The scenic town of Roberts Creek lies on a quiet winding side road off Highway 101, midway between Gibsons and Sechelt on the lower Sunshine Coast of British Columbia.
Roberts Creek was named after Thomas Roberts, who established the beginnings of the community in 1889, when he built a cabin here for his family, clearing and working the land and raising livestock.
The area around Roberts Creek was originally inhabited by the shishalh tribe of the Coast Salish First Nations. The area was chosen for its mild climate and abundance of fresh water and natural food (fish, shellfish, berries and roots). The shishalh tribe became known as the Sechelts, a derivation of she’shalt, meaning the people. Roberts Creek formed the boundary between the Sechelt people to the north and the Squamish people to the south.
Since the 1960s, Roberts Creek has been a haven for artists, artisans and craftspeople, many of these artists open their home studios to the public. Nowadays this picturesque area also boasts a proliferation of quaint bed and breakfasts providing comfortable lodging for visitors.
Locals sometimes refer to their home as The Independent Nation of Roberts Creek whose official footwear is the gumboot – a symbol adopted by the Gumboot Acoustic Society and the Gumboot Garden Cafe!
Take a stroll out to the Roberts Creek Pier to enjoy the beautiful view of Georgia Strait and the spectacular sunsets that this coastline is known for. This waterfront park has a large pier with natural driftwood bench seats and driftwood carvings, and a sandy beach at low tide.
Visit the nearby woodland Cliff Gilker Regional Park, a picture-perfect park featuring forest trails, unique wooden bridges spanning foaming creeks, and a multitude of waterfalls. The park offers picnic sites and washroom facilities, and is located on Hwy 101 right next to the Sunshine Coast Golf Club in Roberts Creek. Roberts Creek also has two other regional parks; Flume Road Park and a beautiful little day-use park at the mouth of Roberts Creek.
Roberts Creek Provincial Park straddles Highway 101, about 2 miles (3 km) north of Roberts Creek, and offers vehicle/tent campsites. Lush second-growth forest is the setting for the park’s picnic grounds and beach, the entrance to which lies south of the campground on Elphinstone Road, where you’ll find two dozen tables arranged beside the ocean. Bring your beach shoes, as bare feet may find the cobblestoned coastline too rough on tender tootsies.
Shellfish: If you like to pick fresh mussels and oysters, and beachcomb for seashells, the beach at the Roberts Creek picnic grounds is a good place to visit at low tide. Just check for notices on red-tide warnings and harvesting closures beforehand at the entrance to the park.
Golf: Golfers can head to the Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club, on the north side of Highway 101 in Roberts Creek, a full 18-hole golf course that is open to the public. Sechelt Golf & Country Club is an 18-hole, Par 72 golf course (6,553 yards) located in the heart of the Sunshine Coast and open to the public every day for a memorable round of golf. Golfers will enjoy the generous fairways and large gently sloping greens. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Fishing: So successful has the rearing program been at nearby Chapman Creek that it is the only stream on the Sechelt Peninsula where anglers can keep coho and chinook salmon. It’s still best to check local regulations beforehand. While the hatchery has been experiencing good returns, fish stocks in the Strait of Georgia and Malaspina Strait have been steadily declining in recent times.
Sea Lions: California and Steller’s sea lions and harbour seals gather during winter months at the mouth of Chapman Creek south of Sechelt. Walk out onto Mission Point for the best views. The best approach to the point is from the beach at Davis Bay, north of Roberts Creek.
Cycling: Although shoulders on the winding highway can be narrow, cyclists will find that Highway 101 is a challenging but often scenic route. You don’t have to cycle Hwy 101 all the way, all the time. There are a few backroads, such as Lower Roberts Creek Road, that travel in roughly the same direction while providing a more tranquil ambience. Lower Roberts Creek Road loops away from Hwy 101 north of Gibsons and rejoins it north of Roberts Creek, for a total distance of 5 miles (8 km). The Roberts Creek Bike Loop is a steep trail with terrific views of the Tetrahedron Mountain Range.
