8 Day itinerary in Canada, North America

Sunshine Coast Trail

This hike starts at Sandy Point in lush Arbutus laden forests on Desolation Sound, a great spot for whale watching, travels past Powell Lake, over Tinhat Mountain and along a subalpine ridge before dropping back down to the Salish Sea. We’ll hike through some of the last remaining old growth Fir and... Read More

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By Monte


Physical Difficulty


Recommended Age


Operated in



Tour Guide

starting point

Sunshine Coast Regional District

trip type


trip attributes


Outdoors & Nature






Easy trekking with light packs


Amazing Views


Huts for most nights


Great food


Camping Accommodation expand_more

Day 1

place Sarah Point to Manzanita Hut

After a good night's sleep and large breakfast, we head out for two nights on the trail. No more than 100 meters from the front door of the hotel, and we are in our water taxi for a 20-minute ride along the coast, hopefully past a pod of whales, and we arrive at Sarah point. We’ll snap a few group photos with Mount Washington and Vancouver Island in the background and begin our hike. Ascending from Sarah Point, don’t forget to look between the trees for views of Desolation sound. Perhaps we’ll spot another pod of Whales. As we ascend, there’s a special tree to take note of, the Arbutus. It’s smooth, thin, reddish-brown bark stands out against its neighboring evergreens and the blue of the Salish Sea. We walk past Hinder lake and Malaspina Lake, both of which are home to beavers who are apt to slap their tails in warning as hikers go by. We end our day at the semi open Manzanita Hut. Our chef and porter have already arrived, and we’ve made it into time for a snack as we wind down with arbutus lined views of the Copeland Islands, Savary Island, and the Salish Sea. If energy allows, for dessert perhaps we’ll have a sip of the indigo colored Empress 1908 Gin made not far from us, in Victoria, BC.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


  • Camping Accommodation: Manzanita Hut
Day 2

place Manzanita Hut to Rievely’s Pond Hut

We start the day with a morning coffee with a view of the Salish Sea. Today, we are walking from the Manzanita hut to the Rievely’s Pond Hut. Our hike takes us through some of the densest forests we will see this whole trip. Old growth Fir and Cedar mixed with stands of Ponderosa Pine. We’ll venture deep into fern forests and over log bridges. It won’t matter too much if it rains today, as this is very dense rain forestand the trees provide an incredible amount of cover. The Rievely’s Pond Hut, like the Manzanita Hut, is a semi-open hut. The upper section is closed in on all sides and accessed by a small set of stairs. We’ll sleep in a row on mattresses and sleeping bags. The lower part of our hut is open to the elements. Our chef and porter have arrived ahead of us and prepared a welcome snack and reserved as many spots in the hut as possible. The Rievely’s Pond hut is nicknamed the Frog Chorus hut and at dusk we’ll find out why.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


  • Camping Accommodation: Rieveley Pond Hut
Day 3

place Rievely’s Pond Hut to Powell River

It’s another beautiful day on the Sunshine Coast Trail. Our trail finds us zigzagging through further head high fern and views of desolation sound. We finish our hike today on the shores of Lake Powell, a dammed fjord Lake that is 50km by 24km. On its shores we will grab a beer and dinner at a repurposed Shinglemill which was originally built in 1913. Now aptly named the Shinglemill Pub.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


  • Camping Accommodation: Powell River Town Centre Hotel
Day 4

place Powell River to Confederation Lake Hut

Today begins with an easy walk out of town along Powell Lake and then the inland lake. The final part of our day sees us ascending a dirt path that eventually greets an old logging road that is now mostly grown over. You would be hard-pressed to get an ATV on our path now, nevermind a logging truck. This is a steep track, though it is not a complex one. Our arrival snack at Confederation Lake Hut will be well-earned. The Confederation Lake hut is our first enclosed hut. As such, it is entirely walled in, but you’d be wasting the lakeside benches in front of the hut by lingering inside. Our chef will prepare another gourmet backcountry meal as we sit by the lake and enjoy a great afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


