Tahsis is located approximately midway up Vancouver Island 63.5
km (40 miles) west of Gold River. Tahsis
is situated on the West Coast of Vancouver Island at the end of
a fjord called Tahsis Inlet.
The word Tahsis comes from the local First Nation Mowachaht word
'Tashees' or translated 'passage or gateway.' The Mowachaht have
lived in Nootka Sound and the immediate area for thousands of years
and consider the Tahsis Inlet as 'Land of Maquinna.' This refers
to Chief Maquinna, an ancestral and spiritual leader of the Mowachaht
who first met Captain James Cook in 1778.
to Sea Drive'
To get to Tahsis from Vancouver or Victoria by road you have to
travel to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
From there follow Hwy 19 north to Campbell River. From Campbell
River you then travel 94 km (59 miles) west on Hwy 28 to Gold
River. Once here look for the 'Road to Adventure' sign then take
the beautiful 'Tree to Sea Drive' to Tahsis.
Along the way from Gold River to Tahsis you'll travel this gravel
forest road through a beautiful temperate rain forest passing rivers,
creeks and two waterfalls called Calla and Three Sisters plus three
fresh water fishing lakes called Bull, Malaspina and Perry Lakes.
The road also has some very beautiful panoramic views available
especially looking at the various mountains and other waterfalls
along the way.
Also along the 'Tree to Sea Drive' approximately 18 km (11 miles)
west from Gold River on the Head Bay Forest Road are the Upana Caves.
The Upana Caves have both an organized tour and self-guided tour
available that take you through the various caves formed in sections
of the Quatsino Limestone Formation.
Tahsis' economical history relied heavily on the forestry industry
during the mid 1900's with the construction and operation of a saw
mill. Unfortunately, due to economic conditions in Japan, the mill
that specialized in Japanese dimension lumber, had to close in 1998.
This affected the livelihood of most residents in Tahsis with the
population falling from around 3,000 people to 300 - 500 residents,
depending on the season.
Today the residents of Tahsis enjoy a very tranquil life based on
retirement, eco-tourism and servicing visitors who want to try world-class
salmon fishing and boating found in the local waters.
Bay Marina and Campsite
Two favourite areas are found in Moutcha Bay where you can find
the Moutcha Bay Marina and Campsite and out of Tahsis Inlet towards
Blight Island near Nootka and Yuquot.
Marina & Lodge
If you would to try some of this world-class fishing and boating,
try visiting the full service marina in Tahsis called Westview Marina
& Lodge. The marina features a water taxi, kayak rentals, diesel,
gas, ice, bait, eco-tours plus a well-established fishing guide
business. At the lodge you can find laundry facilities, showers,
waterfront cabins and suites with beautiful ocean views.
Tahsis Days is the main festival celebration for the whole family
in the village happening annually in July. If you have kids they'll
surely love this fun-filled weekend in which the whole village of
Tahsis comes out to celebrate.
Referred to as 'North America's Toughest Pledge Walk,' the Great
Walk brings out young and old from all over Canada and the USA to
help raise money for various charities on Vancouver Island. Sponsored
by the local Lions Club, the Great Walk is a pledged walk that goes
from Gold River to Tahsis, a distance of around 63.5 km (40 miles).
For entertainment in Tahsis you can find a couple of pubs - the
Captain Cook's Pub in the Maquinna Resort and the Spar Tree Pub
in the Tahsis Motel.
If you're hungry Tahsis has a few cafés and places to eat
for you to try, the Millhouse Café, the Ocean View Café
which features home-style Chicken Curry on Saturdays and Sundays,
Marina Cantina featuring Mexican or Rosco's Steak and Seafood which
has a great view of the harbour and offers a daily buffet.
There are a couple of rustic campgrounds located near Tahsis if
you like camping. One is called Leiner River Campground which is
situated just before Tahsis around 3 km (2 miles). The other is
Conuma Campground which is about halfway to Gold River where you
can find the fish hatchery. Then, in Tahsis on South Maquinna Beach
Drive, there is the Seaside RV Campground which features more services
and is walking distance to town.
To service the various coastal communities on the West Coast of
Vancouver Island, the M.V. Uchuck III sails through Nootka
and Kyoquot Sounds. The M.V. Uchuck III offers a weekly service
from Gold River to Zeballos with stops along the way at Tahsis and
Friendly Cove through the summer months.
This trip was featured on Knowledge Network and is well worth the
money and has been a real favourite for many people throughout the
years. Various sailing options on the M.V. Uchuck III are
available throughout the year with opportunities for nature watching,
including bald eagles, whales, seals and sea birds. All of these
opportunities are available while aboard a working boat that is
delivering cargo to the various villages on the coast