Premier Listings for Esperanza Inlet

The rugged and remote Esperanza Inlet and Nuchatlitz Inlet region on the west coast of Vancouver Island is rich in native culture and history, being the traditional territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation, who inhabited these lands for thousands of years before the arrival of the Spanish in 1774 and Captain James Cook in 1778.

Nuchatlitz Provincial Park on Nootka Island protects a number of archaeological sites, evidence that the area has been inhabited for millennia by First Nations people drawn to the region by the abundance of natural resources. These sites include ancient burial sites on and around Nootka Island, located in caves just off the beach.

These inlets, including the finger inlets that branch off from them (Port Eliza, Espinosa Inlet, Zeballos Inlet) were gouged out by glaciers during the last ice age, and are extremely remote and sparsely populated. This isolation is enhanced by the stunning scenery, attracting anglers, kayakers, divers, campers and hikers to the wilderness area.

This coastline is known for it’s ocean swells as the Pacific rolls in all the way from Japan, superb outer reef systems, and long expanses of pristine and deserted beaches. Marine wildlife in the area includes killer whales (Orca), migrating gray whales, seals, porpoises and sea otters. Land mammals include black bear, cougar and deer.

Like many of the parks in the North Island region, access to Esperanza and Nuchatlitz Inlets is by floatplane, or by boat from the nearest towns of Tahsis and Zeballos. These exciting journeys present unparalleled views of the rugged and remote wilderness beauty that is the west coast of beautiful Vancouver Island.

Departing from the Muchalat Inlet, 12 km south of Gold River, the MV Uchuck lll provides a year-round freight and passenger service for westcoast communities in Nootka Sound, Yuquot (Friendly Cove), Tahsis and Kyuquot. The route takes you through Nootka Sound, up Tahsis Inlet and out Esperanza Inlet to the ocean. From here you travel along the west coast to Kyuquot Sound where the trip ends at the settlement of Kyuquot. Adventurers heading for Esperanza Inlet can arranged with the Uchuck lll to be dropped off and picked up along the route.

Location: Esperanza Inlet is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, between Nootka Sound and Kyuquot Sound. Access to Esperanza and Nuchatlitz Inlets is by floatplane or by boat from the nearest towns of Tahsis and Zeballos.

Sea Kayaking adventures in Esperanza Inlet, Nuchatlitz Inlet, Kyuquot Sound and the Nuchatlitz group of islands are operated out of the coastal village of Zeballos, which is accessed by road of Highway 19 between Woss and Port McNeill. This is sea kayaking at its best: isolated and remote coastline, beautiful campsites, magnificent sunsets, and an abundance of wildlife.

Kayakers wishing to explore this remote region can book space for themselves and their kayak aboard the MV Uchuck 111, boarding in Gold River. The vessel will unload kayakers into the scenic area of Esperanza Inlet and Catala Island en route to its scheduled stop at Kyuquot Sound. Paddlers can also launch at Little Espinosa Inlet, accessed on the Zeballos Main logging road. Kayakers should note that strong headwinds can blow down Esperanza Inlet.

Fishing off Esperanza and Nuchatlitz Inlets is excellent for deep sea fishing and saltwater fly fishing. Large spring or chinook salmon migrate down the west coast of Vancouver Island on their way to their spawning grounds in the rivers of Vancouver Island and the coastal mainland of BC, by way of the Juan de Fuca Strait at the southern tip of the island. Salmon fishing begins in May and runs through to September, with the peak Springs run in mid-August – Pin Rock and Black Rock off the entrance to Esperanza Inlet are popular spots for Springs. Depending on the year’s run, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans closes Esperanza Inlet to fishing south of Little Zeballos River by the middle of August. The shelving bottom around Catala Island provides good bottom fishing, with halibut tipping the scales at between 40 and 200 pounds. Anglers are accommodated in comfortable fishing lodges or rustic fish camps nestled in pristine west coast wilderness – see Premier Listings below for fishing guides and lodging.

Garden Point Recreation site on the northern shoreline of Nootka Island offers a gently sloping beach, groves of old growth trees, and great mountain views across Esperanza Inlet. Camping is also possible at Belmont Beach and on the many tiny islands in the area – those that are not off limits as Native reserves.

