Bays, Pacific Northwest
Grant Bay is located on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. It is one of the nicest beaches on Vancouver Island, its all white sand from one end to the other and from the forest to the sea. It’s quite a drive to reach it and this means fewer people. Most of the time, you will find that you are the only ones there, but the beach is more than big enough for more and still provide a private area to swim/sunbath in. The times that l have been there, I found I was far outnumbered by the otters and not humans.
The area was first surveyed in the late 1860s. For many years the peninsula between Browning Inlet and Grant Bay was connected by trails that were built by the First Peoples, settlers to the area used these trails as well. Life was tough for early settlers but the beauty of the area made up for it and these old trails were a great way to travel.
In the 1800s, rescue huts were built at regular intervals along the west coast of Vancouver Island. These huts had supplies of food and blankets that were provided for shipwrecked sailors. One of these huts was built on Lippy Point on the Southern tip of Grant Bay. The huts are mostly gone from the island’s coast now, the last one l found was on the outer coast of Nootka Island, this was many years ago when l was a much younger man. I have not seen one since then, l suppose there could still be a few, but they are most likely fallen down now and would be hard to spot even if you were up close to one.
Until about ten years ago Grant Bay was only accessible either by boat or a three-hour hike. You can now walk a short trail into the bay, it takes about 30 minutes. The beauty of this bay and its wide sandy beaches will surprise you the first time you see it, it took my breath away. The way the beach forms a half moon, the small river that runs in on the north end, the wildlife that abounds here. The sea otters seem to be everywhere and don’t shy away from observers, there is always a chance to see one of the whales that travel past the west side of the island on their yearly migration. It’s truly a paradise for your eyes. Bring a camera and take home some memories.