  • Camping Accommodation: Confederation Lake Hut
Day 5

place Confederation Lake Hut to Tinhat Hut

Today is our first tougher day. From the hut, we traverse over to Vomit Vista, which is likely named for someone who climbed up from sea level and didn’t even stop at the lake. After a short break at Vomit Vista where we can peak through the trees at Powell Lake we begin our long descent towards Fiddlehead Landing. Though not as steep as yesterday’s climb, we have a few steep sections, but the trail is well switch backed so the it keeps a somewhat gentle grade. After two to three hours, we arrive at a literal crossroads. Left and down will take us to Fiddlehead Hut on Powell Lake, but our goals are much loftier, so we head straight. Outside of day 8, this is our biggest limb of the trip. We will be under forest canopy for nearly the whole way as we ascend, and this will help us on either a rainy day or a hot and sunny day. The Tinhat hut and it’s 360 degree views are our final destination. It is without a doubt a tough climb, but the views up top will remove any doubt as to why you climbed to the top.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


  • Camping Accommodation: Tin Hat Cabin
Day 6

place Tinhat Hut to Elk Lake Hut

If you are going to wake up for sunrise, this is the spot to do it. With views of Nanaimo, Mount Washington, Desolation Sound, and more, we doubt you will get as spectacular a view anywhere else at this low in elevation (1185m). We begin our hike walking along a sub alpine ridge towards Lewis Lake. For a majority of the morning we’ll be hiking through bush, scrub and subalpine trees that will allow us to keep our view of all the surrounding waters as we approach Lewis Lake. Pay attention to your foooting, the trail can be a little rough and the views willd demand your gaze away. Today, we’ll have lunch at Lewis Lake. If it’s too hot, it’s time for a mid-day dip. We’ll continue on to our awaiting chef at the Elk Lake hut where if you missed your swim at Lewis Lake you ‘ll have another chance.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


  • Camping Accommodation: Elk Lake Cabin
Day 7

place Elk Lake Hut to Powell River

Out seventh day on the trail is a little bit of a shorter one It undulates quite a bit before arriving at Walt Hill. This is a perfect spot for lunch and our chance to soak in some of the last sun rays of the summer. We’ll continue walking downhill until we meet our transport vehicle or we can continue all the way back down to Lake Powell.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


  • Camping Accommodation: Powell River Town Centre Hotel
Day 8

place Mount Troubridge Loop or Fishing / Whale Watching

It’s our final day on the sunshine coast trail, and we’ve a few options today. For those of us whose legs still aren't tired we’ll take a taxi out towards Saltery Bay, the main arrival point for “mainlanders” and where the classic Canadian TV show The Beachcombers was filmed. We’ll hike to the top of Troubridge Mountain, the highest point of the Sunshine Coast Trail. This is the toughest day hike of the trip. With … meters to gain and some very large steps. If it has rained recently, the trail sometimes represents a stream. On a clear day it is all worth it as we’ll have the rocky tree-ringed peak to ourselves. What goes up must now come down, and down we will go. All the way to the seaside. We will walk along the ocean side, darting in and out and up and down along the coastline, and it’s forest before being picked up on a forestry road and being driven back to our hotel in Powell River. For those that want a totally different experience, you’ll wake up and head to the ocean. You’ve two choices today, whale watching or fishing.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

What’s Included

Accommodation expand_less

  • Manzanita Hut
  • Rieveley Pond Hut
  • Powell River Town Centre Hotel
  • Confederation Lake Hut
  • Tin Hat Cabin
  • Elk Lake Cabin

Meals expand_less

  • Breakfast (8)
  • Lunch (8)
  • Dinner (8)

Transport expand_less

  • Water taxi to start of the trail

Activities expand_less

  • Activities as listed on the itinerary

Extras expand_less

  • Porter to carry camping equipment
  • Local Cook
  • Group safety equipment
  • Black Sheep Adventure Sports hat

Not Included expand_less

  • Hotel in Lund and Powell River (we can help with booking)
  • Personal equipment (boots, backpack, etc. – rentals are available)
  • Extras like boat charters
  • Food when in town

About Monte


verified Baboo Certified

Mountain Guide that works full-time skiing, mountaineering & climbing from his home base in Squamish, BC. He loves to ski anywhere the snow's good and spends the rest his time climbing and mountaineering.

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