Stop for a visit to the abandoned old Native village of Nuchatlitz on the extreme western tip of Nootka Island.

Catala Island Marine Provincial Park incorporates Catala Island and Twin Islands in Esperanza Inlet, protecting numerous reefs, islands, islets and marine ecosystems. Catala Island itself is forested with mature trees, twisted and stunted by the strong winds blowing off the Pacific Ocean. A lake and bog area are also found on the island. The 850-hectare wilderness park, which incorporates 254 hectares of upland and 596 hectares of foreshore park, is an area with important significance to the island’s First Nations people. An Indian Reserve is situated at the extreme eastern tip of Catala Island, with access prohibited to visitors.

The park has no facilities, but sea kayaking and wilderness camping in the many informal campsites attracts visitors to the island to explore the reefs, lakes, bogs and the rugged shoreline. Rustic trails lead to the lake and bog in the centre of the island. The tall trees on the island are twisted by the fierce winter winds and form a ragged backdrop to the island’s smooth and sandy beaches. The eastern tip of the island is a First Nations reserve, where visitors should not trespass. Boats anchored in the Rolling Roadstead anchorage of Catala Island will be subjected to the constant and steady swell from the Pacific, with little respite. Nearby Queen Cove off Esperanza Inlet provides a sheltered overnight anchorage. Nearby Queen Cove on Vancouver Island is the nearest all-weather anchorage from which boaters may access Catala Island.

Nuchatlitz Provincial Park is located on the western tip of Nootka Island, between Nuchatlitz and Esperanza inlets. A great diversity of flora and fauna is protected within an extensive range of terrestrial, intertidal and marine environments. Nuchatlitz is an excellent place to study intertidal life, as many tide pools can be found throughout the maze of islets and reefs that make up the park.

The 2,135-hectare park (803 hectares upland and 1,332 hectares foreshore) also protects vital habitat for British Columbia’s recovering Sea Otter population. The remote islands are becoming a popular kayaking destination, offering both exposed coast and protected waters for paddling, quiet coves and a multitude of beaches. A wealth of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts exists, including boating, sport fishing, camping and wildlife viewing within the park and its surrounding area. There are sheltered camping areas on some of the islands, but no facilities are provided within the park. Access to the park is by boat from Zeballos, 18 km to the northeast.

Port Eliza Inlet is a remote wilderness inlet located just inside and north of the entrance to Esperanza Inlet, and close to Ferrer Point and some of the best fishing in the Nootka Sound area.

Offshore you may be fortunate enough to spot a rare sea otter that inhabits only isolated areas of the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. The area is an extensive area of marine shoreline, reefs and islets providing habitat for BC’s recovering Sea Otter population. Decimated by the fur trade in the early 1900s, and extirpated in BC by the late 1920s, sea otters from Alaska were transplanted to the northwest coastal waters in 1969-1972. The present population on Vancouver Island is estimated at 2000.

The re-introduction of the sea otters has become something of an issue in neighbouring Kyuquot Sound recently, as the sea otters compete with the Native Indians for crabs, abalone and sea urchins. The unfortunate result is a decline in the sea otter numbers. With the elimination of the endearing whiskered critters by greedy and thoughtless European fur traders and native hunters in the late 18th and early 19th century, the otters’ natural foods became more abundant, decimating their own natural foods, predominantly kelp.

With the return of the sea otters to their natural habitat, the crabs, sea urchins and abalone are now being kept in check, with the revival of the kelp beds so important as a source of food, shelter and spawning grounds for so many species of fish and other marine life. This is having a positive affect on the marine life along this coastline. The Natives are upset that the sea otters are depleting the local shellfish levels, and the sea otters…well, they just want to continue doing what sea otters were doing for thousands of years before Natives and Europeans arrived and laid claim to their waters.

Premier Listings

Photo of Spirit of the West Kayaking
Spirit of the West Kayaking
P.O. Box 569 Heriot Bay Quadra Island BC V0P 1H0 Phone: 250-285-2121Fax: 1-888-389-5736Toll Free: 1-800-307-3982Visit Website

Business Information

Kayaking British Columbia is the ultimate way to view BC’s abundant wildlife.

