North American National Park #38: Gulf Islands, British Columbia

North American National Park #38: Gulf Islands, British Columbia
North American National Park #38: Gulf Islands, British Columbia

At only 24 square miles (62 km2) Gulf Islands is one of the smallest national parks in Canada. The islands lie between the city of Vancouver and Vancouver Island. It is also one of Canada’s newest national parks having been founded in 2003.

Park land is located on 15 different islands, some of which are entirely in the park and others which are partially in the park.

Three of the main islands (Mayne, Saturna and the Pender Islands) are accessible by car via the BC Ferry service from Vancouver Island. In the summer, you can visit the Sydney Spit on foot via a passenger ferry. (This is where I went and where the above photo was taken).

Given its location outside of the major cities of Vancouver and Victoria, the park is more recreational than wilderness. It makes for an excellent day trip from Vancouver or Victoria, although camping is allowed on some of the islands.