Mountain Biking: The Sunshine Coast has a progressive attitude towards mountain biking, so it is no wonder that the region is a maze of mountain-bike paths. Sprockids Mountain Bike Park in Gibsons is designed with the younger generation in mind. Located at the north end of Stewart Road just off the Gibsons Bypass, the park provides almost 9 miles (14 km) of trails that will appeal to mountain bikers of all ages. North of Gibsons, the area around Roberts Creek is a great hangout for the serious mountain biker. Three major loop trails – Roberts Creek (18.5 miles/30 km), Clack Creek (7.5 miles/12 km), and the Brodie Race Trails (4.5 miles/7.5 km) – will wear the tread off any tire and introduce riders to shorter technical routes such as Three Steps, the Mexican Jumping Bean Trail, Black Tower, and Portage, all accessed from B&K Road (Roberts Creek Forest Road), just east of Roberts Creek Provincial Park. All trails begin a short distance up the road at the B.C. Hydro power line. Each route is marked with a bike symbol and a different shade of paint.
Hiking: Hiking Trails can be found on Mount Elphinstone, to the northeast of Roberts Creek, which dominates the northwestern entrance to Howe Sound. The Mount Elphinstone Heritage Trails take advantage of numerous logging roads that had become overgrown when the timber supply was exhausted. All the trails are well marked with both colour-coded surveyor’s tape and metal disks. The K2 Trail (moderate) ascends the side of Mount Elphinstone (4,137 feet/1261 m) from the end of Wharf Road in Gibsons. To find the trailhead, follow the Port Mellon Hwy a short distance north of the ferry terminal at Langdale to Wharf Road. As the pink-taped K2 Trail ascends, it meets with the blue-taped Waterfall Trail (easy), a much shorter, lower-elevation hike that leads to a waterfall viewpoint on Langdale Creek. The trailhead for the Waterfall Trail begins at the north end of Stewart Road. Take either North Road or the Gibsons Bypass to reach Stewart Road. Red-taped Tramway Trail (moderate) follows the path of two tramways that once ferried supplies to loggers at higher elevations. The trailhead is located only after following several marked and unmarked roads. Take North Road from either Gibsons or Langdale to Cemetery Road, then follow Cemetery, which leads past a – you guessed it – cemetery, to Keith Road. Watch for a road opposite the Boothill Ranch, which will deposit you in front of a yellow gate. Hike a short distance from here to the trailhead, which is marked with a red aluminum tag.
Mount Elphinstone Provincial Park: Three separate postage-stamp-size remnants of old-growth forest make up this 139-hectare park on the southwest slopes of Mount Elphinstone, near Roberts Creek. The park protects the area’s abundance and diversity of forest mushrooms. A prolific number of mushrooms grow here, some of which have yet to be properly identified. The three sites chosen for the park had the greatest diversity of fungi, and contain the rare Tricholoma apium and many other notable species of fungus. Tread carefully and take only photographs, as mushroom picking is prohibited in the park. Old wagon and jeep tracks have formed a network of mossy trails, allowing limited recreational use. There are no facilities at this park. To access the park turn right up Crow Road or the B&K Forest Service Road.
North of Roberts Creek, visitors will pass through a string of small communities set along this beautiful peninsula. Towns like Sechelt, Halfmoon Bay and Egmont are all delightfully typical of the West Coast of BC: laidback locals, artisan’s galleries, unique boutiques, cafes and museums. The community of Wilson Creek immediately north of Roberts Creek is a large rural and residential area, and the location of the regional airport and the Wilson Creek Campground.
Located 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Roberts Creek on Highway 101, the small community of Sechelt sits on the narrow Sechelt isthmus separating Sechelt Inlet from the Strait of Georgia. A magnificent sweep of beautifully cobbled beach combines wave-polished granite ramparts with driftwood & many-coloured pebbles. Treed mountains, cascading creeks and waterfalls create the spectacular coastline of Sechelt, making the community a year-round delight for photographers.
Just 3.5 miles (6 km) east of Roberts Creek is the scenic seaside village of Gibsons, the setting for the internationally popular CBC television program The Beachcombers, from 1971 to 1990. Visit the Elphinstone Pioneer Museum or treat yourself to a walking tour of the harbour. Take a stroll on the Seawalk and view the barges, fishing boats, tugs and float planes.
Circle Tours: See the best of BC when you embark upon one of the many circle tours that take in Vancouver Island, the Discovery Coast, and the Sunshine Coast. The coastal tours involve exciting road and ferry trips on BC Ferries, and scenic highways flank the coast, taking you through charming beachside communities, rolling farmlands and majestic mountain ranges. Check out the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island Circle Tour, and other Circle Tours in British Columbia.