We want you to fall in love with kayaking and our unique coast, and our passion shows in everything we do. Choose among several professionally-guided 4-8 day trips for all experience levels around Vancouver Island. ‘Glamping’ basecamp-style with wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or expedition-style paddling from camp to camp and paddling between 100s of islands through the Broughton Archipelago, famous Desolation Sound and the wild Great Bear Rainforest on the Central Coast. Savouring a fresh salmon BBQ in the open air, explore and view fascinating wildlife and wilderness and wake up on remote islands with the sound of the whales. Unique and breathtaking.

Our adventures are for everyone and are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. We take care to introduce you to the sport in a fun and safe manner. All that we ask is that you welcome adventure with an open mind and are able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected. Our groups are small, ranging from 8 to 13 people, depending on the trip, in order to provide you with the best experience possible. We provide everything you need for a once in a lifetime kayaking adventure. We provide high-quality fiberglass kayaks, paddling equipment, camp cookware, eating utensils, and camping gear.

Our guides take care of you for the entire duration of your tour, prepare delicious, organic and local meals, and have extensive training and experience in sea kayaking and in sharing the natural and cultural history of the area.

During the Northern Hemisphere winter, we also offer kayaking trips to the glacier-fed South American wildlife paradise, the Chilean Patagonia Archipelago, and multi-day escapes to sun, sand, remote beaches and the warm crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. Please contact us for all details of these amazing winter getaways!

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Photo of Reel Obsession Sportfishing
Reel Obsession Sportfishing
644 Millstream Lake Road Victoria BC 9B 6E9 Phone: 250-886-0315Toll Free: 1-888-855-7335Visit Website

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Reel Obsession Sport Fishing Charters offers year-round, world-class, fully-guided BC salmon and halibut sportfishing charters on Vancouver Island on the west coast of British Columbia, fishing Zeballos, Nootka Sound, Esperanza Inlet, and Victoria. We offer a variety of charter fishing packages and are quite flexible in customizing your charter fishing experience to suit your needs. Our west coast BC fishing lodge is uniquely located in the migration path of the Pacific salmon, featuring career guides steeped in the local fishery, consistent big catches, world-class service and accommodation, and great fishing all summer long.

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Photo of Nootka Marine Adventures
Nootka Marine Adventures
Moutcha Bay Resort – land based road accessible resort in Moutcha Bay, Nootka Sound, BC Nootka Sound Resort – floating resort in Galliano Bay, Nootka Sound, BC Newton Cove Resort – floating resort in Esperanza Inlet, BC Mailing Address: 168 5th Street Cliffe Avenue Courtenay BC V9N 1J4 Toll Free: 1-877-337-5464Visit Website

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Moutcha Bay Resort, Nootka Sound Resort and Newton Cove Resort operate together as Nootka Marine Adventures. Located on the pristine west coast of Vancouver Island, Moutcha Bay Resort is situated at the mouth of the picturesque Conuma River and only a 40 minute drive from Gold River. The two other floating resorts; Nootka Sound Resort and Newton Cove resort are located in the sheltered waters of Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet.

These resorts offer exceptional amenities, comfortable luxury accommodation, gourmet meals and boat moorage, along with some of the most spectacular, salmon, halibut and tuna fishing available. The Nootka Marine Adventures’ guides are some of the most experienced and professional in the area. They will help ensure that you have both a memorable as well as a highly-productive angling experience aboard comfortable, covered 28-foot boats. Take a fully-guided fishing trip or partake in the numerous outdoor activities including; wildlife-viewing, trail walks, caving, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding or excursions to the historic Friendly Cove.

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Photo of Zeballos Oceanfront Lodge
Zeballos Oceanfront Lodge
509 Reno Street Zeballos BC V0P 2A0 Phone: 250-886-0315Toll Free: 1-888-855-7335Visit Website

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Come and join us for a world-class vacation at one of the premier Vancouver Island fishing lodges. At our oceanfront fishing lodge you’ll be treated like family, enjoy gourmet meals prepared by our chef, and relax after a day on the water in our hot tub and sauna – all in one of Vancouver Island’s hottest fishing areas. We consistently send our guests home with limits of Salmon and Halibut. The resort offers luxurious waterfront accommodation for up to 15 guests, and is the only oceanfront fishing lodge in Zeballos, BC, a great spot for a corporate retreat, a family vacation, or the fishing trip of a lifetime with friends.

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