Forty-six kilometres of beautiful ocean paddling. Howe’s that sound?
Extending from Squamish to the Strait of Georgia, Howe Sound offers saltwater paddling that’s as easy to access as it is beautiful to behold.
First Nations people have been paddling the waters here since time immemorial, but it was Captain Vancouver who named it for British Admiral Richard Howe when he entered the Sound in 1792. Today it’s a favourite destination of sea kayakers who want to explore the various islands here, as well as stand up paddleboarders looking for an afternoon workout that includes some stunning scenery.
Howe Sound is North America’s southernmost fjord, home to salmon, seals, and orca whales, and surrounded by the towering peaks of the Coastal Mountains. Because of the mild coastal temperatures here, paddling can be enjoyed year-round. In fact, paddleboard guide Norm Hann says, “Some of the most spectacular times I have had paddling on Howe Sound have occurred in the winter months. Winds will shut off allowing for beautiful afternoons paddling glassy waters.” Howe Sound is an ideal place for paddleboarding, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. The fjord is home to chinook, coho, pink and sockeye salmon that can be caught at different times of year. Paddlers who launch from Porteau Cove Provincial Park should be sure to head north and keep their eyes for pictographs painted on a rock face on the north side of a small bay just past Furry Creek. Check out Gibsons – Sunshine Coast for information on the south end of Howe Sound, there are a variety of marine parks providing great multi-day trip opportunities.
Howe Sound stretches 43 kilometres from West Vancouver to Squamish where the fjord meets an inflow of fresh water at the estuary of the Squamish River. The forests surrounding Howe Sound are part of BC’s coastal temperate rainforest and within the Fjord there are several small islands to circumnavigate, including Gambier and Anvil. Being part of the Pacific Ocean, Howe Sound is the host to an immense array of marine life, most notably, the area is known to be frequented by orcas, porpoises, and humpback whales.
This is open water paddling and ocean conditions can change rapidly. Please consult with local outfitters or experienced guides for up-to-date information regarding water levels, currents, and hazards. Local outfitters listed below.
Gear & Safety
Paddlers should carry the usual safety gear and be aware not to approach any wildlife. Aside from your regular safety gear, it’s important to remember Howe Sound is an ocean environment prone to extreme shifts in weather and high winds. Always carry warm layers.
- In Squamish : Near Blue Heron Marina at Squamish Watersports or Xwu’nekw Park and Canoe Shelter
- Furry Creek Pictographs
- Porteau Cove Provincial Marine Park
- Anvil Island
- Gambler Island – Leave No Trace, home to approx 100 residents. No services
- Winds and Extreme Shifts in Weather
- Marine Park near Sunshine Coast Kayaking
- Boat traffic is moderate
- Horseshoe Bay
Here are the experts who will help perfect your paddling trip.
Norm Hann Expedition
Connect with nature while paddling along the coastline of the Great Bear Rainforest with guided tours from Norm Hann Expeditions.Learn More
Sea to Sky Expeditions
Book an unforgettable guided kayaking tour with Sea to Sky Expeditions.Learn More
Squamish Paddling Club
Squamish Paddling Club is perfect for paddlers that have a strong focus on the environment and keeping local waterways safe.Learn More
Squamish Rafting Company
The Squamish Rafting Company offers everything from whitewater rafting to family experiences on the Cheakamus River.Learn More
Squamish Water Sports
Explore the waters of Howe Sound while paddling, kiteboarding, and even wakeboarding there is something here for everyone!Learn More
Explore more in this community.
Every corner of BC has something unique to offer. From freshwater lakes on Vancouver Island to rafting on the whitewater of Squamish, you will never find a shortage of amazing paddling.