A BC island getaway

bc island getaway cal wai

It’s the first day of fall! Before leaving summer behind, I want to reminisce on a beautiful summer hike in the Southern Gulf Islands of BC. What an amazing place for a daytrip or multi-day getaway, and it’s really not that far from Vancouver. On this occasion, we decided to hike to the top of Mount Galiano, on Galiano Island.

Driving Time: 2 hours (from Vancouver, including 1 hour ferry from Tsawwassen to Sturdies Bay, Galiano Island)
Park Fee: $0
Amenities: None
Trail: Mount Galiano Trail
Trail Length: 6.0 km roundtrip
Time: 2 hours, including plenty of time to take in the views at the top

A 1-hour ferry ride from the Tsawwassen ferry terminal on the Mainland takes you to Galiano Island. This is the first stop on the BC Ferries ride bound for the Gulf Islands. There are three different trails leading to the summit and we chose the closest one, Active Pass Drive Trailhead, which is just a 10-minute drive from Sturdies Bay ferry terminal.

sturdies bay ferry cal wai

Travel along Sturdies Bay Road, and turn left onto Georgeson Bay Road. Turn right onto Active Pass Drive, and the trailhead and parking lot are located at the end of the road.

mount galiano trailhead cal wai

The trail started off more strenuous than we expected. After getting off the ferry, we were still in island-relaxation-mode. Right off the bat, the trail was steep and you definitely feel the elevation gain. Fortunately, the trail leveled off (although it was still an uphill trek), especially in the second half where the trail ran along an old logging road.

The view at the summit was absolutely breathtaking! Sitting underneath an old Garry Oak tree and staring at the water, islands and ferries below was such a treat. I always yearned to encounter a viewpoint like this one in Ontario, but the geography just isn’t the same. Ontario has some amazing parks too, but the landscape is completely different. BC and Ontario are beautiful in their own unique ways.

mount galiano oak tree cal wai

mount galiano view cal wai

We retraced our steps for the descent down. On the drive back, we made a stop at Montague Harbour, which was a great place for a picnic lunch, another short hike, or plain doing nothing and enjoying the world around you.

montague harbour cal wai

There are so many other trails to explore on the Gulf Islands. On my wish list is a trip to SaltSpring Island, but that will have to wait for next time.

Helpful Research:
Gulf Islands Eh – This is where I got my instructions for the hike. The site has tons of great travel and adventure ideas for the Gulf Islands
Victoria Club Tread – Trail summaries and outdoor adventures on the Pacific Coast, including BC, Alberta and Washington state

Soundtrack of the Day:
Jets Overhead – No Nations

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© Calvina Wai 2015 | My Words