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
DISCOVERY ISLAND MARINE PROVINCIAL PARK IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AS OF APRIL 1st.
In response to the ongoing presence of a wolf on Discovery Island, BC Parks has installed informational signage throughout the park along with 2 food caches in the campground area.
The purpose of these new facilities is to help ensure the well being of the animal and continued public safety for park visitors.
With the re-opening of the park there are some important regulatory changes visitors should be aware of:
- Pets (dogs, cats, etc...) will no longer be permitted in the park. Pets are a strong attractant for wolves and their presence may lead to outcomes such as habituation of the wolf, injury or loss of life for the pet, and risks to public safety.
- The use of food caches for all foodstuffs and fragrant items, while camping in the park, is mandatory. Secure storage of foodstuffs and fragrant items will decrease the likelihood of the wolf becoming habituated to human presence.
BC Parks and the Conservation Officer Service will continue to monitor this situation closely. At this time the wolf appears healthy and is displaying characteristics consistent with that of a purely wild animal.
Your continued cooperation is requested to help maintain public safety and to keep this wild animal wild. This web page will be updated should there be any change in the status of this situation.
If you have questions or concerns please contact Joe Benning, BC Parks Area Supervisor at (250) 391-2315.
About This ParkExcellent kayaking opportunities make Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park a popular destination for visitors and local residents. The area is accessible from Victoria, where paddlers can launch from Cattle Point, just north of the Oak Bay Marina.
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.
- Park map [PDF 77KB]
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 PlanningManagement 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.
Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park is open year round.
BC Parks Backcountry Registration System allows you to pre-pay your overnight fees for backcountry and/or marine site usage, where designated. This system will not be used for vehicle accessible (ie front country) campgrounds or controlled back country permits (ie Bowron Lakes canoe circuit and Berg Lake Trail).