Skookumchuck Narrows Hike

Quick Facts:

  • AllTrails link: Skookumchuck Narrows, 7.7km, 188m elevation gain
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate, not stroller friendly
  • Traffic: moderate
  • Facilities: washrooms in the Egmont Heritage Centre with a museum and gift shop
  • View: impressive feats of nature depending on tide directions
  • Overall score: 8/10

The hike in Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park is perhaps the most famous of all hiking trails on the Sunshine Coast. It’s an fairly easy 8km hike to the Narrows, where impressive whirlpools at ebbing tide and standing rapids at flooding tide can be viewed. The volume of tide water in the entire Sechelt Inlet rushes through the Narrows in impressive volume (water level differential of 2m, driving currents of 30km/h) during the peak tidal flows.

Be sure to check the rapids tide chart when planning a hike here. If you want to catch the intrepid whitewater kayakers in the rapids, go to Roland Point at peak flooding tide (+). At ebbing tide (-), big whirlpools can be seen at the North Point.

The Egmont Heritage Centre is right near the trailhead. It has a cute little museum, and it provides additional parking (and even a free EV charger!) and washrooms.

Egmont Heritage Centre

The hike actually starts at the parking area near the Egmont Heritage Centre, whereas the real ‘trailhead’ for the hike is 800m further down a private street which is only accessible to residents.

Signage at the parking area.
Walking on the street section before the real trail starts.

Way back in 2017, Tina and I did the hike on a flooding tide and caught some very exciting kayaking action. Big Bro was there too, but he was in the tummy so he couldn’t see much.

In 2022, we came back with the family, but the only time that worked out for us was an ebbing tide.

On our hike in, both Big Bro and Middle Bro took the backpack carrier option. It was close to their nap times.

The trail was very well maintained and well covered. Even in the midday heat, we felt quite pleasant in the shade.

With all 3 kids being carried, we made good time and arrived at the North Point viewpoint after 1 hour. We missed the peak ebbing time but the whirlpools were nonetheless very impressive. We took a break and watched some playful powerboats struggle against the current.

On our return leg, Big Bro impressed us by hiking the entire 4km back. It only took some gentle hand holding and encouragement, but otherwise he did the whole thing himself! And he did it in a reasonable 1.5 hours too.

Looking nonchalant after finishing the hike

The total length of 8km could be a bit challenging for Big Bro, but none of it is particularly challenging. The Narrows are truly a force of nature, and a fantastic hiking motivation/destination. If timing allows, I would recommend aiming for a big flooding tide in the summer and watching the heroics of the whitewater kayakers.

This is a part of our 2022 BC Coastal Circle Tour. Read on!

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