Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park is a popular park destination accessed by hikers, photographers and kayakers. The narrows are located on the lower portion of the Sunshine Coast near Egmont, British Columbia. The 123 hectare nature sanctuary is centred around the tidal pools, eddies and changing currents created by 200 billion gallons of rushing water charging through the narrows connecting the Sechelt and Jervis Inlets.
Skookumchuck, means "strong water" or "turbulent water" in Chinook First Nation. The rapids are fascinating to watch in all seasons as long as you are dressed right. When the tides change, one witnesses an act of nature's mood swings, as the saltwater flow of the tides switches, reversing the direction of the rapids. The rapids can reach speeds of 30+ km/hr. Whew!
Established in 1957, the Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park has some well maintained trails and visitor viewing areas. From the parking area in Egmont, BC is the trailhead to the easy grade round trip 8 km ( 5 mi) hiking trail leading to some prime viewing areas of raging rapids and, maybe, the odd kayaker taking nature head on. There are interpretive markers along the trail with information on First Nation history.
The best viewing area is Roland Point. The hiking route is a "there and back" type hike, so a round trip trek from the parking lot at Egmont to the rapids is 1.5 - 2 hours. Add some sightseeing, a picnic and photo moments and the trip can easily be a half day experience. There are pit toilets at both ends of the trail.
Exploring by waterways the Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park is a popular destination for kayaking and canoeing. The tidal pools, the charging rapids, the tidal currents and some various sections of the park should not be taken lightly. Always check tide tables. It is said only very experienced paddlers should attempt the rapids at high tide.