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Bishop Bay - Monkey Beach Conservancy
About This Conservancy
Bishop Bay-Monkey Beach Conservancy protects one of the most popular marine hot springs and boat anchorage site along the Inside Passage. Local boaters, as well as those going to or coming from Alaska, commonly stop at Bishop Bay for hot springs soaking, safe anchorage, picnics and camping.
This very popular recreation site includes a boat dock and ramp, boardwalk, tent platforms, pit toilet, and bath house for soaking. The Monkey Beach area also protects a number of attractive small beaches, camping spots, important intertidal habitats and traditional shellfish harvesting areas by local First Nations.
Mooring Buoys: In September 2010, BC Parks with the help of Canada Coast Guard, installed two mooring buoys at the end of Bishop Bay. In June 2015, a third mooring buoy was installed with the help of Canada Coast Guard.
Special Feature: A bath house is provided so that park visitors may enjoy soaking in the warm and odorless hot springs water. The hot springs water comes out of the ground from a crevice in the granodiorite bedrock beside the bath house. It flows out at a rate of about 32.4 litres per minute. Water temperature at the source is about 41.3 degrees Celsius and about 38.8 degrees Celsius in the bath house.
Know Before You Go
- There are no roads or trails in this wilderness area.
- This conservancy is closed to Grizzly Bear hunting.
- The water in the hot springs is not suitable for drinking.
- To prevent overcrowding and damage to the dock and shifting of dock anchors, boats over 11 metres (36 feet) are requested to anchor offshore.
- Please only use soap and shampoo in the outer tub/pool. This will help to keep the water cleaner in the inner soaking tub/pool.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
- Bishop Bay – Monkey Beach Conservancy map [PDF 1.14MB]
- Reference: Marine Chart #3743 (Douglas Channel)
- Reference: 1:50,000 scale Topographic Map #103 H/7 (Ursula Channel) and #103 H/10 (Devastation Channel)
- Lakelse Douglas Channel Area map [PDF 1.87MB]
- Marine Hot Springs of Coastal BC Brochure [PDF] (for Viewing)
- Marine Hot Springs of Coastal BC Brochure [PDF] (Duplex Print Version)
Nature and Culture
- History: Bishop Bay-Monkey Beach Conservancy was designated as a conservancy on July 14, 2006, with the Monkey Beach area added on May 31, 2007 following recommendations from the North Coast Land and Resource Management Plan. Prior to being designated as a Conservancy in 2006, Bishop Bay hot springs was a BC Forest Service Recreation Site maintained by the North Coast Forest District out of Prince Rupert. The hot springs bath house was originally built in the 1960s by volunteers from the Kitimat Yacht Club.
- Cultural Heritage: The conservancy is in the asserted traditional territories of the Haisla, Gitga’at and Gitxaala Nations. The conservancy contains five known archaeological sites (pre-contact shell middens, plank house depressions, faded pictographs) and has historically been used for the traditional harvest of shellfish and trapping by local First Nations. Monkey Beach got its name from legendary sightings of monkey-like creatures (Sasquatch) by local First Nations.
Use the below links for more information or to contact these First Nations.
- Conservation: The conservancy protects an area of cultural and historical value to the local First Nations as well as high recreational use and old-growth forests of red cedar and hemlock, portions of small coastal streams and coastal wildlife habitat that includes the marine foreshore and intertidal areas.
- Wildlife: Bears, wolves, and sometimes deer can be seen along the shoreline. Humpback whales, killer whales, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions and harbour seals can also be seen in the adjacent marine waters. Kermode bears are commonly seen on Gribbell Island, to the west of the conservancy.
Activities Available at this Conservancy
Facilities Available at this Conservancy
Cabins / Huts / Yurts
Prior approval is needed for the use of the Haisla Nation cabins. Please contact the Haisla Nation at 250 639-9361 (ext. 207 or 213).
Two trapper’s cabins built by the Haisla Nation are available for public use. The cabins are 15’ x 12’ with 2 double bunk beds, and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Be prepared to sleep outside if the cabins are full. There are sheltered boat anchorages near both cabin locations.
- One cabin is located by the creek mouth in Bishop Cove.
- The other is located at Monkey Beach, behind a small tombolo island about halfway between Riordan Point and Bishop Cove. There is no fresh water source by this cabin.
A third Haisla cabin is located outside of the conservancy, but nearby in Boxer Reach, on the east side of Gribbell Island, on a gravel spit about 1.25 nautical miles NW of Riordan Point. There is no fresh water source by this cabin.
Bishop Bay hot springs has a day-use/picnic area. Facilities include a covered 8 ft. x 16 ft. cement bathhouse for soaking in hot springs water, one composting pit toilet, four tent platforms and three mooring buoys.
The UTM coordinates for the hot springs and bath house are: Zone 09U; 5924660 m North; 0510822 m East. The three mooring buoys at the end of Bishop Bay are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Pit or Flush Toilets
GPS: Lat. 53° 28’ 14” North; Long. 128° 50’ 12” West
Pool Water Temperature: 40°C
Facilities: Wood frame and concrete block bathhouse (8’ x 16’) just above high tide line with two soaking pools.
Overflow water from the larger covered inside pool feeds a smaller pool outside. Bathhouse has a change room with bench and coat hooks. Facilities also include a deck, dock, mooring buoys, composting pit toilet, boardwalk trail, four tent platforms and information shelter.
Comments: The waters are odorless. Boats over 36 ft. are requested to anchor offshore and not tie up to the small dock. Use soap and shampoo only in the outer pool.