Central Coast Destinations

Roscoe Inlet | Way Back Wednesday

Wednesday, March 22, 2017S.V. CAMBRIA

It’s Way Back Wednesday, an opportunity to dig through the files and pull out an old blog post to shed some new light on it. Over the years, I’ve written several posts about anchorages we’ve stayed in, including first-hand anchoring information (i.e. holding, protection, GPS coordinates), historical information and things to do. To date, I’ve done 26 of these (they can all be found on our Destinations page) and they’re some of my favourite posts. For the next six months, I’ll be highlighting one every Wednesday (from south to north) and adding a few new ones in where I can. This week, it’s a return to Roscoe Inlet in British Columbia’s Central Coast.

Disclaimer:  This blog article is not to be used for navigation.  It is solely an account of our personal experience and anchor locations in Roscoe Inlet during settled weather conditions.  What worked for us at one particular time is no guarantee or indication that it will work for others.  There are no services in the immediate area and any boat that enters should be self-sufficient.

Roscoe Inlet is 23 miles long, but the real journey doesn’t begin until one mile south of Boukind Bay.  It’s there that the channel forks to the east, narrows and takes on a serpentine route that carries boaters the remaining 12 miles through some of the most breathtaking scenery along the Central Coast. The upper reaches of the Roscoe Inlet are dramatic, especially on an overcast day when the scenery seems to develop in monochrome like an Ansel Adams photograph, and easily one of the most beautiful places along the British Columbia coast.

The inlet, on average, is less than a half-mile wide and bordered by steep granite domes that rise up from the sea and reach heights above 1,000 metres (3,300 feet). Snow-capped ridges line the waterway. And evergreens spread upward from the shoreline where they cling onto the rock for dear life. These are just a few of the sights Roscoe Inlet has to offer.  Every turn through her goosenecks has something else to share until you reach the head and, sadly, the passage is over. 


Clatse Bay:       Clatse Bay is located 5 miles south of Boukind Bay and offers good protection in most weather.  A shoal along the east shore extends mid-channel near the entrance to the inlet but is clear beyond that.  Good holding can be found in 16 to 20 metres (53 to 66 feet) in mud near the head of the bay. 

Anchorage can also be found in Shack Bay (1.5 miles north of Clatse Bay) along the eastern shore of Roscoe Inlet, but we haven’t anchored there ourselves.  We’ve been told by Nearly Normal Norman that there’s an old logging road that leads to Ocean Falls located in the bay.  

Boukind Bay:  When visiting Roscoe Inlet, Boukind Bay is our first stop.  The bottom is flat, there’s ample swing room, there’s good protection in most weather and it has good holding in mud (in reasonable depths of 9 to 12 metres).  It’s also conveniently located one mile north of Roscoe Narrows and a good base for exploring the inlet. 

Quartcha Bay: Quartcha Bay is located 5 miles from Roscoe Narrows and is a beautiful glacial valley surrounded by high mountains and waterfalls BUT the bottom is steep-to and we weren’t able to find a place to anchor off the marsh at the head of the bay that we considered safe enough for an overnight stay.

The Bitter End:         According to the Douglass cruising guide, “Exploring the North Coast of British Columbia”, the head of Roscoe Inlet rarely sees any wind.  And while it’s true that it normally dies out before at the final gooseneck, we have seen afternoon breezes pick up while anchored there.  The shore is steep-to but it’s possible to find anchorage in 16 to 20 metres (53 to 66 feet) along the southern shore east of the creek where the holding is very good in sand and mud.  

Waypoints of Interest:

Clatse Bay:           
52°21.915’N, 127°51.581’W (Approach)
52°20.527’N, 127°50.650’W (Anchorage)

Boukind Bay: 
52°27.069’N, 127°56.262’W (Approach)
52°27.772’N, 127°56.262’W (Anchorage)

Quartcha Bay:     
52°29.960’N, 127°50.871’W

The Bitter End:      
52°27.064’N, 127°43.300’W

Things to Do:

Kayaking is always at the top of the list of activities when we visit Roscoe Inlet.
Walk to Briggs Lagoon (Boukind Bay).*
An orange trail marker is located along the eastern shore in Clatse Bay, but we didn’t investigate. 
Walk to Twin Lakes or Ocean Falls from Shack Bay.* 

* Be bear aware!

Note:     On our first visit, it was an overcast day without a breath of wind.  In our opinion, this is the best way to experience the drama of Roscoe Inlet.  The granite domes reflect beautifully off the water and the deer flies, a major issue on sunny days, are nowhere to be found. 

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  1. Another beautiful destination! I'm always impressed by how deep these anchorages are. We're so used to anchoring in 10 foot depths, I just can't imagine anchoring in 60 feet of water! Definitely not a place to be hauling chain without a windlass!