Visitor InformationBring your own water, as potable water is not available in the park.
Campfires are not permitted at this park due to lack of firefighting equipment available on the island. Bring a portable stove for cooking.
Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
May 16, 2017: Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park will reopen for day-use activities only on Friday, May 19, 2017
No overnight camping is permitted at this time. Please be advised that all dogs and domestic pets are not allowed anywhere within Discovery Island Park - violators may be subject to fines or penalties. You can help BC Parks by following our important wolf safety guidelines before visiting the Park. Park Rangers and Conservation Officers will be patrolling the area to facilitate public education and monitoring.
For more helpful information on wolf safety guidelines, please visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/misc/wolves/wolfsaf.html
September 19, 2016: Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park will be temporarily closed to public visitation
Due to a recent wolf/human interaction at Discovery Island Provincial Park, the Conservation Officer Service (COS) has recommended to BC Parks that the park be closed to visitation for the Fall/Winter season (approximately 6 months). During this time the COS in co-operation with BC Parks will conduct behavioral assessments on the animal to determine if there are any public safety concerns.
We anticipate re-opening the park in Spring 2017. This page will be updated as new information is known concerning closure status, schedule for park re-opening, or if circumstances will require extension of the closure period.
Your co-operation with this closure is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your understanding and please feel free to contact BC Parks with any questions or concerns.
About This Park
Kayakers paddling between Oak Bay and Discovery Island will be delighted by the wildlife along this route, which features a sensitive seabird nesting area and ecological reserve. Sightings of seals, sea lions, otters and Bald eagles are common around the park. Paddlers should be aware that these waters can be treacherous, as strong currents and frequent winds create dangerous conditions, including rip tides. Crossings are best made at slack tide in calm weather.
Discovery Island is a popular kayaking and camping destination for school groups and kayak instruction groups, who have experienced guides on hand. The park features a large, open field, southwest of Pandora Hill, where campers can set up a tent. The only facilities provided are a pit toilet, information shelter and picnic tables. Campfires are not permitted on Discovery Island.
A hiking trail system runs from the lighthouse on Sea Bird Point to the western shore of the park, where hikers can hike up Pandora Hill for sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains and surrounding area. In the spring, a colourful array of wildflowers blooms in the woodlands and meadows.
Boaters should be aware that there is no safe anchorage and no moorage in the park - the closest safe harbour is in Oak Bay. Mariners should exercise extreme caution, as the main access to the park is via the rock and reef-strewn Rudlin Bay, which is exposed to the elements from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait.
The northern portion of Discovery Island, adjacent Chatham Island and some of the smaller islands nearby are First Nations Reserve lands. Please respect these areas. Several of the nearby islands constitute parts of the Oak Bay Island’s Ecological Reserve. These habitats are extremely sensitive to human disturbance and vulnerable to the introduction of non-native animal or plant species. Please do not enter into these areas.
Park Size: 61 hectares
- Pets (dogs, cats, etc...) are not permitted in the park.
- Use of food caches for all foodstuffs and fragrant items while camping is mandatory.
- There is no vehicle access to this park. Access is by water only.
- A mooring buoy in the park is for BC Parks staff use only.
- There is no safe anchorage in the park area. Mariners should exercise extreme caution, as the main access to the park is via the rock and reef-strewn Rudlin Bay, which is exposed to the elements from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait.
- Sensitive meadows areas. Stay on designated trails and camp only in the designated camping area.
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Maps and BrochuresAny maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Nature and Culture
- History: Discovery Island takes its name from Captain George Vancouver’s ship, the HMS Discovery. However it was the late Captain E.G. Beaumont who made the park a reality when he donated the land he lived on to the province. The property, encompassing the southern half of the island, was designated as a park in 1972. The lighthouse at Sea Bird Point on the eastern end of Discovery Island marks the junction of Haro and Juan De Fuca Straits. These two straits form the border between Canada and the United States. The lighthouse was built in 1886 and manned for 110 years before being fully automated in 1996. Sea Bird Point was named after an American paddle steamer which caught fire and was run aground in 1858 to save the lives of the crew.
- Cultural Heritage: The Northern portion of Discovery Island, adjacent Chatham Island and some of the smaller islands nearby are Indian Reserve lands. Please respect these areas.
- Conservation: The shoreline vegetation consists of grasses, native wildflowers and red and blue listed species. Beyond the fields is thick forest vegetation. These woodland and coastal bluff ecosystems represent the dry Gulf Island sub zone characterized by the Coastal Douglas fir biogeoclimatic zone.
- Management Planning Information
- Online Management planning information for this park is not available at this time.
Activities Available at this Park
Rockfish Conservation Areas occur within this park. Fishing activities are limited in Rockfish Conservation Areas. Before you go fishing please refer to the Rockfish Conservation Area descriptions available from Fisheries and Oceans Canada DFO.
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
The use of onsite food caches for all foodstuffs and fragrant items is MANDATORY. Please practice “Leave No Trace” camping ethics. Garbage facilities are not provided; visitors must pack out all of their garbage.
Please ensure you camp and hike in designated areas. Human disturbance of the vegetation leads to erosion of the sensitive shoreline and the potential destruction of archeological sites.
Fees for overnight camping apply year round and are payable at self registration vaults, located at the information shelter or through the Backcountry Registration System.