Explorer Captain Cook called Brooks Peninsula, located on northwest Vancouver Island, the “cape of storms”, however this provincial park also offers shelter, sandy beaches and a world-class wilderness experience to visitors.
On July 13, 2009 an agreement was reached between British Columbia and the Che:k’tles7et’h’ peoples to rename Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park to Mquqᷱin / Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park. The dual name celebrates the First Nations’ connection with the history and culture of the park. The word Mquqᷱin means “The Queen” in the Nuu-Chah-Nulth language.
The park also falls within the boundaries of the Quatsino First Nation, who support the renaming plan. This area is spiritually significant to these First Nations, and has long served as the traditional hunting and fishing grounds for the Che:k’tles7et’h’ peoples.
The unique geography of Brooks Peninsula offers everything from inter-tidal marine life to a sub-alpine mountain environment. This peninsula is distinctive in that it is the only part of Vancouver Island unaffected by the last ice age. Today, this coastal glacial refugium is home to a variety of rare plant species and unique geologic formations, providing unparalleled opportunities for scientific study.
Recreational opportunities include hiking, kayaking, boating and wildlife viewing. Visitors can see a variety of marine mammals in the area, including Gray whales, sea lions and sea otters. Seabirds, including Rhinoceros auklets and Marbled Murrelets, are found in abundance in this park, which features miles of remote, uninhabited sandy beaches and an old growth coastal rain forest.
Access to the adjacent Ecological Reserve on Solander Island is prohibited.
Wilderness camping is allowed, but there are no developed sites and no facilities are provided.
There is a primitive trail from Columbia Cove to the most easterly beach on the south coast of the peninsula, which takes an average of 20 minutes to hike. From this beach more adventurous explorers can link a series of high tide routes between headlands – these will eventually end up near the westerly tip of the peninsula. An additional hiking route can be found near the top end of Ououkinsh Inlet, up the lower Power River to Power Lake.
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.
The waters around Mquqᷱin / Brooks Peninsula Provincial Park offer world-class kayaking and canoeing. Opportunities for relatively sheltered paddling exist from Columbia Cove east to Nasparti and Ououkinsh Inlets and Johnson Lagoon. Paddlers wishing to explore Johnson Lagoon should be very aware of tidal fluctuations and dangerous currents around the mouth of the lagoon. These areas of the park are more suitable for beginner to intermediate kayakers.
For the more adventurous ocean kayaker, journeys around Brooks Peninsula are possible.
Paddlers should take the ebb and flow of tides into consideration and be prepared for heavy fog at any time. Most kayakers launch from Fair Harbour, though the use of water taxis is becoming more and more popular as a method of quickly reaching the park. These can be found in Kyuquot and Zeballos.
Salt water fishing is popular in this park, particularly for salmon, rockfish and halibut. Power Lake, accessed via Ououkinsh Inlet, offers opportunities for fresh water fishing.
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. Anyone fishing or angling in British Columbia must have an appropriate licence.
Portions of this park are open to hunting for specific species. Hunters must have valid licences and tags. Please refer to the current Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis publication for closures and regulations.
The park is located approximately 20 km southwest of Port Alice on northwest Vancouver Island and is accessible primarily by boat, north from Quatsino Sound and south from Kyuquot Sound. Boaters can reference marine chart #3683 (Checleset Bay) and #3680 (Brooks Bay) for more information on this area. The use of water taxis and air charters is becoming more and more popular as a method of quickly reaching the park. These can be found in Kyuquot and Zeballos.
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.