5 ways to connect with Howe Sound

There are many things to do and to see in Howe Sound. Some are an hour’s drive or less from Vancouver and many are accessible by public transit. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

  • Connect to water. Some of the most beautiful scenery in the province can be seen from public transport in the waters of Howe Sound. A 30-minute BC Ferries ride from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver can take you to the Sunshine Coast or Bowen Island. You may even see marine life on the way!
  • Walk and hike on Gambier Island. Gambier is the largest island in Howe Sound, yet many people are unaware of it. You can get to the community of New Brighton on Gambier with BC Ferries as a walk-on ferry passenger leaving from Langdale on the Sunshine Coast. From New Brighton, choose a nature walk along the roads. You can also take a water taxi, such as Cormorant or Mercury, from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Camp Fircom in Halkett Bay, where you can hike up Mt. Artaban. As a bonus, your water taxi drivers know the area like the back of their hand, and are a wealth of information!
  • Experience the arts. Brackendale Art Gallery in the community of Brackendale just north of Squamish houses exhibits, concerts, theatre performances and workshops with local and visiting artists. They also serve homemade food in their café.
  • Explore by kayak. Howe Sound is full of islands and islets to explore by kayak. It’s not unusual to see wildlife such as seabirds and marine mammals. You can rent a kayak and do your own exploring or go on a tour through local businesses such as Talaysay Tours, operated by the Shíshálh First Nation, and Bowen Island Kayaking.
  • Learn about First Nations’ culture. The Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre in Whistler is run by the Squamish Nation and Lil’wat Nation to preserve their cultures and share them with others. The centre offers exhibits, art galleries, guided tours, workshops and a café.

2 thoughts on “5 ways to connect with Howe Sound

  1. we became members of the Squamish Yacht Club in 1974. An all-volunteer club that built all facilities, within reason, with the skills of its members, to provide pleasure boating moorage for the lowest costs. From the beginning it worked with the village of Squamish, also providing knowledgeable members to administer the Harbour facilities. It also leased the water lot from a logging company, & built a haul-out facility & launch ramp for members & the public.
    In the ’70s, it established the SOAR (Squamish OPen Annual Regatta) 3 – race weekend in early August … An inflow race sponsored by a participating lower mainland club, its own race down around Defence Islands, & an outflow race sponsored by another participating club … With barbecues & parties is has been A most popular event in the Vancouver race calendar.
    From the beginning, SYC has belonged to the Council of BC Yacht Clubs, promoting safe boating. SYC members have held youth sailing school in June, & collaboration with BC Power Squadrons.
    SYC council delegates were founding members of Council’s sub-society BC Marine Parks Forever, which BC Lands & Parks requested, to raise seed money to buy safe moorages for the boating public. (The name being suggested from a “corridor” poster, Forests Forever). This society, with SYC’s annual volunteer participation, has raised money enough to have helped buy many large public marine parks.
    The members of SYC have built docks for the Boys’ & girls’ Club of Vancouver, in exchange for annual picnic use of its camp at Potlatch Creek, in the 1980s. It has also maintained ‘reciprocal moorage’ with other Cubs who maintain out-stations on Howe Sound.
    All in all, since it was formed, Squamish Yacht Club volunteers have appreciated & contributed materially in the betterment of Howe Sound.

  2. Having a well-behaved dog on the beach is also important. We wrote this blog about the dog friendly community at Snug Cove on Bowen Island and a great place to visit on Howe Sound! Ferries are accessible from Horseshoe Bay and take less than 30 minutes. Plan ahead for “Dog Days on Bowen Island” – summer will be here soon!

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