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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > The Islands  > Winter Harbour 

Winter Harbour
The Village of Winter Harbour is located 73 km (46 miles) west of Port Hardy on the north-western tip of Vancouver Island.

Travelling Here
To get here, you have to travel from Port Hardy on the well-marked gravel Holberg Road. From Holberg, watch for the continuing signs to Cape Scott Provincial Park and Winter Harbour through the village then, once past the Salmon Hatchery, watch for the turn south and travel on a very rough gravel forestry road to Winter Harbour.

Sheltered Harbour
Winter Harbour is a small community mostly relying on the guiding and fantastic sport fisheries in the adjacent water on Vancouver Island's northern west coast. It started off in the late 1800's as an outpost for passage to and from the communities off Cape Scott and Quatsino Sound. The sheltered harbour provided a safe passage for sailing vessels plying the waters off British Columbia.

Wooden Boardwalk
The small village, like a lot of other BC coastal communities, was built near or on docks with wooden boardwalks on stilts connecting the residences and buildings along the waterfront. This is the easiest method for getting around in Winter Harbour and brings a number of potential opportunities for wildlife and scenery viewing or photography along the waterfront.

Kwaksistah Regional Park
There is a campground operated by the Mount Waddington Regional District as soon as you enter Winter Harbour from the road coming from Holberg. It is called Kwaksistah Regional Park and offers, for a small fee, some very large somewhat private sites amongst a fairly damp west coast atmosphere. There are few amenities but it does have pit-toilets and somewhere to put garbage, although not the proper bear-proof style, a concrete boat launch for small crafts, areas for fires and two sheltered barbecues.

First Nations
Kwaksistah Regional Park is also the site of a very historic First Nations meeting place. Readily available to the ocean, the site features 150-year-old cedar stumps, possibly used by the habitants for dugout canoe use. The Kwaksistah Regional Park is dedicated to the memories of Billy and Jessie George who were lost at sea on July 8, 1969. A lot of the carvings in the BC Centennial project are by Billy's nephew, Simon Wallace.

The Outpost at Winter Harbour
For supplies and help, there is a small store called the Outpost at Winter Harbour that has a few grocery items, fishing gear, bait, available moorage, boat fuel, a liquor agency and some very unique items for sale. The owners are very friendly, offer guide service from here plus accommodation including some RV sites and the building seems to be the main social point in Winter Harbour.

Qualicum Rivers Fishing Resort
There are a number of guiding services that operate out of Winter Harbour including the Outpost. Qualicum Rivers Fishing Resort operates a large facility along the waterfront next to the Winter Harbour Harbour Authority. Qualicum Rivers Fishing Resort always seems to have a buzz about it from the guests, especially in times of good fishing.

Winter Harbour Lodge
You can find other guide services and moorage available through Winter Harbour Lodge. The lodge is only 10 minutes away from the fishing grounds and is situated next to the general store at the Outpost and the fuel docks. The Winter Harbour Lodge also has a number of waterfront RV sites.

Gordon Stuart Memorial Building
In Winter Harbour you can find a small library and community room located at the Gordon Stuart Memorial Building. As cell phone service does not work in Winter Harbour, you can also find a much-needed public phone here.

Cape Scott Provincial Park
For exploring in the area, try visiting the hike into San Josef Bay from the Cape Scott Provincial Park parking lot, located approximately 35 km (22 miles) from Winter Harbour. Here you can find a hike into a beautiful sandy beach with a number of wildlife viewing opportunities.

Rough Road
If you are travelling by vehicle, especially by RV or with a boat or trailer, store everything away securely or expect to have a few items dislodged in your unit as you make your way to Winter Harbour as the road can be very rough, sometimes taking up to 1.5 hours travel time all depending on the vehicle used, road conditions, the weather and the unexpected. You can also expect to see Black Bears in habituating the bush along the road going into Winter Harbour.

Information on Winter Harbour

 

 

Not For Navigation
Not For Navigation

 

Welcome to Winter Harbour
Welcome to Winter Harbour

 

Winter Harbour
Winter Harbour

 

Kwaksistah Regional Park
Kwaksistah Regional Park

 

The Outpost at Winter Harbour
The Outpost at Winter Harbour

 

Qualicum Rivers Fishing Resort
Qualicum Rivers Fishing Resort

 

Fisheries Buying Station
Fisheries Buying Station

 

Qualicum Rivers Fishing Resort
Qualicum Rivers Fishing Resort

 

Guide Boats
Guide Boats

 
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