Dionisio Point Park on quaint Galiano Island features rocky headlands flanked by sandy beaches and picturesque bays. Overlooking Porlier Pass, this park is accessible by boat only and provides opportunities for walk-in camping, fishing, boating, kayaking, wildlife viewing and scuba diving.
The forested uplands at Dionisio Point are rimmed by a varied and unique shoreline that includes sculpted sandstone shelves, pebble and sand beaches, and colorful wildflower meadows. Fast flowing tidal currents have created a rich intertidal life. Sea-stars, nudibranchs, and chitons can be seen in the tide pools, and at times large quantities of swimming scallop shells can be found on the beaches.
This Gulf Island park has a rich human history. Large mounds along the shores mark the shell middens (refuse heaps) that indicate native occupation dating back more than 3,000 years. Castaway shells left by centuries of harvesting formed berms on the foreshore of the park. These middens contain many of the archaeological clues that help to unravel the history of earlier cultures. The park also contains well documented archeological sites previously used by the Penelakut First Nation. These sites are fenced to the public and identified though interpretive signage at Maple Bay.
There are 30 hike-in sites in the park in two separate camping areas. Protect foodstuffs in tight containers to prevent raccoons and crows from stealing your provisions. 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.
Dionisio Point Park is open year-round and overnight camping fees apply.
The BC Parks backcountry permit registration service allows you to purchase a backcountry camping permit before leaving home. Although this does not reserve a campsite, it provides the convenience of prepaying for your trip and not having to carry cash. We encourage all visitors to register online so we can reduce the need to collect fees in the field.
Fees for overnight camping are also payable at self-registration vaults located at the information shelter.
This park has a day-use/picnic area in the vicinity of Coon Bay. Facilities include pit toilets, picnic tables, a cold water hand pump and an information shelter. Camping is not allowed in the day-use or picnic area.
This park has a number of pit toilets located adjacent to campsites and day-use areas.
Water System repairs and upgrades have been completed and water service in this park has resumed. A boil water advisory is in place for this water system. Water must be boiled for a minimum of 5 minutes, filtered or treated prior to consumption. Water is available from May 1 to September 30.
The park offers a number of hiking opportunities on trails leading through the forest and along the shoreline. Information shelters at the camping areas contain maps of park trails, which are maintained on a regular basis. For your own safety and the preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
There is no designated swimming area at this park, however sandy beaches do offer nice opportunities for ocean swimming. There are no lifeguards on duty.
Dionisio Park offers great opportunities for year-round viewing of marine life, including seals, sea lions, and otters, as well as shorebirds and Bald eagles.
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. Backcountry areas are not suitable for dogs or other pets due to the potential for encounters with wildlife.
Bicycles are permitted on some trails as identified on the park maps. Bicycles must remain on these identified trails and roadways. Bicycle helmets are mandatory in British Columbia.
Please note that bicycles with electric assist motors (e-bikes) are not allowed on the trails within Dionisio Point Park. E-bikes are restricted to park roads and areas where motorized use is permitted. The only exception to this policy will be for authorized and identified trail maintenance bikes conducting work on behalf of BC Parks.
An abundance of marine life due to a high current zone makes this a good spot for scuba diving. As currents are strong, this area is only recommended for experienced divers.
Dionisio Point Park is located on the northeast tip of Galiano Island overlooking Porlier Pass in the southern Gulf Islands. Access to the park is by boat only. Boaters can reference marine chart #3442, #3461, #3443 and #3473 for more information on this area.
Nearby communities include: Galiano Island, Saltspring Island, Mayne Island, Valdes Island, Victoria, Nanaimo, Duncan, and Vancouver.
This park proudly operated by:
K2 Park Services Ltd.
The arrival of Spanish explorer Captain Dionisio Alcala Galiano and his ship Sutil in 1792 marked the European discovery of the Gulf Islands. The name Dionisio Point first appeared on a British surveying chart around 1859. From the early 1900s to the 1960s the area was a summer camping spot for commercial inshore fishing families from Vancouver Island. Many of the descendants of these families still use Dionisio Point today, and have assisted with the management of the park.
The large mounds found along the shoreline mark the shell middens (refuse heaps) that indicate First Nations occupation dating back more than 3,000 years. Castaway shells left by centuries of harvesting form berms on the foreshore in many areas of the park. Middens contain many of the archaeological clues that help to unravel the stories of earlier cultures. Middens are protected under B.C. law, do not disturb these archaeological sites. This park contains well documented archeological sites previously used by the Penelakut First Nation. These sites are fenced to the public and identified though interpretive signage at Maple Bay.
The forest at Dionisio is of Douglas fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, and arbutus. Common understorey plants include salal, sword fern, and oregon grape. The wildflowers of the rocky headlands and thin-soiled meadows are most spectacular from February through June.
Dionisio Park is home to black tailed deer, raccoons and a variety of bird species, particularly in the winter, when visitors can spot Bald eagles, loons, grebes, scoters, golden eyes, and mergansers. Bonaparte’s Gulls also flock to the area in April and May and again in late summer.
The park is rimmed by a varied and beautiful shoreline, where fast flowing tidal currents have encouraged a rich intertidal life. At times large quantities of swimming scallop shells can be found on the beaches as well as a variety of intertidal organisms. Sea-stars, nudibranchs, and chitons can also be found.
BC Parks honours Indigenous Peoples’ connection to the land and respects the importance of their diverse teachings, traditions, and practices within these territories. This park webpage may not adequately represent the full history of this park and the connection of Indigenous Peoples to this land. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to update our websites so that they better reflect the history and cultures of these special places.