Cruising in the NorthwestThings to Do and Places to SeeWaggoner eNews

Prince of Wales Reach in British Columbia.

Lorena – “I sure would like to see Chatterbox Falls again in Princess Louisa Inlet.” Leonard – “Are you sure? It’s 10 nautical miles up Agamemnon Channel, then another 30 nautical miles to Malibu Rapids which becomes a timing issue, and another 4 miles to Chatterbox Falls, plus the time to get back, that’s a 2-3 day commitment.”

After contemplating our options, we decided to do it the easy way and book the one-day tour with Sunshine Coast Tours (800-870-9055), which departs from Backeddy Resort & Marina.

We said our Goodbye’s at Pender Harbour and made the 10-mile journey up Agamemnon Channel to Backeddy Resort & Marina, located at the north end of the Sechelt Peninsula, a convenient place to leave the boat and spend the night after returning from our tour.

Activities Near Backeddy Resort & Marina

Having secured our boat at Backeddy Resort & Marina, we boarded the high-speed tour boat at 10:30 a.m., ready to sit back and enjoy the sights. Rice, our captain and tour guide, did an excellent job of sharing interesting facts about the fishing industry, logging industry, and Native culture, as well as sea life, geology, and local vegetation. Stops made along the way included several waterfalls and two historic pictographs (northwesterly shore of Princess Royal Reach).

Read about the tips we learned from Rice and for VHF Securité Call and Malibu Rapids here.

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Stories from the Native culture tied-in nicely with these sites – five tribes at the beginning of creation were each given a different skill or power so that the tribes would cooperate with one another; the story of three wise women who carried fire inside clam shells; and other Native stories and traditions.

We soon reached Malibu Rapids, also the site of Young Life’s Malibu Club, a Christian summer camp overlooking the rapids.

Young Life Malibu Club at Malibu Rapids.

Young Life Malibu Club is next to Malibu Rapids.

Malibu Rapids can run at 9 knots, our tour captain took us through on a 2-knot current with ease. The approach to Chatterbox Falls is gorgeous, showcasing the entire run of the falls surrounded by granite peaks and bowls. It was just as beautiful as we had remembered.

Chatterbox Falls in Princess Louisa Inlet.

Approaching Chatterbox Falls.

Being early in the boating season, only a few boats were tied-up at the Park’s 650-foot guest dock with plenty of room for additional arrivals. Moorage at the dock is limited to 72 hours so everyone can enjoy this beautiful spot.

The park dock at Chatterbox Falls.

Early in the season, there was plenty of room at the park dock in front of Chatterbox Falls.

Given more than an hour stay by our tour guide, we had ample time to see the falls and relax over lunch at one of the Park’s picnic tables. Everyone seemed to have a great time and shared their enthusiasm as we made the return trip to Backeddy Resort & Marina. Running at 23 knots, we arrived back at 3:30 p.m.

This is such an easy way to see Princess Louisa Inlet and we highly recommend this option for boaters who may want to save some extra days of travel.

Nearby Hikes

And we still had time left in the day to see other sights near Backeddy Resort & Marina, including hiking Skookumchuck Trail which ends at the Skookuchuck/Sechelt Rapids, a popular destination for hikers who want to see the rapids at full boil.

Skookumchuck Trail to Sechelt Rapids

The Skookumchuck Trail to Sechelt Rapids.

The marina posts the best viewing times for the rapids, just check the board located in the office. It’s a mile walk from Backeddy Marina to the trailhead parking lot, and another 2 ¼ miles out to Sechelt Rapids. For a faster, less strenuous trip, you can rent bicycles at the Marina. Most of the trail, except for the last quarter mile, is suitable for bicycles.

Bike rentals at Backeddy Resort & Marina.

Bicycle Rentals at Backeddy Resort & Marina and tour departure location for Sunshine Coast Tours.

Peter, the owner of Backeddy Resort & Marina, was most gracious and gave us a ride in his truck to the trail head. We were on our own for the walk back. Boaters can also access the trail from Egmont (Egmont Public Wharf or Bathgate Marina), eliminating a mile of walking. Skoomkumchuck/Sechelt Rapids are quite a sight to behold when running at full boil (14 knots). We arrived during a 12-knot flood and saw standing waves!

Sechelt Rapids with a 12-knot current.

These were the same rapids we transited at slack when visiting the town of Sechelt a few days earlier, interesting to witness the importance of timing the rapids. We were glad we made the hike to see these impressive rapids.

We were also impressed with the Backeddy Resort & Marina. The pub/restaurant has good food and great views with attractive interior spaces.

View from the pub at Backeddy Resort & Marina.

Views from the pub at Backeddy Resort & Marina.

If you have guests aboard who would like some time on land, they can enjoy luxury-style camping in one of the five geodesic domes, or rent one of the attractively decorated older cabins.

Glamping at Backeddy Resort & Marina.

Glamping in a Geodesic dome at Backeddy Resort & Marina.

Don’t let the more rustic exterior of the pub and other buildings fool you, it’s a nice stop! The West Coast Wilderness Lodge is a short walk up the hill from  Backeddy Marina and offers fine dining with similar outstanding views.

For more information visit the Sechelt Visitor Centre, Backeddy Resort & Marina and Sunshine Coast Tours.

~Lorena Landon

(originally posted on

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