There are hundreds of islands scattered between British Columbia’s mainland and Vancouver Island. With easy ferry access from Vancouver and Victoria, Galiano Island, Salt Spring Island, Mayne Island, Pender Island, and Saturna Island in the Southern Gulf Islands are the most popular.

The islands have rolling, forested terrain with low, rocky summits that provide great views. The shoreline provides endless variation with sculpted sandstone cliffs, sandy beaches, and pebbled coves. Provincial, regional, and national parks are sprinkled throughout the islands.

Each island has its own personality. Salt Spring is the largest and most populated, home to the bustling town of Ganges and popular Ruckle Provincial Park. This is also the most mountainous island, with several summits to climb.

Pender Island is actually two islands (North Pender and South Pender), connected by a narrow bridge. Most of the locals live on North Pender, but you’ll find hiking trails and sections of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve on both islands.

On long and narrow Galiano Island, hikers can explore waterfront Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Parks or enjoy the views from Bodega Ridge Provincial Park. But the island’s signature trail is the summit of 314 m-tall Mount Galiano.

Mayne Island is the smallest island with ferry service, but it has lots to offer outdoor adventurers. Explore Bennett Bay in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Hike the trails at Mount Parke Regional Park. Or discover short trails in several community parks.

Sleepy Saturna Island has the lowest population. Over half of the island is protected inside Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. East Point Regional Park juts out into Boundary Pass, making it one of the best places for land-based whale watching in BC.


Trails located in the Southern Gulf Islands region:

Beaumont Marine Park

Beaumont Marine Park in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve on South Pender Island is a beautiful park with campsites near the beach area and views of Bedwell Harbour.

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Brooks Point Regional Park

Located on south Pender Island, Brooks Point Regional Park has incredible views from its rocky shoreline across Boundary Pass to the San Juan Islands in the United States.

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Chris Hatfield Trail

Located on Salt Spring Island, the Chris Hatfield Trail is a scenic hiking route that passes through a lush forest to Yeo Point, offering coastal views of the Southern Gulf region.

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Enchanted Forest

The Enchanted Forest on south Pender Island is a lush west coast rainforest with a view of a waterfall and of Bedwell Harbour.

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George Hill Trail

Located on Pender Island, the George Hill Trail provides hikers with incredible views of the Southern Gulf Island region from the top.

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Greenburn Lake

Located on south Pender Island, Greenburn Lake is part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and the trail loops around the forest lake.

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Mount Menzies

Located on the east side of north Pender Island, Mount Menzies has an incredible viewpoint that looks across the water to Saturna Island.

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Mount Norman

Mount Norman is located on South Pender Island and is the highest hill, with a spectacular viewpoint that overlooks Bedwell Harbour.

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Roe Lake

A peaceful forested trail wrap around Roe Lake on Pender Island in the Gulf Islands National Park.

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Roesland

Roesland is a small, scenic park located on North Pender Island and is part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

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Yeo Point

Located on Salt Spring Island, the hike to Yeo point begins in Beaver Point Provincial Park before following the scenic coastline through Ruckle Provincial Park.

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