arbutus laden forests on Desolation Sound, a great spot for whale watching, travels past Powell Lake, over Tinhat Mountain and along a subalpine ridge before dropping back down to the Salish Sea. We’ll hike through some of the last remaining old growth Fir and Cedar forests, pass smooth Arbutus trees and through almost-head high forests of Fern. Accommodation will be oceanside in the historic Lund hotel with its views of the Malaspina Strait, lakeside at the Confederation hut and on Tinhat mountain with 360 degree views.

Where is the Sunshine Coast Trail?

Separated from the mainland of BC by fjords, the Sunshine Coast is a fishing and logging based peninsula located a short 25 minute flight from Vancouver, BC. It’s the traditional home of the Coast Salish peoples of the Tla'amin Nation and is surrounded by the Salish Sea (part of the Strait of Georgia that separates Vancouver Island from Mainland BC), Desolation sound, Jervis Inlet and Powell Lake.

South Powel Divide

Trip Outline:

While we offer a few different trip options for the Sunshine Coast Trail the most common is the 7 day hike. This trip runs hut-to-hut and is supported by a porter (depending on the group size) and of course an ACMG Certified guide.

  • Day 0: Travel to Powel River by road/ferries or fly from Vancouver (we can help you find your way)
  • Day 1: Take water taxi to Desolation Sound and the start of the hike at Sarah Point, hike to Manzanita hut
  • Day 2: Hike from Manzanita hut to Rievely's Pond hut
  • Day 3: Rievely's Pond to Powell Lake for a meal at the Shinglemill Pub & a night at a hotel
  • Day 4: After a shower and breakfast hike from Powell Lake to Confederation Lake Hut
  • Day 5: climb to Tinhat Hut and some breathtaking views
  • Day 6: hike along a ridge to Elk Lake Hut
  • Day 7: Drop down from Elk Lake into the valley and a waiting shuttle
  • (Optional) Day 8: complete the trip with a day hike over Mt. Troubridge or go fishing, whale watching, etc.

Don't have time for any planning? No worries, we'll take care of everything! Just catch a flight into Powell River from Vancouver and we take it from there.

Prices vary by group size, let us know how many people you have and we'll get it set-up. We offer this trip for groups of 2 all the way up to 8.

Looking for something more alpine? Check out the South Powell Divide Traverse.

Waiver & Risk Management:

As you know, outdoor activities involve numerous hazards including, but not limited to, avalanches, crevasses, rockfall, slips and falls, equipment failure, poor weather, etc. And while we do our best to anticipate and mitigate these hazards we cannot completely eliminate them. So, as with anything fun, you will be required to sign our Participant Release to take part in one of our courses or trips.

Custom Dates Available

Just let us know what dates will work for you and we will put together a custom package.

June 30th to July 6th, 2024

Deposit Required: $1,000.00

6 spots remaining
Group Size6 persons
Pricing
Quantity: $2,399.00

Fine Print:

  • A $1000 deposit per person is due upon booking.
  • The final payment due 60 days prior to the trip.
  • Trips subject to 5% GST.
  • We highly recommend Travel & Medical insurance.
  • Be sure to look over our Booking Policies.
  • Participants will be required to sign a BlackSheep Participant Release as well as a helicopter company waiver

Day 0: Arrival

After your flight into Vancouver you will jump on one of the twice daily flights to Powell River and 35 minutes later and you will be in PR. Alternatively you can drive up the Sunshine Coast via 2 ferries which takes around 6 hours. Powell River is the hub of the Sunshine Coast and where we begin our journey.

We’ll meet you here by the shores of the Salish Sea and drive the 20 minutes to Lund where we’ll stay at the historic Lund Hotel, built in 1918, and dine on local seafood.

Day 1: Sarah Point to Manzanita Hut

After a good night’s sleep and a large breakfast we head out for two nights on the trail. No more than 100 meters from the front door of the hotel and we’re in our water taxi for a 20 minute ride along the coast, hopefully past a pods of whales, and we arrive at Sarah point.

We’ll snap a few group photos with Mount Washington and Vancouver Island in the background and begin our hike. Ascending from Sarah Point, don’t forget to look between the trees for views of Desolation sound. Perhaps we’ll spot another pod of Whales.

As we ascend there’s a special tree to take note of, the Arbutus. It’s smooth, thin, reddish-brown bark stands out against its neighboring evergreens and the blue of the Salish Sea.

We walk past Hinder lake and Malaspina Lake, both of which are home to beavers who are apt to slap their tails in warning as hikers go by.

We end our day at the semi open Manzanita Hut. Our porter should have already arrived and we’ve made it into time for a snack as we wind down with arbutus lined views of the Copeland Islands, Savary Island, and the Salish Sea.

Day 2: Manzanita Hut to Rievely’s Pond Hut

We start the day with a morning coffee with a view of the Salish Sea. Today, we’re walking from the Manzanita hut to the Rievely’s Pond Hut. Our hike takes us through some of the densest forests we will see this whole trip. Old growth Fir and Cedar mixed with stands of Ponderosa Pine. We’ll venture deep into fern forests and over log bridges. It won’t matter too much if it rains today as this is very dense rain forestland the trees provide an incredible amount of cover.

The Rievely’s Pond Hut, like the Manzanita Hut, is a semi-open hut. The upper section is closed in on all sides and accessed by a small set of stairs. We’ll sleep in a row on mattresses and sleeping bags.

