Hot Springs Cove, BC
Hot Springs Cove is a top destination on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. For boats on a counterclockwise circumnavigation, arriving in Hot Springs Cove usually marks the successful rounding of Estevan Point, the last of the major headlands.
A park dock is on the east shore nearly 1nm north of the entrance. Maximum boat length on the dock is 12 meters/~40 feet. We prefer anchoring and dinghying to the dock. Anchorage is good anywhere north of the public dock in 20-30 feet with excellent holding. Protection is good in most summer weather.
After weeks in the wilderness, Hot Springs Cove feels busy. Float planes and fast tour boats come and go from Tofino all day, dropping off passengers for a crowded soak in the small hot springs. Savvy cruisers wait until evening, around 6:00 p.m., when the last tourists go. From evening until mid-morning, only cruisers, campers, and a few guests on the Innchanter have access to the hot springs.
Even if you don’t want to soak in the springs, the 1.2 mile boardwalk trail is excellent. The rainforest scenery is beautiful and the trail is well-maintained. Parks Canada manages the property and assesses a small charge for visiting, payable in an honor box near the top of the dock.
The hot springs themselves are delightful. A steaming hot waterfall plunges into a large crack in the rocks, and the flowing water creates a few small pools just steps from the ocean. A changing room makes complying with the “clothing required” regulation easy. Watch your footing on the way to and from the hot springs; rocks may be slippery and loose.
Cell phone service is excellent in Hot Springs Cove, thanks to the First Nations village across from the park. The village has no services for cruising boats.
Mooring Ball: No
Fuel Available: No
Potable Water: No
Cell Service: Excellent
Max boat length 12 meters/~40 feet on the dock. Fee charged for going ashore.
Slowboat Tips and Activities
Explore the boardwalk and hot springs, but wait until after the crowds have left for the day.
Related Cruise Reports
Last update of this page:
Last in-person visit by Slowboat team: September 4, 2019