jan@saltspringguide.com   Back To Vacation Planning
 

 

 


About Saturna Islan
d
 

 

Saturna Island is thirty one square kilometers with a relatively small permanent population of 325. Almost one half of Saturna's landscape of lovely bays, valleys and high rock bluffs are protected within the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve which was established in 2003. Exploring this new park with an ecosystem that is specific to this climate is best done at a leisurely pace. A picnic at Winter Cove, a walk to Narvaez Bay, a hike along Lyall Creek, a drive to the top of Mount Warburton Pike are all possible excursions. If you are traveling by kayak or boat a stop at the ruins of at Taylor Point will reveal remnants of a past quarry operation where sandstone was shipped to Victoria. There are beach areas for unsupervised swimming at Veruna Bay, East Point Regional Park and Thomson Park.

Remote and rural, facilities are limited to the Saturna General Store, Saturna Lodge and the Saturna Point Store and pub. Saturna Island Vineyards may be visited with wines and unique merchandise for sale, May through October.

Saturna Island is infamous for it's July 1st, Canada Day, Saturna Lamb Barbeque, an annual summer event, in Winter Cove which features sheltered anchorage, with trails through mixed forest, marsh land and shorelines to a view of Boat Pass. Over 1,000 people generally attend. The meal is cooked Argentinean style on upright iron crosses.

There are no camping facilities on Saturna Island. Cycling the narrow roads requires extreme caution. There is no pharmacy or drug store on the island so one must remember to bring one's own medications. There are also no banks or ATM's. As with all of the gulf islands, no outside fire is permitted during the summer months without a permit. Ferries are also not as frequent. All of this contributes to a lifestyle that some islanders cherish. Visitors have to really know what they want when they come so as not to be disappointed. A laid back lifestyle and island slow time is this island's trademark.

To the north of Saturna are Tumbo and Cabbage Islands, Pine Islet, and the Belle Chain Islets which are also a part of the park reserve. The reserve is 35 kilometers squared and includes major portions of North and South Pender Islands. The waters adjacent to park lands are also managed by Parks Canada, bringing another 26 kilometers squared under protection.