Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
Yes
Guided tours
No
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While it may seem a daunting journey to the northern end of Vancouver Island, Telegraph Cove is a superb launching spot for numerous adventures. Nestled between steep hills and mountains, it's a very sheltered cove that bustles with activity in the summer.

This idyllic little town has a vintage character thanks to colorful facades on wood-shingled houses. Many of these lean over the water on stilts, providing superb patios and a curious sight. The town is very popular in the summer, and you will find the boardwalk busy by Canadian standards at peak hours. It helps that some of the best whale watching on the Pacific coast is found in the area, thanks to resident orcas and numerous other species, including gray and humpback whales. Porpoises, seals, sea lions, and all manner of fish are also common sights. There are numerous campgrounds and a busy marina to accommodate the tiny town's huge tourism draw. It also serves as an excellent launching point for kayaking expeditions into Johnstone Strait and the Broughton archipelago.

The hamlet gets its name from an old shack that marked the end point of the Vancouver Island's first communication line. This became a hub for the loggers, pioneers, and fishers who meandered around this area at the turn of the century. In the Second World War, it acted as a sea plane base and early warning station, guarding against Japanese incursions. Today it is a popular tourist draw.

The town is clustered around the main harbor, with many of the buildings on stilts. It's a huge harbor with many docking spots for visitors. The harbor office is located near the general store and motel at the end of the bay. On the west side of the bay are the whale watching tours and the museum, located near the narrow mouth of the cove. The east is a second double-boat launching ramp and a rather claustrophobic RV site. You can also find the boardwalk around the point that offers excellent views to the Johnstone Strait. Outside of the summer, the area sees hardly any activity. Some weekends get a little busier, but it's almost totally shut down at these times.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Spring

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Day Use

Pros

Unique seaside town. Lots of exploring. Many different accommodation options.

Cons

Not many amenities. Very touristy.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Boat ramp(s)
Marina
Picnic tables
Covered picnic areas
Flushing toilets
Family friendly
ADA accessible
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Big Game Watching
Whale watching
Tide pools
Crabbing
Fishing
Wildlife
Old-growth forest
Native artifacts
Potable water

Location

Field Guide

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