Gibson Marine Provincial Park
About This Park
Located adjacent to Flores Island Provincial Park on Flores Island, Gibson Provincial Marine Park offers sheltered anchorage in Matilda Inlet. The park is home to a natural warm spring, contained in an open concrete tank, located on the shores of Matilda Inlet. A non-maintained historic route connects the warm springs, which are considered to be of therapeutic value, to the broad sandy beaches at Whitesand Cove. This route once provided access to a life-saving telegraph line and an old homestead.
Gibson Marine, immediately south of the Nuu-chah-nulth community of Ahousat, also provides access to the “Walk the Wild Side” route, a route that extends 10 km from Ahousat to Cow Bay. Most of the route follows sandy beaches and trails cut across headlands to join with the next beach. At this time, muddy and slippery sections are present on this route.
Visitors from around the world come to explore Clayoquot Sound, and Flores Island is one of the most popular destinations for kayakers, who can find ample opportunities for camping and wildlife viewing from the Island’s beautiful sandy shores.
Established Date: November 30, 1967
Park Size: 143 hectares
Know Before You Go
Wolf advisory for Flores Island and Gibson Marine Provincial Park
It is imperative that park visitors going to Flores Island:
- Be extremely mindful about how they store their food as wolves have learned how to get into kayak hatches;
- Have equipment available to hang food in the event food caches are full.
- Due to high frequency of wolves coming into campsites during the night, BC Parks is advising against campers sleeping outside their tents.
- Park visitors are advised to not bring pets to Flores Island. Dogs are a high level attractant to wolves and other large carnivores. Protect your pet – keep them at home.
- Please do your part when recreating in wolf country and help keep wolves wild. Please click the links for specific information on how to avoid wolf encounters and to practice proper backcountry etiquette.
- If you encounter an aggressive wild animal, report it by calling the Conservation Officer Service 24-hour hotline toll free at 1 877 952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the Telus Mobility Network.
- Bring your own drinking water as potable water is not available in the park. There are two freshwater creeks in the park, but all surface water must be boiled, filtered or treated prior to consumption.
- The trail is best accessed from the village of Ahousaht. Water taxis to Ahousaht generally depart numerous times a day, from the 1st Street dock in Tofino.
- There are currently no BC Parks fees to camp within Gibson Marine Provincial Park. For more information or to purchase permits to hike the Walk the Wildside Trail, please contact the administration office at email@example.com or call 1 250 670-6803.
Guiding in Parks
- In Provincial Parks, any person acting as a guide or offering guiding services, including vessel drop-offs, must hold a valid Park Use Permit (Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area Regulation, Section 4). Please ensure the company you hire is legally operating in the park.
- Tsunamis are a series of unusually big waves caused by a large-scale disturbance of a body of water. If you are on the beach and feel strong shaking from an earthquake or if the water suddenly recedes, move immediately to higher ground (greater than 15 metres or 45 feet above the tide line). There is no way to be certain how high a tsunami is going to be. The first wave to arrive at the coast is often not the largest, and each wave may be separated by up to an hour or more. Waves may continue for up to twelve hours, so you must stay on high ground until advised otherwise. Do not go to the beach to watch.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
Activities Available at this Park
Pets on Leash
Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to wildlife issues and the potential for problems with wolves, bears and cougars. Pets/domestic animals must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed in beach areas or park buildings. You are responsible for their behaviour and must dispose of their excrement.
There have been incidents involving wolves killing dogs in this park. BC Parks is strongly advising park visitors to not bring their dogs to the park.