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Customized, private kayak tours for 2 to 6 people, starting at $160 per group. 

Create your adventure!

Tours available May 1st through October, 2024

Tours available from May until late October 2024, weather permitting


 Your experienced guide, John, has degrees in biology and education.  He has logged over 200 commercial kayaking days.


New!  Kayak sails are now standard on our Delta14s and 20Ts on all tours!
(Not all tours present an opportunity for kayak sailing, but the boats are rigged with sails for those times when the wind is right.)

Kayak Salt Spring's mission is to provide family-oriented, educational, and environmentally friendly kayaking adventures that promote the natural beauty and preservation of Salt Spring Island's wilderness.  We use Canadian made Delta 14s and 20Ts on all of our tours. 

Private Day Tours

Natural History is taught on all tours (as requested).

We do one tour per day.  Start times are range from 11am to 4pm depending on tides, weather and your preferences.

Snacks are included on all tours except Long Harbour. (Cheese, crackers, fruit, pickles, cookies and juice)

Moon Snail Egg Case seen on kayak tour
Kelp seen while kayaking
ochre sea star seen while kayaking
Tafoni seen in sandstone while kayaking
Douglas Fir Cone before kayak season
Bald Eagle on Salt Spring Island
Basic Tours
Walker Hook, Salt Spring Island

(weather  permitting)
2 nautical miles

Walker Hook Beach, accessible only by boat, is the largest sandy beach on Salt Spring Island. After a leisurely 30 to 45 minute paddle past eagles nests and picturesque shoreline, we stop for a break.  We have plenty of time to wander the beach before returning.  Depending on the weather, this can be a short easy, flat water paddle or an exciting adventure.


Private 2 person tour starting at $160 per group (additional people $60 per person, maximum group size 6 people) 

(weather and tides permitting)
Time and distance estimates are shown below Russell Island



Starting from Kingfisher Cove, we paddle past pretty bays before rounding Eleanor Point.  From there, the coastline changes to kelp beds and sandstone cliffs.  This rugged coastline, that gets pounded by winter storms, is a treat to paddle during the summer months.  After an hour on the water, we select one of several sandy bays to stop for a break.  With spectacular shoreline, the return trip provides opportunities to  explore nooks and crannies that were were missed on the way out.   This is a good tour for anyone who likes geology.


Kingfisher Cove, Salt Spring Island


For a little extra fun, walk the beautiful trails to the old Hawaiian homestead. Russell Island is part of Gulf Island National Park Reserve.  During the walk, John teaches about native plants that live in the Coastal Douglas Fir Zone.  This stop also adds some extra on-water scenery to the Eleanor short tour.

If the weather doesn't cooperate for the trip to Eleanor Point, we can do a short tour to Russell and some scenic areas towards Fulford Harbour.

When the tide is too low to launch from Kingfisher Cove, we can still do a Russell Island Tour from Isabella Point Road in Fulford Harbour.

Russell Island, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

Private 2 person tours

Eleanor Point Short Tour - 3 hour, 4 nautical miles - $200 per group

Eleanor Point Short with Russell Island - 4 hour, 5 nautical miles - $250 per group

Eleanor Point Long Tour - 4 hour, 6 -8 nautical miles - $250 per group

Eleanor Point Long with Russell Island - 4.5 hour, 6 -8 nautical miles - $275 per group

Russell Island Tour from Fulford Harbour 4 hour, 5 nautical miles - $225 per group


(additional people $60 per person, maximum group size 6 people) 

Prevost Island, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve

(weather  permitting)
4 to 5 HR,  6 - 8 nautical miles

Enjoy the rugged beauty of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve at James Bay on Prevost Island. After an easy paddle down Long Harbour, we reach the Captain Passage.  A short but sometimes challenging crossing takes us to Prevost Island.  There are lots of trails and beaches to explore at James Bay, so a minimum one hour stop is recommended. Back on the water, we explore more rugged coastline before the crossing back to Salt Spring.  Although this tour can be done at any time,  it's best features, intertidal life and large beaches, can only be seen on a low tide.

Private 2 person tour starting at $225 per group (additional people $60/person, maximum group size 6)

Specialty Tours

(weather permitting)
6-8 HR  8-10 nautical miles

Looking for an all day adventure?  Consider doing a circumnavigation of Portland Island in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.  Starting at Kingfisher Cove or Isabella Point Rd, we paddle up Fulford Harbour, making a stop at Russell Island, before crossing to Portland.  Once at Portland Island, we make stops at Arbutus Point and Shell Beach before crossing back.  Washrooms are available at every stop.  You can expect about 4 to 5 hours of paddling and 2 hours on land with 3 or more breaks. This tour is weather sensitive and will only be done under idea conditions.

Private 2 person tours

 $300 per group 

(additional people $60/person, maximum group size 6)

Russell Island, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
Sansum Narrows, Salt Spring Island

(Weather and access road conditions permitting)

2.5 HR  3 nautical miles
4 HR  6 nautical miles

Situated between Maple Mountain and Mt. Maxwell, this tour offers beautiful scenery.  The northern section of Sansum Narrows is somewhat protected from the southeast winds and is often our best option on windy days. The combination of non-turbulent currents up to 3 knots and wind can make this trip either a challenging paddle or an easy flat water tour.  If we get the tides just right, we can paddle into a small cave (at your own risk).


Private 2 person tours

2.5 hour $175 per group 

4 hour $225 per group

(additional people $60/person, maximum group size 6)


2 - 3 HR  4 - 6 nautical miles

With great protection from strong winds, this beautiful trip can be done on almost any day no matter what the weather.  Starting deep in the harbour, we head out past the ferry terminal and beautiful houses towards Nose Point.  Coming  back on the opposite side there are opportunities to check out little bays and islands including Clamshell Islet.

(this tour has no stops or snacks)

Private 2 person tours

$160 per group 

(additional people $60/person, maximum group size 6)


Kayak Sailing in Long Harbour
time, distance and price are the same as the Long Harbour Paddle above)

 Our Pacific Action sails have arrived and we have finished testing them.  You can lean more about Pacific  Action products here.

The new tour will is a great option for days when it is too rough to do other tours.  These sails are also available for use on easy downwind runs during our regular tours.

We plan to have Pacific Action sails available for purchase later in the season.

Thanks to the generous support of our clients, we were able to raise more half of the purchase price  from tips.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed. 

Home: About


Family Business

John  and Caroline Topham are co-owners Kayak Salt Spring, a small, family based kayak guiding company. John handles most of day to day operations while Caroline helps with book keeping, and supplies. When John is on tour, Caroline helps to ensure your safety by remaining available as an emergency contact.


Your Kayak Guide: John grew-up playing on the shores of the Salish Sea then earned degrees in biology and education from the University of Victoria. He is a cofounder of Oak and Orca Bioregional School in Victoria, where he worked for 8 years as Science Teacher and Field Trip Coordinator. He has previously qualified as a Paddle Canada instructor.  John is certified by the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of B.C. and has logged over 200 commercial kayaking days.


We have a small fleet of kayaks that include Delta 14s for singles and Delta 20 Tandems for families and couples.

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