Kyuquot Sound is one of the 5 major sounds indenting the west coast of Vancouver Island. To the northwest of Kyuquot Sound is Checleseht Bay. To the east is the steep Vancouver Island mountain range, with peaks of over 1500 metres. The Kyuquot and Checleseht territories are accessible only by air and water; the only road access is at Fair Harbour, where there is a government dock, boat ramp, free and paid parking, fuel station, propane, small store and camping.
This region boasts some of the most pristine temperate rainforest in the world. They are proud to be able to share several world-class parks with visitors: Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park, Checleseht Bay Ecological Reserve, Tahsish-Kwois Provincial Park, Tahsish River Ecological Reserve, Dixie Cove Provincial Park and Rugged Point Marine Park. Many small islands, bays, beaches, rocky shoals, streams and rivers, lush forests, hills and mountains – these are the many features that make up this incredible land and seascape.
Look to the sea, and through the morning mist you may glimpse a grey whale, dolphin, or sea lion breaking the waves. Sea otters are plentiful here, and you’re sure to spot a seal or two. Birds abound here as well; eagles, herons, gulls and other shore birds are here year round. In summer, we have nesting puffins, marbled murrelets and other seabirds.
On the shore, you will see towering stands of old spruce, cedar and fir trees. And in the moss-shrouded forest, deer and Roosevelt elk graze while black bears forage for berries. Wolves and cougars also inhabit these woods.
The village of Houpsitas in Walters Cove will be welcoming. On the reserves, you may find remnants of our traditional way of life, such as old home sites and fallen ancient totem poles. While walking in the woods of this region be careful where you tread. This land contains our living history, and ancient artifacts are often both extremely delicate and difficult to spot.
The magic of Kyuquot and Checleseht must be seen firsthand to be truly experienced. In addition to experiencing our culture, there are many things for visitors to do here, including sea kayaking, sport fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. There are six provincial parks and four ecological reserves here.
Check in with the Kyuquot / Checleseht Band Office in Houpsitas on or prior to arrival. Call 250-334-5259 to register and get information on how to visit our region.
The Kyuquot / Checleseht region is accessible only by air or water. You can drive as far as Fair Harbour, take Hwy 19 north from Campbell River, and turn left on logging roads about twenty minutes past Woss. The turn off and logging roads are marked with signs for Zeballos and then Fair Harbour. Please be sure to travel with a spare tire and drive carefully on the logging roads. You can launch your boat at Fair Harbour or meet a water taxi there (water taxis must be booked in advance). The drive from Campbell River to Fair Harbour takes about three and a half hours, and Fair Harbour is half an hour by boat from Kyuquot. There are campsites, a small store, free and paid parking, a government wharf and a gas station at Fair Harbour. Zeballos has a hotel, restaurants, a mechanic, pay phones and a few small stores.
The passenger boat MV Uchuck III departs for Kyuquot from Gold River, on Vancouver Island, every Thursday morning, returning late Friday afternoon. Gold River is 90 kilometres west of Campbell River on Hwy 28. Cars may be left near the dock.