Canada Accommodation,
Northern British Columbia

Wilderness Retreat Base Camp


The Wilderness Retreat base camp is a relaxed ‘glamping’ experience run by West Coast expeditions kayak tour company.

Reaching the camp is worth the journey, and scenic in itself. Perched on the edge of Canada, the Wilderness Retreat base camp on Spring Island is surrounded by 360 degrees of ocean and forest. Spring Island is a jewel of the west coast, and the largest of an offshore chain of islands and reefs (the Barrier Islands), at the mouth of Kyuquot Sound.

The spacious, waterfront tents can each accommodate groups from two adults, up to a family of four. Tents are individually situated, with private seating areas beside them. The camp has a rustic feeling and blends with the natural surroundings, whilst sloe providing some necessary conveniences such as a propane heated shower, resource library, and dining and activity shelter which can protect against inclement weather.

Whilst West Coast expeditions specialises in kayaking adventure, guests can also explore the incredible west coast on foot via the nearby beach or old-growth forest trails. Adventures can be tailored to suit individual’s preferences and physical ability. The company prides itself on promoting responsible ecotourism in Canada, and works hard to integrate guests with the local community and indigenous culture of the Kyuquot area. Therefore, a stay in the camp provides an immersive wildlife and cultural experiences for guests who are keen to experience wild Canada.

The range of wildlife surrounding the camp is vast, with many marine mammals and invertebrate, fish and bird species having been seen there. Whilst sea otters are the most prominent species given the conservation efforts for them in the area, sea wolves, black bears and several whale species can also be observed.


Reference library, propane heated shower, kitchen, dining and activity shelter with wood-fired heater, group fire circle, benches for communal mealtimes and drying shelter for kayaking equipment.

Local Wildlife

The base camp lies just south of British Columbia's largest marine Ecological Reserve - Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve (34,650 ha), first established in 1981 to protect sea otter habitat. The Reserve is now designated with the primary function of protecting "a representative marine ecosystem on the west coast of Vancouver Island."

Marine mammals including humpback whales, killer whales, Minke whales, grey whales, harbour porpoises, Stellar sea lions, occasional elephant seals, sea otters of all ages, black bears, wolves and deer can be observed. Also, marine species such as jumping salmon, rock fish, the rare giant mola mola, slithering eel-like gunnels, octopus, crabs, sea stars, nudibranchs, bivalves, snails and limpets, and sea squirts and ascidians. The avifauna is also exciting, with bire species including tufted puffins, rhinoceros auklets, marbled murrelets, red-breasted mergansers, whimbrels, cormorants, sandpipers, great blue herons, barred owls, osprey and bald eagles.

Optional Activities

Various different kayaking adventures, walking trails, beach combing, yoga retreats, photography or painting masterclasses and field study tours.

John Melton

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding our Canada tours, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965