Deep Cove Winter Paddle


Paddleboarder in Deep Cove.

Deep Cove is one of the very first places where I learned to paddle. The protected harbour with a well-stocked kayak rental shop right on the water is famously friendly for beginners. There is also the popular Quarry Rock trail (closed during pandemic) that draws a big crowd. As a result, people come out in droves in the summer to Deep Cove, so much so that traffic congestion becomes a real issue. Due to COVID-19, we avoided visiting Deep Cove in 2020 for this reason.

Deep Cove in a summer past.

In the winter time, it’s an entirely different story. The area is sleepy and quiet, with no traffic on the road, and lots of free parking available.

Deep Cove in the winter

After snowshoeing on the nearby Mt. Seymour, we came to Deep Cove about 1 hour before sunset and tested out the new wetsuit we got for Junior. Rather than counting down to the warmer days to go paddling, why not just make ourselves warmer instead?

Parking lot about 100m from launch site.

Gears: Junior had full length 3mm wetsuit, wool socks, snow boots, snow jacket, life jacket, and a toque. I also had my 3mm wetsuit, with an extra layer of water resistant pants, neoprene booties and gloves, inflatable PFD, a shell jacket and a hat. We were pretty toasty.

Launching from the pebble beach.

The cove was very calm as usual. Essentially as calm as a small lake, with some occasional ripples.

After putting on all our gear and launching, we only had about 30 mins left to paddle before sunset. No matter, it was meant to be a practice run to see if it’s even possible to bring a toddler on a winter paddle.

We went north a little bit to marvel at Indian Arm. One of these days I would like to do a proper day paddle here.

Indian Arm

Junior was totally having a blast. He kept pointing at the seaside mansions he liked and where he’d like to explore next. He was pretty disappointed when we had to turn around before sunset.

Got back before it started getting dark. I also brought a waterproof light in case we mistimed our return.

There was a floating public dock but the platform is about 3 feet off the water, which would be a very challenging launch even with a small ladder at the end. Dock launching has the advantage of avoiding getting the feet wet though, so it might be worth trying in the future.

There is a lot to explore in Indian Arm, and Deep Cove is a natural launch site. Just be mindful that parking can be a challenge in peak season.

  • Difficulty – very easy in the cove, more waves if you head out towards boat traffic
  • Boat traffic – usually there is heavy boat traffic up and down Indian Arm
  • View – Indian Arm is magnificent
  • Facilities – public washrooms available. Kayak/paddleobard rental around April to October
  • Overall score – 8/10
Local waterways traffic poster at Deep Cove Kayak Centre.

Burrard Inlet/Indian Arm Series:


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