British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide
North of the city of Campbell River, a wealth of rewarding experiences can be discovered from your base in the village of Sayward. Situated at the mouth of the Salmon River on the shores of Johnston Strait, Sayward is backed by the impressive peaks of north central Vancouver Island. The town offers the only small boat anchorage north of Campbell River and south of Port McNeill. Sayward is a popular stop off for boaters heading north through Johnston Strait, and is only 10 km off the Highway 19, about 1 hour from Campbell River.
Sayward is close to world-famous Robson Byte, where Orca whales rub their bodies in gravel beaches. Although access to the actual byte and beach is restricted to scientific research, the immediate waters offer incomparable whale watching and other marine wildlife viewing.
The Salmon River estuary is known for its trumpeter swans and has a maintained pathway for other viewing wildlife. The river is also well known for its steelhead fishing, and is popular with canoeists, kayakers and river rafters. In the lakes east of Sayward, the Sayward Forest Canoe Route covers almost 50 km in a circle route.
Until it recently died of old age at about 2000 years, the world’s largest yellow cedar stood near Sayward. Its massive bulk now lies impressively on its side in the forest. Nearby, on Hkusam Mountain, a mysterious steam-like ring appears around the mountain’s peak. It was known to the natives as Hiatsee Saklekum, or "Where the breath of the sea lion gathers at the blow-hole". Prominent peaks in the area include Mount Romeo and Juliet, Rugged Mountain and Mount Cain. Hiking to the peak of Mt H'Kusam (1600 m) is an 8- hour return journey. Mount Cain is a regional park and popular ski destination for downhill and back-country skiers. The Karst geology near Sayward is well known for its spelunking.
Schoen Lake Provincial Park, to the west, on the other side of Highway 19, is known as one of the most beautiful areas on Vancouver Island. It provides opportunities for canoeing, fishing and hiking in beautiful mountain scenery.
Sayward Things to Do