British Columbia Kyuquot Channel

Rugged Point Provincial Park: Another Day, Another (Sand) Dollar

Friday, August 02, 2013S.V. CAMBRIA

Kyuquot Sound

Lured by the promise of some of the most beautiful beaches along the entire West Coast of Vancouver Island, we reluctantly left Scow Bay this morning and made way for Rugged Point Provincial Park, situated at the southern entrance to Kyoquot Sound (pronounced ky-YOU-cut), some 18 nautical miles away. 

The trailhead at Rugged Point Provincial Park 

Walking along Rugged Point Provincial Park in search of sand dollars

We weren’t disappointed.  After anchoring in the shallow waters off the northern arm of the point, we took the well-maintained trail to the Pacific side of the park.  Our reward: stunning crescent shaped beaches divided by rocky outcrops formed from old lava flows, similar to so many we’d visited when living in New Zealand.  Though not one long, continuous stretch of shoreline, the park includes miles of accessible beaches connected by trails that are surrounded by old-growth Douglas fir but require too much scrambling and climbing for our Sally.  So we spent the afternoon enjoying the westernmost section of the park, walking barefoot in the sand and taking in the rugged beauty while collecting sand dollars along the way.

Rugged Point Provincial Park

Although open to the swell of the Pacific and considered a roadstead anchorage, the conditions were settled enough that we could have stayed the night.  But, despite its remote location, Rugged Point is a popular spot with campers and we both were ready to get back to the solitude that the West Coast offers; so with one final look around, we upped anchor and motored to nearby Dixie Cove Marine Park, reputed to be one of the most picturesque and well-sheltered anchorages along the West Coast. 

After navigating through yet another narrow, rocky entrance we found ourselves in the protected outer bay of Dixie Cove, situated between Copp and Hohoae Islands . . . and all alone.  Surrounded by parkland which somehow managed to escape logging, the anchorage is pretty but not unlike so many others we’ve visited in the past.  But in all fairness, it’s hard to compete with the wild beauty of the anchorages situated directly along the Pacific – from Klaskino Anchorage to Rugged Point. 

When we first started planning for this season, I was sure our preference would be the former – the protected anchorages situated along the five major sounds that indent the West Coast.  But it’s clear that the wind-swept anchorages situated directly along the Pacific speak to us in a way that we hadn’t anticipated.  While still not as spectacular as the mountainous fjords located along the Inside Passage, this area has a primitive charm that appeals to us.  It’s taken me more time than David to arrive at this point, but now that I’m here it’s difficult to imagine ever getting the West Coast out from underneath my skin – our time here simply gets better and better with every passing day.

A man and his dog walking along the lava outcroppings at Rugged Point

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