Mitlenatch Island- Campbell River’s Own Desert Island

Autumn, Wayne and Joseph Pauloski enjoying the Seals

Accessible only by boat, Mitlenatch Island is located about 20 kms off shore from Campbell River. The simplest way to get on the island is to beach your boat on the pebbled shore, or just tour around the outskirts. Because Mitlenatch Island is located in the ‘rainshadow’ of Vancouver Island it has a semi-arid climate similar to the interior of BC.  I always look out at Mitlenatch and see it glowing in the sunshine even in a winter storm.  I grew up going to this iconic island with my family and now with my own 3 kids. Nature truly is on display here, often in the summer I have viewed whales breaching in the warm waters. The sea lions and harbor seals really put on a show as well, whether they are sunbathing or fighting over the best rock on the shore. Mitlenatch is the home of the largest seabird colony in the Strait of Georgia. The park is an important nesting area for many including Oystercatchers, Gulls, Cormorants and others. There is a viewing platform that is fun to observe and doesn't disturb them.   My personal favourite time to go is in July when the prickly pear cacti are in bloom (yes really, there are cacti!). There are lots of opportunities to get great photos of flora and fauna. Playing pretend exploring the old caretaker cabin with friends was a highlight as well. If you don't own a boat but are curious to experience Mitlenatch there are local tour operators that do regular runs in the summer to the area: Campbell River Whale Watching,  Discovery Marine Safaris, Homalco Wildfire & Cultural Tours