Why Kayak Johnstone Strait?
Johnstone Strait is one of the best places on earth to sea kayak in the realm of Killer Whales. Viewing these whales in the wild is an incredible experience. Most of British Columbia's 230 (apx) Northern Resident Killer Whales return to these waters to feed, sleep, play, and rub their bodies on the pebble beaches of the world-famous Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. Viewing these friendly orca whales while kayaking and immersing yourself in their habitat, Johnstone Strait, is a truly unique and special experience. Sharing this habitat are playful dolphins, sea lions, harbour seals, minke whales, eagles and black bears. Sea kayaking in the realm of orca whales is one of life's most amazing experiences.
What a thrill to be surrounded by the Orca pods!! Total thrill of a life time."The Gerkings, USA
40 Years as Johnstone Strait's Favourite Camp
For over 40 years the Spirit of the West Camp has been the premier location to view killer whales, dating back to a time when a group of musicians camped here in the '60's. From the very bluffs where our tents now stand, the musicians would play their wind and string instruments as a way of communicating with the killer whales. They chose this site above all others for its unmatched beauty and of course the close proximity to the areas frequented by Killer Whales.
In 1997 the Spirit of the West camp became the first permanent sea kayaking camp in Johnstone
Strait. We chose this site as it provides our guests with the best opportunity to see the killer whales. Each tour date has different sightings depending on where these wild whales choose to roam, but we are often spoiled with whales passing directly in front of our camp, just meters below our tents, feeding on the abundant salmon.
Getting to Camp by Boat
Traveling to our private base camp by boat from our base on Quadra Island is one of the highlights of this tour. Maximizing our time on the wildlife rich waterways of Johnstone Strait is the priority on the Johnstone Strait Ultimate tour. While it is a cost saving to drive two hours on the highway to where other groups/companies launch, we believe traveling by boat to our remote camp is worth it. Traveling the two hours by boat means you do not miss the chance to see killer whales, humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises and black bears along the way. This trip is about spending more time on the waterways not highways.
Spirit of the West Adventures is committed to environmental sustainability and donates 1% of all sales to One Percent for the Planet. Read more about our environmental commitment and practices.
- Because of the popularity of this tour all our departures are guaranteed.
- We have the highest guide to client ratio on the coast. Spoiling you is our priority.
- Amazing sunsets, a hot tub overlooking the ocean, a hot shower, fresh wild salmon, and night paddles to see the magical bioluminescence.
- Our closest neighbour is the Killer Whale research station, the only other camp sharing our incredible view into the orca reserve.
- All of our tours depart from Campbell River or Quadra Island, which is less expensive to get to than other departure points.
Sea Kayak Tour Overview
Sea kayaking and base camping in this prime orca viewing area, makes this our most popular tour. This tour offers you the best opportunity for viewing the orcas in the wild. We begin our tour from Campbell River where we board our high speed water taxi 'the Orca Express'. Enjoy spectacular scenery as we travel up the Inside Passage and through the world-famous Seymour Narrows. We are delivered to our base camp regardless of wind or waves (except in extreme weather). From here we explore and enjoy our days in the realm of killer whales.
Spirit of the West Adventures is the first and only sea kayaking base camp with a hot tub! We use the the healing and soothing properties of the salt water from Johnstone Strait which is heated by driftwood collected from nearby beaches.
Luxury camping and whales,
an incredible trip."The Globe and Mail
Why our guests call it five star camping...
- Gourmet menu including wild salmon barbecue on day one.
- Hot tub overlooking Johnstone Strait.
- Submerged hydrophone set offshore so we can listen to the Orcas as they pass by our camp. Listen to whales now - sample three families: A pod I pod G pod
- A hot shower with unlimited hot water, that gets rave reviews for its ocean views.
- Our guides are trained in wilderness first aid, nature interpretation, advanced kayaking and most importantly they are fun to be with!
- A fleet of both single and double kayaks at camp. First rate equipment used on all tours.
The Johnstone Straight tour could easily be described as luxury camping, with
fine dining.Stacy Wallace
Sales Representative, Travel Wise
We are often treated to sightings of whales right from our camp. It is a great experience to watch them while enjoying a morning coffee or listening to them pass by at night from your tent.
Spirit of the West is once again leading the way in kayaking comfort. Our wood fired hot tub adds a whole new level of comfort. Imagine a hot soak after a day of kayaking; or the possibility of watching a pod of killer whales or a humpback whale, as in the photo at left, swim by.
The islands near our camp have large black bear populations. We often see them forage on the beach from our kayaks.
One of the most outstanding features on this tour is our permanently set up campsite. All tents are set on red cedar platforms offering you a level, comfortable and dry home. We use high quality 4 person tents per couple. We also have tents designed for solo travelers.
Each tent location was chosen for it's spectacular views. It is not uncommon for the Killer Whales to pass within 50 feet of your door step!
"With my dietary limitations, everyone at Spirit of the West went out of their way to make delicious food. I have never gotten service like that before. "Carmen Petrick
Spirit of the West considers food to be a very important part of your tour. From our wild sockeye salmon dinner to our chocolate fondue for desert there are few camp menus that compare to the one you will experience at Johnstone Strait Ultimate base camp.
We can accommodate your dietary needs. We employ wonderful full time kitchen staff who ensure all dietary needs are met. We provide creative culinary alternatives that will please vegetarians, vegans, gluten and wheat-free diets, and those with allergies and various food sensitivities.
$1269$885$625$970 Exchange rates will be calculated at time of booking based on current rates of exchange.
Start: Quadra Island or Campbell River
Skill level: Easy
- Kayak in the realm of the Killer Whales
- Base camp overlooking Johnstone Strait
- Whales swimming past your tent at night
- Hot tub and shower with a view