The lower part of our hut is open to the elements. Our porter will have arrived ahead of us and prepared a welcome snack and reserved as many spots in the hut as needed.

The Rievely’s Pond hut is nicknamed the Frog Chorus hut and at dusk we’ll find out why.

Day 3: Rievely’s Pond Hut to Powell Lake

It’s another beautiful day on the Sunshine Coast Trail. Our trail finds us zigzagging through further head high fern and views of desolation sound.

We finish our hike today on the shores of Powell Lake, a dammed fjord Lake that is 50km by 24km.  On the shore of this beautiful lake, right off the trail, is a pub where we’ll grab a pint with dinner at this repurposed Shinglemill. Originally built in 1913 it now aptly named the Shinglemill Pub. Following dinner we’ll ride into town and spend the night at a hotel.

Day 4: Powell River to Confederation Lake Hut

After a shower and breakfast at a local cafe the hiking begins with an easy walk along Powell Lake and then the inland lake. The final part of our day sees us ascending a dirt path that eventually greets an old logging road that’s now mostly grown over. You would be hard pressed to get an ATV on our path now, never mind a logging truck.  This is a steep track, though it is not a complex one. Our arrival snack at Confederation Lake Hut will be well earned.

The Confederation Lake hut is our first enclosed hut. As such, it is entirely walled in, but you’d be wasting the lakeside benches in front of the hut by lingering inside. Your guide and porter will prepare another gourmet backcountry meal as you sit by the lake and enjoy the calm beauty of the area.

Day 5: Confederation Lake Hut to Tinhat Hut

Today is our first tougher day.  From the hut we traverse over to Vomit Vista, which is likely named for someone who climbed up from sea level and didn’t even stop at the lake.

After a short break at Vomit Vista where we can peak through the trees at Powell Lake we begin our long descent towards Fiddlehead Landing. Though not as steep as yesterday’s climb, we have a few steep sections, but the trail is well switch-backed so the it keeps a somewhat gentle grade.

After two to three hours we arrive at a literal crossroads. Left and down will take us to Fiddlehead Hut on Powell Lake but our goals are much loftier so we keep on hiking to the next hut. Outside of day 8, this is our biggest climb of the trip. We will be under forest canopy for nearly the whole way as we ascend and this will help us on either a rainy day or a hot and sunny day.

Our destination is the Tinhat hut with it’s 360 degree views. It’s without a doubt a tough climb but the views up top will remove any doubt as to why you climbed to the top.

Day 6: Tinhat Hut to Elk Lake Hut

If you are going to wake up for sunrise, this is the spot to do it. With views of Nanaimo, Mount Washington, Desolation Sound, and more, we doubt you will get as spectacular a view anywhere else at this low in elevation (1185m).

We begin our hike walking along a sub alpine ridge towards Lewis Lake. For a majority of the morning we’ll be hiking through bush, scrub and subalpine trees that will allow us to keep our view of all the surrounding waters as we approach Lewis Lake. Pay attention to your footing, the trail can be a little rough and the views wild demand your gaze away.

Today, we’ll have lunch at Lewis Lake. If it’s hot and sunny, it’s time for a mid-day dip.

After lunch we continue on to Elk Lake hut where if you missed your swim at Lewis Lake you‘ll have another chance.

Day 7: Elk Lake Hut to Powell River

Out seventh day on the trail is a little bit of a shorter one. It undulates quite a bit before arriving at Walt Hill. This is a perfect spot for lunch and our chance to soak in some of the last sun rays of the summer.

We’ll continue walking downhill until we meet our transport vehicle, or we can continue all the way back down to Lake Powell.

Day 8: Mount Troubridge Loop or Fishing / Whale Watching (Optional)

It’s our final day on the sunshine coast trail and we’ve a few options today. For those of us whose legs still aren’t tired we’ll take a taxi out towards Saltery Bay, the main arrival point for “mainlanders” and where the classic Canadian TV show The Beachcombers was filmed.

We’ll hike to the top of Troubridge Mountain, the highest point of the Sunshine Coast Trail. This is the toughest day hike of the trip. With lots of elevation to gain and some very large steps. If it has rained recently, the trail sometimes represents a stream. On a clear day it is all worth it as we’ll have the rocky tree-ringed peak to ourselves.

What goes up must now come down, and down we will go. All the way to the seaside. We will walk along the oceanside, darting in and out and up and down along the coastline and it’s forest before being picked up on a forestry road and being driven back to our hotel in Powell River.

For those that want a totally different experience, you’ll wake up and head to the ocean. You’ve two choices today, whale watching or fishing.

Sunshine Coast Trail

Highlights

  • Stunningly beautiful area
  • Sleep in huts
  • Great food
Types Hikes & Treks, Summer
Region British Columbia
Season July to September
Next Departure Jun 30 2024
Prices From $2,399.00

Difficulty: Difficulty: Beginner Beginner

Generally short days with fairly light packs, suitable for almost anyone.

What's Included

  • ACMG Certified Guides
  • All your backcountry meals
  • Porter (group size dependent)

What's Not Included

  • Cost of flight or ferries to Powell River
  • Hotels
  • Meals in town
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • BlackSheep Merino Wool Toque (Beanie) $35.00

Activities and Add-Ons for this Course

BlackSheep Merino Wool Toque (Beanie)

A beautiful fleece lined merino wool toque. They come in black and grey though colours are subject to availability.

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