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Halkett Bay Marine Provincial Park
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
Dock is closed until further notice
The Halkett Bay dock was damaged in the last winter storm and is closed until further notice. Please monitor this page for updates.
About This Park
Located in scenic Howe Sound, Halkett Bay is typical of the glaciated coastline found in the sound. The steeply sloped mountains, rugged coastlines, and the scattered islands and waters of the sound offer a breathtaking visual experience.
Howe Sound has long been popular with pleasure boaters because of its close proximity to Vancouver, Sunshine Coast and Squamish population. Halkett Bay is currently used by boaters for both day-use and recreational activities such as swimming, wilderness camping, kayaking, picnicking, hiking to Mount Artaban and overnight moorage. The park provides one buoy, one dinghy dock and one pit toilet.
In 2016, a 136–hectare marine foreshore addition was established to protect the rare glass sponge reef southeast of Gambier Island.
Established Date: June 16, 1988
Park Size: 448 hectares (293 upland, 155 foreshore)
Know Before You Go
- Bring your own drinking water as potable water is not available in the park.
- There are no windsurfing opportunities at the park but the area called “The Spit” at the head of Howe Sounds near Squamish provides good windsailing.
- Waterskiing is not recommended. Floating debris such as logs in the water and changing tides, may create hazards.
- Only dinghys are permitted to tie up at the float.
- Tying up at any log booms in the bay is not recommended as the booms can be towed away at any time.
- There are no fires permitted within the park.
Location and Maps
Maps and Brochures
Nature and Culture
- History: Gambier Island is named after the Admiral of the Fleet James, Lord Gambier (1756–1833). Halkett Bay Provincial Park on its southeastern shore was established in June of 1988.
- Conservation: This park protects a rocky tidal coastline, a small islet and beaches. It also protects the Halkett Point glass sponge reef. This glass sponge reef is unique in that it is located in only 30 metres of water, making the park one of the few locations in the world where these reefs are accessible to both scientists and scuba divers.
- Wildlife: Bald eagle, western red-backed salamander, northern flying squirrel, black-tailed deer, marten, mink, raccoon, seals, and waterfowl can all be found in the park. The Annapolis artificial reef in the park not only provides habitat opportunities for marine life but also serves as a unique scuba diving opportunity.
Activities Available at this Park
For your own safety and preservation of the park, obey posted signs and keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure.
This park has hiking and/or walking trails. There is a moderately strenuous 10 km (approximately 6 hours) day hike to Mount Artaban through the Georgia Strait lowland forest with an elevation gain of 610 metres. At the top of Mount Artaban you can view out 360 degrees over Howe Sound and see such features as Black Mountain, Deeks Peak, the Tantalus and Garibaldi Ranges, Bowen Island and the San Juan Islands just to name a few. Also located on this site are the remnants of an old forest service lookout. A rough trail also leads to Brigade Bay on Gambier Island’s eastern shore.
Pets on Leash
Facilities Available at this Park
Pit or Flush Toilets
Marine backcountry camping is allowed. There are 3 developed boat-access-only campsites with picnic tables and 1 pit toilet. These walk-in sites are boat-accessible all year. No campfires are permitted anywhere within the park. No camping permitted on islands. Be sensitive to shoreline vegetation. Utilize only established campsites. There are no garbage services; you are responsible to pack out your garbage.
There is a small pocket of private property and development adjacent to the park – respect their property including their mooring facilities. The park is open year-round and winter camping is permitted in this park but campsites have limited services.
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).
Good anchorage is available without stern ties. The bay is open to the south. Keep in mind that there are a number of rocks that protrude above the water in the middle of the bay.
Chief marine hazards are a series of unmarked drying rocks and reefs in the bay’s northwest corner, and an unmarked rock at a depth of less than six (6’) feet in mid-fairway near the head. The favoured approach is to the steep eastern shoreline. Nearest marinas are located at Lions Bay and Horseshoe Bay.